From the battlefield to the boardroom, Marine FCU board member retires after 41 years
Thursday, June 28, 2018
Posted by: Jeff Clark, Pres/CEO Marine FCU
|Retiring Marine FCU volunteer/board member John Eller
JACKSONVILLE, NORTH CAROLINA — How does one sum up a 41-year career of volunteering in a single article? Or honor a man who defined Esprit de Corps on and off the battlefield?
In May, John Eller stood among his fellow Marine Federal Credit Union Board Members and tendered his resignation. It was time. As you read on, you’ll understand why.
Eller earned the title of United States Marine after graduating from boot camp in 1949. His 31-year military career took him through several tours of duty. One in 1967 in particular became a part of history. Following a battlefield commission, 2nd Lieutenant Eller engaged in the Battle of Khe Sanh, leading 220 Marines from Echo Company, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marines in what became a legendary fight for control over a strategic area in Vietnam.
The following year, Eller was stationed back at Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, North Carolina and became a member of Marine FCU.
While still on active duty in 1977, Eller volunteered to serve on the Supervisory Committee at the credit union. After retiring from the Marine Corps in 1980, he was appointed a board member and went on to serve as the Chairman of the Board of Directors from 1981 to 2005.
Under his leadership, Marine FCU introduced Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs), checking accounts, credit cards, mortgages, and Touch Teller (24-hour telephonic account access) in the 80s. The 90s brought additional branches, ATMs, and money market accounts.
But that’s not all. Eller found time to also serve on the boards of the National Association of Credit Union Chairmen and the North Carolina Credit Union League. In 1985, he was chosen as the Credit Union Volunteer of the Year in North Carolina. Then in 2002, Eller received the Mark of Excellence Award—the highest honor that can be presented to credit union people in North Carolina.
In 2005, he was recognized for his more than 25 years of faithful service and dedication to the credit union community with the National Association of Federal Credit Union’s Quarter Century Honor Roll Award.
Current Chairman Marty Goldman said, “I don’t know anyone more community service-oriented. I have been involved with the credit union since 1990 and he (Eller) has more credit union knowledge in his little finger than I do in my whole body. It has been my honor and privilege to serve with him.”
Now at age 86, Eller has slowed down just a bit. It’s time, but he left his mark on Marine FCU. We take with us this lesson from him as we say goodbye:
“I have tried to surround myself with good men and women. I found these people in the Marine Corps, the credit union movement and Rotary. They believe in service above self … making a difference in their communities. I have lived my life serving others.”
You are the true meaning of Esprit de Corps. Oorah, sir!