How do I remove a debt collection from my credit report?

If you’ve ever let a debt go unpaid, your creditor probably sent it to a debt collector. Debt collectors are serious about getting you to pay. That’s why part of their strategy is to list the unpaid account on your credit report. This in turn damages your credit score, and appears on your report for future lenders to see. Your collection will remain on your credit report for up to seven years.

While there is no guaranteed tactic to getting it removed, here are a few things you can try:

Check for accuracy

If you’re reviewing your credit report and don’t recognize the collection account, confirm that it’s actually yours.

A study by the Federal Trade Commission concluded that about 25% of consumers had an error on their report, and 5% were stuck with higher interest rates as a result. Additionally, about 20% of people who disputed those errors received a better credit score.

File a dispute (if the debt isn’t yours)

If you discover a mistake, let the credit-reporting bureaus know as soon as possible. Send a message online or through the mail explaining the error and why it’s wrong, and provide copies of any supporting documentation if possible.

Credit bureaus typically have 30 days to respond. Even if they correct the inaccurate information, however, it might take a few months for your report to update.

Write a “goodwill letter”

What do you do if the collection account is accurate? Try writing a “goodwill letter” to your creditor.

Because if you have great credit history and pay off the collection, they may remove the negative information. Alternatively, if you missed payments because of a financial hardship, you should write a letter explaining that as well (just make sure you’ve since paid off your collection balance).

Need help reviewing your credit report? Talk to one of Balance’s Certified Financial Coaches or contact us to talk with one of our friendly member consultants today!

Not the Chief of Kisses and Hugs: CXO, John Moore celebrates 5 years at Wauna Credit Union

Some leaders just have it…

…that spark you can’t help but feel drawn to…their charisma, challenging nature, or their ease in guiding the ship. This Wauna Credit Union leader comes from what us Credit Union-ers call the “Dark Side”, having spent the bulk of his early career in big banks. But it’s hard to shun such a past when with it comes a myriad of great ideas, experiences, and what-not-to-dos that have not only embraced our Wauna culture, but have inspired many to be greater.

And so today we celebrate our CXO, John Moore, because today marks fives years he has spent with us here at Wauna Credit Union. And to give you a better idea of who the man is behind the title, we posed a few queries to Mr. Moore to learn just a little bit more about who he is and what makes him tick.

What is your current position?

John hoisting up a Branch Achievement Eagle Trophy

CXO, which stands for “Chief Experience Officer” and not the Chief of Kisses and Hugs — although I do value all of our members and want them all to know how we are appreciative and honored to be entrusted as their consultants. More specifically, I Provide help and support to training, lending, and all WCU branches. This ensures our focus is on creating life experiences for our members with every interaction we have.

What is something that working at WCU has taught you?

Coming from a 20+ year career in banking, I thought that credit unions did the little loans and small savings accounts. Also, I had no idea that WCU is a full-service financial provider. I am glad I didn’t know what I didn’t know prior to coming here or I would have felt intimidated competing against WCU. This credit union has the best Residential, Commercial, and Consumer loan products on the market. A bank cannot come close to delivering a service promise like we do. We tailor our lending and deposit products to meet what our membership asks for. Also, we survey our membership and always put their needs first…that is why we are here. I now truly understand what being “member-owned” means.

If you could choose one new hobby what would it be?  

I would love to write a book. Something in the horror genre, but nothing involving clowns as I don’t want to be afraid of my own work.

John and his daughter, Emma, giving the “Wauna Strong” post in front of his new rig

We hear you’re quite a fan of Star Wars. See if you can answer some trivia: In real life, this material made up of made of nitrobenzene, saltpeter, sulfur, and diatomaceous earth would have caused Bespin to explode. What do you call this substance?

Actually, it’s part of my New Employee Orientation presentation. I tell new employees that I will never leave or retire from WCU but will actually be encased in a block of Carbonite.  Oh, and Han not only shot first, but was the only one to fire his weapon.

Is it better to be extraordinary and always late, or just OK and always on time? 

Well, as the CXO, I would like to say be on time and be extraordinary. But if these are my choices then definitely get more beauty rest to be that much more extraordinary.

There you have it.

He loves Star Wars, is a member-oriented leader, and cares about his staff and the credit union movement. Thank you for a “Waunderful” 5 years, John! We are glad you came over to Wauna Credit Union from the Dark Side! We also look forward to freezing you in Carbonite and placing you in our headquarters’ lobby.

