Michael Cascone, director emeritus and key contributor to VyStar Credit Union’s founding, passed away at age 99 on Dec. 22, after dedicating much of his life to countless philanthropic endeavors.
In addition to advancing the credit union mission, Cascone served our country and was an active member of his community. At VyStar, Cascone fulfilled his mission of bringing credit union services to more people and serving on the VyStar Board of Directors in every board officer position during his tenure as a VyStar volunteer, which spanned over 67 years.
Formerly known as Jax Navy Federal Credit Union, VyStar was chartered in 1952 by 12 founding members at Naval Air Station Jacksonville (NAS Jax) with only $60. When Cascone contributed $5 to their vision, he could not have known it would grow at such an astounding rate and benefit as many people as it has today. Cascone’s vision helped provide a sense of stability and security for so many people and helped lay the foundation for VyStar to grow into a successful credit union, one that is built on compassion, generosity and trust.
Back then, one of Cascone’s main objectives was to provide a safe place where military and civil service personnel and their families could save and borrow money, as well as improve their financial health. Along with our founders, Cascone helped military and civilian families obtain credit — many for the first time — in the aftermath of World War II. We have carried on his legacy by serving and supporting all the military members and groups we had been serving so proudly for many years. And today, 67 years later, we have expanded our services to more than 700,000 members.
Cascone played in integral role not only in shaping VyStar into the credit union it is today, but also in making a our community a better place. Cascone will always be remembered , and the credit union will strive to carry on his vision and values as it continues to expand.
In August of 2019, Cascone visited the VyStar Tower with his granddaughter. Shortly after their visit, the credit union received a comment on its Facebook page from his granddaughter.
“[Cascone] loves his VyStar family and is so excited about all the new up-and-coming things a VyStar,” reads the comment. “His vision is still alive and has grown more than he could have imagined.”