Some truly dedicated credit union leaders passed away in 2001. Many were pioneers, offering things to the industry that are still valued today. This list is by no means complete, and Credit Union Times regrets the omission of any notable death not highlighted here. * Credit union pioneer Jack. A. Mitchell, the first chairman of CUES and long-time CEO of Dallas Teachers CU, passed away on Sept. 25 at the age of 86. He served on the boards of CUNA and the Texas CU League. * Fred Smith, former CEO of Northwest Airlines CU passed away in February at age 73 from a stroke. Smith served in various capacities at NWACU for 40 years. He retired from the credit union in 1991 and then joined NWACU’s Board of Directors. * Credit union veteran Helen Guilford died February 4 from complications from pneumonia. She was 86. Guilford worked in the credit union industry for more than 30 years. She retired in the 1980s from Xerox FCU, El Segundo, Calif. Guilford was also president of a CUES council and was active in other CU associations. * Martin Cassell, 51, president CEO of United Services of America FCU was killed Feb. 8 in a freak hit-and-run accident. Cassell, a pedestrian at the time, was struck by a car that swerved onto the sidewalk to avoid hitting another vehicle. * David Wright, a former CUNA Chairman and chair of the Michigan League died on Nov. 14. His CU involvement began in 1959 as a volunteer with Security FCU, Flint, Mich. * Richard Mahoney, president/CEO of Telephone CU, Manchester, N.H. and a 36-year veteran of credit union service, died Sept. 22 at age 62 from complications resulting from an auto accident. Mahoney was a past chairman of the New Hampshire Credit Union League, its Legislative Committee, and he served on NHCUL’s executive committee. * Long time credit union activist and industry leader, Gene Artemenko, died Oct. 15 after an extended illness. Artemenko was a staunch supporter of private share insurance and had recently completed his 20th year on the board of directors of American Share Insurance. He was also serving as the company’s chairman. Artemenko retired as president from United Airlines Employees CU in 1991 after a 40-year career with the CU. * Former New York Congressman Gerald Solomon (Rep.), an original sponsor of the Credit Union Membership Access Act-H.R. 1151-died the week of Oct. 29. A former chairman of the House Rules Committee, Solomon was responsible for having CUMAA separated out from the general financial services modernization bill, which didn’t pass until the following year.

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