Jose Alonzo, former president of the West Virginia Credit Union League, passed away Nov. 25
Jose's credit union involvement spanned nearly 40 years and included work as a volunteer, a credit union manager, a CUNA Mutual Group employee, and two stints with the West Virginia league, the last 20 years as president. He organized more than 100 credit unions in West Virginia and helped form the current structure of the league and its various support organizations. He retired from the league in 1989.
Jose attended California State Teachers College, in California, Pa., studying radio theory and communications after high school.
After serving in World War II as a Navy pilot, he became a certified hotel chef working at the Hotel Fairmont in Fairmont, W. Va. He also Jose worked for Kaiser Aluminum as a Spanish interpreter.
His interest in credit unions began at the age of 10 when his family home was destroyed in the 1937 flood. A credit union came to his family's aid with a loan to rebuild. His credit union career began in 1962 when he was employed as a field representative for the West Virginia Credit Union League, covering the state of West Virginia. Jose moved up through the ranks to become president in 1968, the position he held until his retirement on March 1, 1989.
He also served as president of the West Virginia League Services Corp., and secretary-treasurer of the West Virginia Corporate Credit Union. Jose was a director of the American Share Insurance Corp., Columbus, Ohio for 27 years and served on the advisory committee of the Federal Reserve Board of Richmond, Va. One of the 130 credit unions he organized is the West Virginia Central FCU, where he served as treasurer until his retirement in 1989.