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MCUL Newsroom

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MCUL Mourns Loss of Former League Chair James Dahl

dahlJames C. Dahl (“Jim”) passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Feb. 12 at the age of 76 from complications due to cancer.

Dahl was born April 22, 1946, the son of Paul and Marjorie (Knopf) Dahl, and considered himself the unofficial first baby boomer. He was raised in Flint and attended Flint Northern High School.

A talented french horn player, Dahl performed with the Flint Symphony Orchestra while just a senior in high school, before joining the marching band at Michigan State University, which included a trip to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena and the second inauguration of President Lyndon B. Johnson. During these years he served his country as a drill sergeant in the U.S. Army Reserves.

Upon college graduation, he began a lifelong career in the credit union industry. He first worked as a loan officer at Flint Teachers Credit Union, where he met an elementary school teacher, Suzanne, who would become his wife of 48 years. He then managed a credit union in Charlevoix before moving to Midland to take a job with Communications Family Credit Union (now Wildfire Credit Union) in nearby Saginaw.

Dahl worked his way up to the CEO position and served a term as chairman of the Michigan Credit Union League, while helping lobby for his industry on a national level, before retiring in 2008.

"It was my great honor to know, and to work with this wonderful man," said CUSG (and former MCUL) CEO Dave Adams. "I got to work closely with Jim and I caught more than a glimpse of his passion and commitment for family, God, country, and yes, for the credit union movement. Jim was one of my mentors and I learned a lot about patience and steadfast commitment to values, and so much more, from Jim."

He was a follower of Christ and a member of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Midland, where he volunteered as treasurer and other positions. A passionate fan of MSU athletics, he “bled green and white” for his team and enjoyed football and basketball games with his son, Bryan, and other family and friends. Jim loved spending time at the Dahls’ lake house in Lake Ann, which included an annual week of golf with friends during the summers after retirement, and time spent boating and enjoying the Traverse City area. He and Suzanne enjoyed cruise vacations to places such as Alaska, Panama and many parts of Europe.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Jim's family and our community thanks him for his service to our industry," said MCUL CEO Patty Corkery.

He is remembered as a kind and loving man, a true patriot and a great father and grandfather, who would do anything for family, friends and credit union members. He is survived by his wife, Suzanne, son, Bryan, daughter-in-law, Meghan, and his greatest joy: his granddaughter, Celia (all of Midland), as well as his sister Barbara (of Linden).

Visitation services will be held Feb. 15, at Ware-Smith-Woolever Funeral Home in Midland, from 2-7 p.m. Funeral services will take place Feb. 16, at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Midland, with visitation at 10:30 a.m. and a service at 11 a.m., with luncheon to follow. Memorial contributions can be made in Jim’s name to St. John’s Lutheran Church.

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