Saying “I Do” to Homeownership: How to Prepare for This Big Commitment

Buying a home is a major commitment. It’s a bit like, well, getting married. You’ve got to be ready and you have to find the right “one.” And, like a marriage, homeownership is a dynamic experience that requires a tremendous amount of care and attention. If you are ready to shift from renter to buyer, you’ve got some legwork to do.

Here’s how to prepare:

Credit matters
Quite simply, the past can either haunt or help you. If your debt-to-income ratio is too high, financial institutions will likely be wary of extending you another loan. If you have had problems repaying past obligations, a lender will have trouble trusting that you will pay your mortgage on time.

You can increase your FICO score (a credit scoring model that helps lenders assess risk) by reducing debt, making timely payments, not shopping aggressively for credit, having a variety of credit instruments, and keeping at least one credit card for a long period of time. Make significant improvements in as few as six months.

Understand what you can afford
Most lenders require that total housing costs not exceed 28% of gross monthly income, and total debt payments per month (including the mortgage) not surpass 36%. In real terms, this means that if you owe no consumer debt and have a household income of $75,000, then $1,750 in housing costs is within your range.

Accumulate cash
If you don’t have at least some cash in your coffer, start a savings plan now. How much you will need depends on many factors, including the home price and how much you will put as a down payment. Closing costs, points, moving expenses, and a post-purchase reserve fund of two to three months worth of housing payments can add up to many thousands of dollars.

Once you own your home, you may eventually want a bigger or better living space. Rather than purchase a new residence, first consider remodeling. You can add rooms and customize your home to meet your needs and desires without having to move. Yet while remodeling can be wise, it can also be stressful and expensive. Be careful when hiring someone to do the work for you. A contractor you hire should:

  • Have a licence
  • Carry general liability insurance
  • Carry workers’ compensation insurance
  • Provide you with a written waiver at the end of the job
  • Guarantee work for at least one year from date of completion
  • Provide you with references
  • Be financially sound, so won’t declare bankruptcy in the middle of your project
  • Can provide proof that he or she has completed similar projects
  • Ensure that the price includes removal of all job debris and full clean up

So how are you going to pay for those fabulous improvements? There are three basic options: cash, refinancing, and using home equity.

  • Cash: If the job is small or short term, paying with cash is often the best method. A nice advantage of using savings is that you won’t have to repay a loan for the work that is done. When using cash, be sure to pay in agreed-upon increments.
  • Refinancing: Swapping a higher interest mortgage for a lower interest one can free up money for the project. You can refinance your existing mortgage and take all or part of your current equity in cash. Keep in mind though, that it will only be cost effective if you plan on remaining in the home long enough to recoup the closing costs and other fees associated with refinancing.
  • Home equity: Using home equity can be a great way to make major improvements – and get a tax benefit of interest deduction at the same time. To tap into your home’s equity, you can get a conventional second mortgage, a home equity loan, or a home equity line of credit. Second mortgages and home equity loans are best for large, long-term projects that require lump sum payments. Home equity lines are good for short-term projects or those requiring incremental payments.

Finally, remember that at home is not only where the heart is—it is also where the money is. You can get the most from your relationship with real estate by giving it the time and attention it requires, just like a marriage.

Visit our Real Estate Loans and Mortgage page to learn more about how you can get started today.

Provided by Balance.

Certificate or Money Market?

Are you looking to generate income from your savings? Why not have your hard-earned money get out there and work for you? Well, we can certainly help by getting you started in either a Money Market or Certificate account.

But how do you decide which is best for you? Certainly, each investment has advantages and disadvantages. By figuring out market conditions alongside your own financial circumstances, you can work to make the best decision to fit your needs.

What is a Certificate?

A certificate is a special type of deposit that earns dividend income. When you invest in a certificate, you are depositing your money into the credit union for a pre-determined length of time (often 1 year and up). At the end of that time, your deposit “matures” and you are returned your money with the additional dividend payment. Generally, (and this can vary) the longer you keep your funds in a certificate, the higher the yield. What’s more is that many folks don’t know these funds are federally insured by the National Credit Union Association (NCUA).

The catch: Should you need access to your funds earlier than the term agreed upon, you’ll likely pay an early withdrawal fee. You may even lose some or all of the money accrued.

What is a Money Market Account?

