LATHAM, N.Y. — Former New York State Credit Union League board chair and New York Credit Union Hall of Famer Ray Johnson has died at the age of 84.
Born in 1923, Johnson was a director from the Metropolitan chapter and served as League chair from 1985-1987. He was an army veteran and served as a member of the Fairmont Chamber of Commerce.
Johnson joined the movement in 1959 as a volunteer at New York Metropolitan Area Postal CU. He became Manager just as a nearby bank lured $1 million away by undercutting the credit union’s rates. With the help of the League and other credit unions, he managed to rebuild, creating programs to encourage members to put money into savings with every loan payment.
By 1992, the $3 million-asset credit union had grown to $48 million. He was also instrumental in forming and growing several other credit unions. When the NYS Banking Department placed Municipal CU in receivership he was appointed to its board.
Johnson was one of the founding members of Empire Corporate FCU, serving as treasurer and then chairman. He also served as a CUNA board member from 1983 to 1991. Right before his retirement, he helped organize–and joined in–the 1991 Credit Union March on Washington.
For his lifelong commitment to the credit union movement, Johnson was inducted into the New York Credit Union Hall of Fame in 2003.
“On behalf of the League, our condolences go out to Ray’s family,” said NYSCUL President/CEO William J. Mellin. “He was a kind-hearted man who cared deeply for his family and for the credit union movement. He will be missed by all who knew him.”
Johnson is survived by his wife Nina, son Barry, daughter Adrien Riley and five grandchildren.