Obituaries: Huggins and Erickson

Jim Huggins
Jim Huggins, former CEO of American Lake Credit Union, passed away on July 12, 2011.

Jim started his career with ALVA Federal Credit Union in January 1983, growing the credit union through his foresight and technical knowledge.

The credit union thrived under Jim’s leadership and vision. He implemented the VISA program, online banking, and oversaw the construction of the credit union branch at American Lake in 1988. He successfully engineered the merger of ALVA FCU and Minutemen CU in 1999, creating what is now known as American Lake Credit Union.

When Jim retired in November 2002, the credit union had grown to over $35 million in assets.
He held leadership positions in a variety of organizations including the Pierce County Chapter of Credit Unions and the Washington Credit Union League in Washington. Prior to coming to Washington, Jim worked in and served credit unions in his beloved state of Montana.

Tributes have rolled in from former colleagues, calling him a fair and compassionate leader who encouraged his staff to continue their education and provided numerous opportunities for them to do so. He truly believed in the credit union philosophy “People Helping People” and instilled that philosophy in his staff, they say.

Jim is survived by his wife Cheryl, son Eric, daughter Kristin, and their families.

There will be a memorial celebration for Jim at the Schmidt Mansion in Tumwater, Wash., on Friday, August 19. The time is tentatively set for 2:00 – 6:00 p.m.

Friends and family have created Jim Huggins Credit Union Scholarship Fund, to benefit credit union employees who want to attend a credit union conference or school. The account will be at Sound Credit Union.
Wallace “Wally” Erickson
Wallace “Wally” Erickson passed away July 9, 2011 at the age of 87. He was born March 19, 1924 in Everett, Washington. Wally grew up in Lake Stevens, Wash., son of Otto Alfred Erickson and Ruth Irene Erickson (Carlson).

He graduated from Lake Stevens High School in 1942 and was soon drafted into the US Army. During his two-and-a-half year of service in North Africa and Italy, he was wounded twice and awarded the Silver Star for Gallantry in Action. Returning home, he went to work for Puget Sound Power and Light as a meter reader, retiring 33 years later as Internal Auditor of the Snohomish County PUD. Along the way he started, and managed for many years, the PUD Credit Union.

As a longtime year resident of Marysville, Wash., he and his wife of 62 years, Rebecca “Becky”, who predeceased him in 2008, raised three children. He also leaves five grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.

Wally was a past member of the Lions and Elks clubs and was instrumental in starting the Marysville Post of the American Legion. Wally and his wife enjoyed travel which led them to Florence, Arizona where he resided for the last 18 years of his life.

A family memorial is planned later this summer.

Any donations should be made in Wally’s name to The Arc of Snohomish County.

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