Money Market accounts are like savings accounts but often pay you higher rates. Like a certificate, they too are federally insured and so have very little risk. Money Markets usually require a higher minimum balance and while you can make withdrawals, the number of withdrawals you are able to make over a given time is restricted. Thus, they are less liquid than a checking account but more liquid than many other investments, for example.

The catch: If you are not planning on using the funds in your Money Market account, you may be missing out on a higher yield.

What are some of the differences between the two?

  • When you invest in a certificate, everything is pretty clearly defined from the get-go. You can calculate the expected earnings. You also know your fixed rate and how long you plan to tie up your funds.
  • It may be harder to plan long-term with a Money Market account, as the rates vary over time and the funds aren’t locked up for any particular term length. This makes calculating your investment results less clear.
  • With a certificate, the longer the term, the more likely you will receive a higher yield. This can be advantageous, should rates decrease as you are tied to a better rate. Of course, you won’t have immediate access to your funds for a longer period of time.
  • Money Market accounts are easier to access than certificates. Although, keep in mind that there are limits on the number of withdrawals you can make.
  • Both Money Market accounts and certificates are federally insured by the NCUA up to $250k.
  • With Money Market accounts the dividend rate is directly proportional to your deposit amount and not to maturity (as is the case with a certificate). That being said, Money Market accounts might make more sense to a larger depositor.

So which is right for me?

Each of these products have their benefits. However, if you’ve a higher cash balance but need quick access to your funds, a Money Market account might make more sense for you. On the other hand, if you don’t mind locking up your savings for a bit, then you may want to look into a certificate.

Clearly, we all have our own, unique financial situation. If you are looking into investing, it’s never a bad idea to get in touch with a financial advisor, or learn more on our website investment page.

Wauna Specialty Accounts: Certificate, Money Market, and IRA Accounts

Fraudsters and skimmers, oh my!

Related imageSkimmers are sneaky little devices, which fraudsters affix to ATMs or other machines that accept credit or debit card transactions. The skimmer then secretly swipes your card information whenever you slip your card into the affected machine. These pesky gadgets have been around for years. But thieves are continually improving them and their usage doesn’t seem to stop!

Recently, a credit union in Washington reported an increase in card fraud because of a skimmer thought to be located at a nearby gas station. Wauna Credit Union can take steps to prevent and detect skimmers placed on our own ATMs and ITMs. But it is impossible for us to protect all of our members from skimmers elsewhere.

However, we won’t let you face the skimmers of the world unarmed. So, here are some tips and tricks on how you can take extra precaution when using your card at an ATM or other machine and avoid these irksome skimming devices:

  • When you can, use ATMs, ITMs, and gas pumps that are familiar. The more routine the visit to the machine is, the more likely someone has been checking regularly to detect potential issues.Image result for skimming device
  • Look for evidence of tampering! For example, some gas pumps will place a security seal over the portion of the gas pump that controls the card reader. A broken seal a strong indication that the card reader has been tampered with.
  • Is the gas station unfamiliar to you? try comparing the card reader at your pump with card readers at other pumps. If there is a discrepancy, pay inside, use a different pump, or find a different gas station. An extra minute or two could save you a huge headache.
  • When possible, run the transaction as a credit transaction instead of a PIN transaction.
  • If using an ATM that is located inside of a convenience or grocery store, look for evidence of tampering. Ways to detect a skimmer include lightly pulling on the card reader and pin pad to ensure neither easily detach from the machine and by paying attention to colors and graphics on the machine that appear to be different than what should be expected.
  • Pay attention to anyone who appears to be loitering or otherwise hanging around a machine with no visible purpose. If this is the case, use a different machine. Report the suspicious person to the business. Always ensure you are covering the PIN pad when typing in your PIN number.
  • Regularly monitor credit card and account statements and look for discrepancies. By keeping an eye on your statements and creating alerts in online banking for unusual activity, you proactively fighting fraud. Contact us right away if something seems out of the ordinary.

Making sure that you are aware of how to detect skimming devices can go a long way towards keeping you and your finances safe.

Three Decades of Awesome – Chief Marketing Officer, Debi Smiley

In 1988, Microsoft released Windows 2.1. George HW Bush beat out Michael Dukakis for the presidency. 1988 was the year of RainmanComing to AmericaDie HardBeetlejuice, and A Fish Called Wanda. The Redskins won Super Bowl XXII and Bobby McFerrin told us, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” This was a special year for many reasons, but more-so to us because it’s also when Debi Smiley came to work for Wauna Credit Union in Clatskanie, OR.

