NORFOLK, Va. (9/14/10)--Christie Eugene, a former director and chairman of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and long-time Virginia credit union movement leader, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 82.
Eugene, who was a credit union advocate and volunteer for 61 years, served as CUNA chairman from 1991 to 1993 and as a CUNA director for 13 years. He spent three decades serving the Norfolk (Va.) Fire Department, beginning in 1948, and managing the Norfolk Fire Department FCU until 2002. After his retirement, he stayed on as treasurer of the credit union. He also held dozens of positions with the Tidewater Chapter of Credit Unions and the Virginia Credit Union League, including 20 years as director and two years as board chairman from 1983 to 1985 (News Now
May 12, 2006). In 2006, Eugene received the Virginia Credit Union League's James P. Kirsch Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2009, he was inducted into the national Credit Union House of Leaders. "I'm proud of the good we do," Eugene said in 2006. "Sometimes that's giving a member a car loan or helping them put their children through college. Or sometimes it's something really special, like the member we helped out with a loan to travel to China to adopt a child. That little girl still looks at me like a grandfather; those are the things you really remember. Credit unions really are special, and I'm proud to say that I've got children and grandchildren who don't even know what a bank is; all they've ever known is their credit union." "Christie lived and breathed credit unions' 'People Helping People' philosophy," said Virginia league President Rick Pillow. "He was a true leader for both the state and national movements, a mentor to many of us, and one of those rare individuals you always enjoyed being around." Kathy Galland, CEO of Norfolk Fire Department FCU, noted that Eugene "taught me far more than any other person in my lifetime. "Christie really showed me that the members are what counts. Not what the regulators want, not following policies verbatim, just helping people achieve their financial goals. Together, we took the credit union from $13 million in assets to almost $30 million, realizing a personal goal of his to surpass $25 million in assets," Galland said, adding that "The membership cared deeply for Christie," and "he will be missed." Visitation will be Sept. 20 from 7 to 8 p.m. at Hollomon-Brown's Great Bridge Chapel & Chesapeake Memorial Gardens, located at 524 Cedar Road, Chesapeake, VA 23322. Funeral services are scheduled for Sept. 21 at 11 a.m. at Annunciation Cathedral Greek Orthodox Church, 7220 Granby St., Norfolk, VA 23505.