2003 saw the passing of a number of notable credit union leaders, some might say legends. Credit Union Times remembers them here in this listing. We regret any leaders who passed that we may have missed. * Laura Fleming former president/CEO of Founders Federal Credit Union, died unexpectedly on July 21 just six months after retiring. Fleming, 66, started her illustrious career in 1960 at what was then known as Springs Employee Federal Credit Union. She quickly moved up the ranks and became the president/general manager of the newly-named Founders FCU, which grew to be the largest in the state. Fleming is highly credited with having the vision to consolidate Springs Employee FCU and Springmaid Credit Association to present-day Founders FCU. Because of her strong advocacy for education and community improvement over her lifetime, former South Carolina Gov. Jim Hodges awarded Fleming the Order of the Palmetto in 2002, South Carolina’s highest civilian honor. * Ronald Selk, 63, long-time Michigan credit union advocate and president/CEO of Sunrise Family Credit Union, passed away on Oct. 5. Selk’s 40-year career in the movement included working as a manager and consultant for the Michigan Credit Union League. Days after his death, the Saginaw News published a letter from Selk that criticized an editorial questioning a proposed law that sought to ease certain field of membership rules. * William Bates Jr., Kinecta FCU Director Emeritus and former Board Chairman died Jan. 11 at the age of 78. Bates dedicated 30 years to serving on Kinecta’s Board and was known for leading the successful defeat of a 1988 Congressional proposal to merge the NCUSIF, the Federal Savings and Loan Insurance Corporation, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. * George Myers, past president and grand marshall of the Defense Credit Union Council passed away Feb. 17 at age 92 from undisclosed causes. Myers was involved with credit unions for more than 30 years, including working as public relations director and deputy director for CUNA. He also served as DCUC’s executive director (now president) for 13 years. Myers was also one of the incorporators of the Consumer Federation of America and served as its president. During that time, he was named by former President Gerald Ford to the President’s Consumer Advisory Council * Glen Reese, the first managing director of the Nevada Credit Union League and who led the league for 26 years, died on March 5 from cancer. Reese was managing director of the Nevada League from 1969 to 1995 when the California and Nevada Leagues formed a management agreement whereby CCUL provides services to the Nevada League. Reese also played a leading role in getting Nevada’s Credit Union Law passed in 1975. * Carl Barnes, former chairman of CUES and retired president/CEO of Knoxville TVA CU, died Oct. 26 from complications from cancer. He was 80 years old. The Corinth, Miss.-native was hired by the credit union as manager in Dec. 4, 1961. That title was later changed to president/CEO, and Barnes retired from that position in 1982. He also served on the CUES Board from 1968-1970 and was chairman from 1969-1970. He was a driving force behind the formation of the State Credit Union Share Insurance Corp., a credit-union owned private deposit insurance company that was eventually renamed Mutual Guaranty Corp. * The credit union industry has lost one of the true innovators in legendary credit union leader George Hobar. Hobar, 78, died on January 24. He was CEO of GTE FCU from 1960 to 1991. Although he retired in 1991 he stayed involved with GTE FCU as a board member up until about two years ago. Probably one of his greatest contributions to the industry was his work in payment systems. Under Hobar’s direction, GTE and four other Tampa-area credit unions bought a card processing company from the Florida Bankers Association and started what is now Payment Systems for Credit Unions. GTE was the first credit union in the world to issue Visa credit cards, and was the first in Florida and one of the earliest nationwide to issue share drafts. * This past May marked the death of Ralph W. Hillman, CEO of Nassau County Federal Credit Union in Garden City, N.Y. Hilman had a long history of service to credit unions since getting his start at Navy Federal CU. More recently for the past two years Hilman served as board chairman of the NY State Shared Service Centers. * Recognized for his 25 years of voluntary service, longtime Dort Federal Credit Union Board Chairman Jack Madison died. During his tenure at the credit union Madison also received several awards for his education efforts including the Filene, Raiffeisen and Bergengren Awards. * SAFE Credit Union 40-year Board Director and past CUNA Vice President Harold William Price died at the age of 87. Price dedicated more than 25 years as a volunteer and activist for the California Credit Union League, representing California’s credit union interests before state legislators and policy makers.