“Clatskanie” comes from the Native American word, Tlatskani, which was given to a point in the Nehalem River, reached via the Columbia by way of the Clatskanie River…or so the story goes.

Many of Clatskanie’s 1,800 residents are of Nordic heritage, which includes Debi’s family, who immigrated to Clatskanie from Finland. Debi is a 4th generation Quincy-area resident (just outside of Clatskanie).

And today we celebrate 30 years with Debi in our ranks. She’s done it all, from teller to chief. So, with a few questions, let’s take a deeper into who Debi is, who her heroes are, and how we can grow to be as successful as she.

First, the pedigree information that makes you YOU:

  • Husband, Greg (together 20 years, married 18 years this July)
  • Daughter, Liz (Elizabeth, but goes by ‘Liz’)
  • Son-in-law, Chris Cowen, Oregon State Police Officer
  • Grandson – Brayden, 14 and step-granddaughter, Alexa who is 11
  • 1 cat, PV (piss & vinegar) – and we recently were adopted by another cat – ‘Kitty Girl’ is what I have been calling her
  • Oldest of 4 – two sisters and one brother)

There is no question you have learned many lessons, had thousands of great ideas, and made countless friends in your time here with Wauna Credit Union. Through everything you have experienced, what is one thing you have come to truly love about the Credit Union?

I still truly love that we continue to be people helping people. After 30 years, that mission remains the same, solid force that it was when the credit union started.  This is why I have continued to work hard to do what ‘I’ can to serve the members of the credit union and community in as many capacities as doable.

As Chief Marketing Officer, you are constantly coming up with  new and creative ways to showcase Wauna Credit Union. What is one piece of marketing advice you would give to new businesses that are just getting started in the area?

Join the Chamber, Kiwanais, Turning Point, Keep it Local, etc.  You learn a lot about the community you are serving. This allows you to market your business as well as evolve it to meeting the needs of the residents you serve.

A lot of people look up to you here at Wauna. But is there someone you look up to? Do you have a role model and if so who is it and why?

I have had a number of role models throughout my years. They have come in the form of sports coaches, teachers, supervisors, etc.  Each of them taught me life lessons, provided growth, and guided me to a better me. It is difficult to choose only one. Though the one I served under the longest was retired CEO Eileen Cheuvront. Under her leadership, I learned to “stay focused, work hard, and have fun”. That was her motto and she shared it often. Eileen led by example. She was a compassionate leader that believed in the credit union, what we stood for and the high quality of service we were to render. She was a caring and supportive leader and I feel privileged to have worked under her leadership and guidance.

  1. You are already pretty super, but if you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?

I would like to have Super Speed to get things done quicker so I can have more family time and healing Power to help those who desperately need it.

There you have it.

Wauna Credit Union has waxed and waned in many different directions since its charter way back in 1967. But while our look and our products and services may change, our values and beliefs will not. Because it is an undying commitment to our members that sets us apart from other financial institutions. This is the eternal flame that keeps us bright. And it is employees like Debi Smiley that keep that fire burning.

Thank you for 30 years, Debi and we look forward to many more to come!

Happy Credit Card Reduction Day!

If you had to guess, how much money would you say North Americans owe in credit card debt? $500 million? $500 billion? Here’s a hint: it’s over $1 trillion…and this is the first time in history it’s been that high.

To give you a bit of scale, in the final quarter of 2017 cardholders added a whopping $67.6 billion in credit card debt. According to WalletHub, that’s “the highest quarterly buildup in the last 30 years.”

Yikes!

Chances are you’re one of many who has fallen into these numbers. That’s OK! Credit card debt happens to the very best of us. But what can we do today to begin digging ourselves out?

Despite what it may seem, you don’t have to go overboard to make a difference. Starting off small by formulating a healthy financial plan can make a huge difference in the long run. Though in the meantime, here are a few tips to get you going and put your mind at ease:

1. Attack the peskiest balance first. If you have a few different cards, focus on paying down the largest balance. Not only can this boost your credit score by lowering your utilization, but you’ll also be shelling out less in interest. Not to mention, paying off the card that bugs you the most will feel like a million dollars.

