By: Stella Katsipoutis
In honor and celebration of our 65th Anniversary, VyStar Credit Union held the Oldest Artifact Contest last month. Between April 24th and April 29th, we challenged our members to dig up and share their oldest items with a VyStar or Jax Navy Federal Credit Union (our original name) logo—including newsletters, communications/letters, photos, news articles and more. Talk about a throwback: Members stopped by their local VyStar branches and responded via social media to show off their artifacts from the ’90s, ’80s, ’70s, ’60s … and even ’50s! Two contest entries, however, stood out the most and were selected as the big winners: a Jax Navy Federal membership certificate from 1952 and a membership card from 1959, both of which were submitted by Charlie and Stephen Schumacher on behalf of their late father, Edward S. Schumacher.
Edward worked as a military supply officer at Cecil Field, where he was in charge of the supply of everything “from pencils to planes,” as he used to tell his sons. He also served as a helmsman in World War II, and he even witnessed the iconic raising of the United States flag during the Battle of Iwo Jima. Although Edward rarely spoke about his military service, his sons Charlie and Stephen could feel their father’s pride when they came across his journal entry that read, “I saw them raise Old Glory today.” In June of 1952, just two months after Jax Navy Federal (now VyStar) was chartered, Edward became a proud member of our credit union and remained one until his passing in 2010. His account, which was opened with the original 25-cent membership fee, is one of the earliest to be opened at VyStar.
Charlie and Stephen stumbled upon Edward’s original membership documents while they were sorting through their father’s safe deposit box after he passed away. They didn’t realize what the relics were at first, but they quickly understood how significant the documents were and stored them in a safe place. It’s a good thing they did: After reading about VyStar’s 65th anniversary celebration in the April issue of the VyStar Facts newsletter and learning about the Oldest Artifacts Contest on the VyStar website, Charlie and Stephen decided to bring their father’s membership certificate and card in to the Roosevelt branch location—where their father was a loyal member—and share Edward’s story for the contest. Charlie and Stephen were selected as the big winners, and they received a bag full of VyStar gear as a prize. Both Charlie and Stephen are proudly continuing their family tradition of VyStar membership.
VyStar thanks all of our wonderful members for sharing their touching stories and meaningful keepsakes with us during our anniversary celebration. It is very special to see the impact we have had on our members—as well as the incredible support we have received from our members—throughout our credit union’s 65 years of existence. Thank you for a fun contest, and congratulations to our winners, Charlie and Stephen Schumacher!
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