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Maurice Monroe “Maury” Dresang, age 90, passed away surrounded by the love of his family and his wonderful hospice caregivers on Monday March 11, 2019 at Cherry Meadows in Appleton. He was born on August 4, 1928, in Appleton WI, the son of Bernard and Irene (Rickert) Dresang. He graduated from Appleton High School in 1946.
Maury was a true entrepreneur and enjoyed working at various jobs starting with Jahnke’s Filling Station when he was in high school. After graduation, he moved for a short time to Milwaukee and worked for Evinrude Motors. Upon returning to the Fox Cities, he worked for Doug Ogilvie at Pierce Manufacturing and in 1950 joined the Outagamie County Highway Dept. as director of field activities and payroll services. in 1960 Maury left the Highway Dept. to open the Guest House Inn for the Marcus Corporation. He loved the hotel business and had wonderful stories of Kimberly Clark guests and the many Packer players who stayed with him. Paul Hornung was gracious enough to provide a postscript on his application and helped him become a Packer season ticket holder in 1961. After the hotel, Maury ran the Catholic Club (Forester Club). Maury’s true passion throughout his life was serving people.
In 1953 with several county coworkers, he organized a credit union to serve county employees. He served as volunteer manager/treasurer, a role he held for over two decades in addition to his full-time jobs. This role that was the precursor to his last and most impactful career in credit unions.While continuing to run the Outagamie Co Employees Credit Union, in 1966, Maury was asked to manage the Zwickerknit CU. Three years later, the Appleton Postal CU came to him and asked for help. That’s when an idea began to form. He proposed that the three credit unions combine their resources to hire him full time along with one part time employee to be able to provide full time service to their respective members. On July 1,1970 the Appleton Credit Union Service Center opened for business in the Blair building on Wisconsin Ave. It was a novel idea and the first of its kind in the nation. By the end of 1974, the center was serving nine individual company credit unions. In 1975 Maury decided that the center should have a credit union that would be open to members of the community, and chartered the Appleton Community CU. By 1977 the center had grown to serve 13 credit unions; Zwickerknit, Appleton Postal, Outagamie Co Employees, Presto Employees, Interlake Paper, Fox River Paper, Wisconsin Wire Works, Elm Tree Bakery, Appleton Municipal, Foremost of Wisconsin, Kurtz & Root, Appleton Machine and the Appleton Community CU. After petitioning the State Legislature to change the law to allow mergers, he engineered the largest merger of credit unions in the country and combined the 13 individual credit unions into one. Total assets were just over $7 million with 7000 members and the name was changed to Appleton Area Credit Union, known today as Community First Credit Union.
Maury always said “there is only one way to have a successful business - you need to have a lot of happy, satisfied customers” He retired from Community First in 1993 and enjoyed golf, travel, woodworking, spending time with his grandson Scott and especially enjoyed his Tues/Wed lunches and crazy escapades with his dear friends and golf buddies.
In addition to founding Community First, Maury served as Chairman of Wisconsin Corporate Central Credit Union and was a Director of the Wisconsin Credit Union League from 1970-1991, serving as Chairman from 1986-1989. He served as a Director of the Credit Union National Association and was appointed by Governors Dreyfus and Thompson to serve on the Wisconsin Credit Union Review Board. Locally Maury served on the Fox Cities Chamber Board, as Chairman of the Fox Cities Marathon, Future Neenah Development Corp. and was named Small Business Person of the Year in 1986.
Maury is survived by his loving wife of 25 years, Catherine Tierney, his daughter MaryBeth (Jack Andersen) Duginski; grandson Scott Duginski; sister Ione Hartner, Cathie’s mother Jean Tierney and Cathie’s sisters Sue (Bill Brunner); Laurie, and brother Scott. Maury also leaves many beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, his sisters & brother in laws: Marietta (George) Lamers; Adeline (Wally) Swinkles; Sr. Anne (nea Bernice); Irene; brother Delbert (Joyce), brother-in-law Bernard Hartner, former spouse Delores Dresang, and father-in-law Jim Tierney.
Funeral services will be held at Valley Funeral Home, 2211 N. Richmond St. Appleton, WI. Visitations on Friday March 15th from 4:00PM to 7:00PM and Saturday March 16th from 9:00AM to 11:00AM. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM. Family and friends are invited to celebrate Maury’s life at a luncheon immediately following at Riverview Gardens in Appleton.
The family would like to thank Dr. Stephen Knaus, Dr. Omar Atassi and the incredibly caring team of Hospice caregivers from Theda Care at Home and Cherry Meadows for their loving care. You have been a wonderful blessing to Maury and his family.
In the true credit union spirit of “People Helping People” Maury would ask that you do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for someone in his name. His favorite charities are the Salvation Army, St. Vincent DePaul and the Boy Scouts.
We will remember his smile, warmth, wit, tenacity, gentleness and love for life, family and friends. In his life, he made a difference.