Obituary: Claude H. Ligon

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Claude H. Ligon
Claude H. Ligon

WATERBURY — Claude H. Ligon 86, of Waterbury, entered into eternal rest on Oct. 24, at Saint Mary’s Hospital. God saw fit to call his servant from labor to reward.

Mr. Ligon was born on Jan. 19, 1927, in Montgomery, Ala., to the late Julia (Ligon) Williams and Wilbur Hobson Williams. He attended Booker T. Washington High School, graduating in 1945 and was an outstanding athlete. He attended Tuskegee Institute and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He also received a certificate in credit union personnel and management from the New England Credit Union School, University of New Hampshire.

Mr. Ligon was a faithful and devoted member of Mount Olive A.M.E. Zion Church. Mr. Ligon was a member of the Board of Trustees and served as treasurer for the church for more than 30 years. Mr. Ligon was also a member and P.E.R. of the Goodwill Lodge of Elks, and Mr. Ligon was one of the original organizers of the Crownbrook Neighborhood Association in which he served as treasurer.

Mr. Ligon worked for the Old Princeton Knitting Mills as a quality control supervisor until it closed in 1961. Later he worked for Scovill Manufacturing Company until 1968 when he took a one-year leave of absence to manage the Need Action Federal Credit Union “NAFCU” and never returned to Scovill.

The need for an inner city Credit Union arose because of the “un-met credit needs” (denial of financing), by local mainstream financial institutions. The Need Action Federal Credit Union received its federal charter in 1967. Shortly after Claude was hired as the Credit Union Manager and Chief Operating Officer. Through his dedication and leadership the credit union prospered and became self-sufficient, it survived for more than 35 years. It was the only minority-owned-and-operated community development credit union in Connecticut and one of two such credit unions operating in New England. It was the first credit union in the United States authorized to disburse food stamps to community residents. On Jan. 8, 1997, NAFCU received from the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund of the United States Department of Treasury, certification as a Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

Mr. Ligon leaves to cherish his memory, his wife of 55 years, Elnora S. Ligon; one sister, Christine Williams, of Montgomery, Ala.; three sons; Reginald and his wife (Yvonne) Ligon, and Mark Ligon both of Waterbury, and Michael Ligon of Southington; five daughters; Juanita Stephens of Clarksville, Tenn., Michelle Ligon, Jeryl Ligon, and Terri Ligon all of Waterbury, and Debbra Smith of Maplewood, N.J.; 12 grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; several nieces, nephews; and a host of other relatives and friends. He was predeceased by his sister Bernice Simpson of Pontiac, Mich.

Friends may call Thursday, Oct. 31 at the Prospect Memorial Funeral Home, 72 Waterbury Road, (Route 69), Prospect, from 4 to 6 p.m. Military funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 1, at Mount Olive A.M.E. Zion Church, 82-100 Pearl St., Waterbury, with the Rev. Dr. Leroy O. Perry officiating. Friends may call at the church Friday at 10 a.m. The family will receive friends at the church from 10:30 a.m. until the time of the service. Interment with Military Honors will be held in Connecticut State Veterans Cemetery, Middletown.

For more information, or to send e-condolences, visit www.prospectmemorial.com.