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Cy-Fair FCU Mourns Loss of Founding President Pat Willbern
Friday, February 23, 2018 6:40 AM

Pat Willbern

Pat Willbern, first president of Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union, passed away Feb. 15 following a long battle with Alzheimer’s. She was 87. As the first president, Willbern is credited with building the credit union from a tiny organization operating out of a back office into a mature financial partner supporting the Cypress-Fairbanks community.

Willbern’s family has made arrangements for a service to honor and remember her. Visitation is scheduled for Sunday, Feb. 25, from 5-8 p.m. at Klein Funeral Home in Cy-Fair on Wortham Blvd. Funeral services will be held Monday, Feb. 26, at Foundry United Methodist Church on Jones Road at 10 a.m. 

“Pat poured everything into this credit union and our tight-knit Cypress-Fairbanks ISD community,” said Cy-Fair FCU President Cameron Dickey. “We send our heartfelt love and prayers to the Willbern family and all those that loved and admired her.” 

Willbern became the president of Cy-Fair FCU in 1973 when the organization had just over 900 members and less than $1 million in assets. From 1973 to 1994, Willbern shaped the direction of the credit union, moving from a borrowed space in the Annex building of Cy-Fair High School to the first Cy-Fair FCU-owned building in Jersey Village. Her husband Bubba served as director of personnel for the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District for many years, and together they designed the Jersey Village space with teachers, administrators, and the school community in mind.

Twelve years after becoming president, the credit union had grown to more than 5,000 members and $16.6 million in assets. Having outgrown the small Jersey Village headquarters, Willbern and the credit union’s leadership moved operations to the current corporate office building on Jones Road. In addition to growing the credit union, new services were added under Willbern’s leadership, including two additional drive-thru branches, three ATMs, credit cards, and checking accounts—services that seem commonplace today but were new ways of supporting the financial needs of members in the '80s. By the time she retired in 1994, the credit union had grown to more than 10,000 members and $44.5 million in assets.

From the very beginning, Willbern was committed to serving members where and when they needed financial support the most. Long-time members recall the credit union’s early days, before ATMs and mobile banking, when they could call her directly to make check withdrawals from their accounts and work with her for access to funds outside of bank hours.

“Those who knew Pat saw first-hand how she tirelessly worked to support the teachers, principals, staff, and families who lived and worked in Cypress-Fairbanks ISD,” said Dickey. “For many others, she was an unseen advocate and supporter who directed Cy-Fair FCU’s resources back into the community we call home. Her legacy will live on through the credit union, her family, and our enduring gratitude.”

About Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union 
Cy-Fair Federal Credit Union is a full-service credit union in southeast Texas. Originally founded in 1956 with 10 members to serve employees of the Cy-Fair Independent School District, Cy-Fair FCU now has more than 24,000 members and serves anyone who lives, works, worships, or attends school within Harris County and parts of Waller County. For more information, please visit cyfairfcu.org.