2. It doesn’t hurt to ask. Asking the issuers of your cards for a lower interest rate is as easy as a phone-call. You’ll need a credit score of 730 or higher, but you could get your rate reduced. A rate reduction might very well save you hundreds of dollars over time.

3. Transfer that balance! A lot of folks don’t even know their credit card’s interest rate. According to creditcards.com, the national average annual percentage rate is 15.05%. Right now, we are offering 1.99% APR* for 6 months on balance transfers of $1,000 or more for our Rewards Visa and 2.99% APR^ for 6 months on our Platinum. Talk with a friendly Wauna staff member today and we’ll help you make the transfer.

4. If you can, pay more. Your credit card issuer is charging you interest on a daily basis, so the more often you make payments, the better off you will be. We suggest going one step further and making two, three, or ever four payments each month. Upping your payments can significantly reduce interest and the time you spend in debt.

Although it might not seem like it, the credit card companies you hold debt with want you to repay that debt just as much as you want to pay it off. No doubt about it, credit card reduction is a process. By setting goals and staying strong, you’ll come out on the other side better off than before. And don’t forget, you can always contact Wauna Credit Union for advice or guidance.

Let’s do this!

*APR: Annual Percentage Rate. The special 1.99% Introductory Rate applies to qualifying balance transfers transacted through March 31, 2018. The Introductory APR will begin on the transaction date(s) during the promotion period, and remain in effect through the 6th billing cycle. At this time the cardholder’s regular Credit Card Account Agreement terms will apply. Some restrictions apply. Cardholders may not transfer balances from other accounts issued by Wauna Credit Union.

May not transfer any amount of debt to their account that would cause their balance to exceed the account credit limit. During the promotional period, Rewards cardholders will earn 1 (one) Rewards Point for each qualifying $1 transferred to their Wauna CU VISA Rewards Credit Card account. Qualifying transfers greater than $999.99 will earn 2 (two) Rewards Points for each qualifying $1 transferred to their Wauna CU VISA Rewards Credit Card account. A Balance Transfer Fee of 3% of the total balance to be transferred, or a minimum fee of $20, whichever is   greater, will be assessed at the time the balance transfer is approved. This promotional offer ends March 31, 2018. Promotional details available at waunafcu.org. Membership with Wauna Credit Union is required. 

^APR: Annual Percentage Rate. The special 2.99% Introductory Rate applies to qualifying balance transfers transacted through March 31, 2018. The Introductory APR will begin on the transaction date(s) during the promotion period, and remain in effect through the 6th billing cycle. At this time the cardholder’s regular Credit Card Account Agreement terms will apply. Some restrictions apply. Cardholders may not transfer balances from other accounts issued by Wauna Credit Union.

May not transfer any amount of debt to their account that would cause their balance to exceed the account credit limit. A Balance Transfer Fee of 3% of the total balance to be transferred, or a minimum fee of $20, whichever is greater, will be assessed at the time the balance transfer is approved. This promotional offer ends March 31, 2018. Promotional details available at waunafcu.org. Membership with Wauna Credit Union is required.

WCU Joins Forest Grove High School Career Expo

WCU’s booth at the Forest Grove Career Expo

On Tuesday, March 6th, Hundreds of sophomores, juniors, and seniors filed into Forest Grove High School’s gymnasium, perusing the nearly 50 organizations there during Willamette Education Service District’s “Career Expo at Forest Grove HS”.

“I just got accepted to BYU,” said one senior girl, who was planning on becoming an engineer.

“I’m not sure where I want to go to school, but I know I want a job in finance,” said another.

Fittingly enough, among those present in Forest Grove was Wauna Credit Union (WCU). Credit unions are not only excellent examples of cooperative, people-based institutions, they’re also great places to start a career.

WCU’s Member Relationship Officer, Stephanie Pesio, alongside Communications Specialist, Michael Murdoch were on hand to talk about the benefits of joining and working for a credit union.

“We have so many opportunities for young people at Wauna,” said Pesio. “WCU has an internship program for current high school kids, too. We have full-time employees who have risen in the ranks here long after starting as interns,” she added.

All told, about 100 students stopped by WCU’s booth. There was, of course, a bowl of candy present and a chance to win $50 for filling out a short survey. With questions like “What is the difference between a bank and a credit union?” and “Can you name three credit unions?”, the survey helps WCU gauge young peoples’ understanding of the industry.

“I think a credit union is local and does loans, right?” said one Forest Grove High School junior.

“There’s still a lot of confusion over what exactly a credit union is,” said Murdoch. “But we did a lot of teaching.”

Though their credit union education might need some work, WCU is looking forward to a larger presence in Forest Grove. Later in 2018, construction begins on WCU’s newest branch. WCU’s presence will account for only one of two credit unions in the area.

“We look forward to the future and are excited to be involved in the schools, the city, and in the community,” said Murdoch.

What’s a Certificate

Save with a certificateSaving for your future is one of the most important decisions you can make – the sooner you start, the more you’ll have. It’s an easy way to create peace of mind for many reasons, and while there are many reasons to save, there are also many ways to save.

For some, the saving has reached a point where funds are simply waiting for bigger and better opportunities. This is where a certificate might just come in handy.

But what is a certificate? How does it work? And how do I know if it’s right for me?

In many ways, a certificate is a lot like your traditional savings account. But, in a lot of ways it isn’t. Similar to the bank issued Certificates of Deposits (CDs), with a certificate , you are agreeing NOT to touch your deposit/s for a set amount of time. The longer the term length of the certificate you choose, the longer you are committing to keeping those funds with your financial institution.

Of course, investing all of your money into a certificate isn’t going to be the fastest way to grow your portfolio. However a good rate can make all the difference in your financial plan. The one big advantage over a savings account is that with a certificate the rates are almost always higher.

Additionally, certificate specials will have fixed rates, meaning the rate won’t change during the term of the certificate. But remember, with a savings account you can move your cash in and out as often as you’d like. Early withdrawal penalties can differ, but with a certificate account, if you don’t plan ahead, you could end up losing some or all of the interest you’ve accrued.

By making smart decisions with investments certificates can be a viable option for solid returns on your deposit/s. And at Wauna Credit Union, your funds are insured up to $250,000 through the National Credit Union Administration.

Contact your local Wauna Credit Union branch to see if a certificate is right for you. Our mission is to provide you with opportunities to build your financial well-being. It’s important that we offer options and alternatives that make sense for you.

Take a look at our current our Certificate Special here.

The Erlene Darby Learning Center is a Special Place

Erlene

It was an adventurous spirit, as her children like to recall, that inspired Erlene Darby to do many of the things she did throughout her 79 years of life. In 1970, it was that spirit that led Erlene and her kids on an impromptu, 3-month road-trip across the United States.

Erlene clearly loved traveling and experiencing life. But she was also was well-known for her sympathetic ear and kind heart, and she was always ready to support family, friends, and her credit union.

“I had thought of a number of words to describe her and came up with committed, caring, leadership, supportive. She mentored me both professionally and personally. And she did it from the heart. That meant a lot to me.” — Debi Smiley, Chief Marketing Officer at Wauna Credit Union.

Erlene Darby volunteered at Wauna Credit Union for over 30 years. She served in almost every capacity. From Board Chair to Board Treasurer, she did it all. Erlene watched the credit union grow and change — her adventurous spirit, a beacon, guided the credit union through ups and downs.

So, in recognition of this steadfast commitment to Wauna Credit Union, to her adventurous spirit, and to the inspiration and wonder she shared throughout her three decades with us, we are proud to announce the dedication of our Westport Learning Center to Erlene Darby.

“I think dedicating this building – the learning center for all of the future and current employees and volunteers that we’re going to have here at Wauna – to come through and to see her name and her image says a lot about what she stood for,” said George Dunkel, WCU’s Board Chair.

Erlene’s Family at the Dedication Ceremony

As a special way of celebrating Erlene, we hosted a small ceremony dedicating the “Erlene Darby Learning Center.” There, joined by Erlene’s family and friends, we shared laughs and tears.

While the mood was light, the memories and feelings were strong. The affair became a proud moment forever marked in time for not only Wauna Credit Union, but for Erlene’s family.

“What a wonderful honor it was to be included in the dedication ceremony,” said Erlene’s daughter, Melinda Puzey. “My family and I were both impressed and humbled by the dedication, and for Wauna’s regard and appreciation for my mother’s service and commitment. It made me very proud to be her daughter, and I know it would have meant so much to her.”

Erlene’s Plaque

Her plaque, proudly displayed on the front of her learning center, reads:

Dedicated to the loving memory of Erlene Darby with appreciation of her dedication and passion for lifelong learning. She inspired us with 35 years of steadfast volunteer service.