Fedchoice Federal Credit Union - Altogether Better


In Memory


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A video from one of our All Team meetings.

(THERE IS SOUND! Click on the image to play - video is posted to YouTube)





In Loving Memory

Sheryl Murray

A thank you note from Sheryl's family:





Shared with us by Sheryl's family -  Sheryl is on the far left -  with her parents, four brothers (Jack, Neil, Joe and Doug) and one sister (Jill).

The memorial folder created for the services can be viewed here.



Stories You've Shared

Read the stories based on the date we received them: 3/30/2016     3/31/2016      4/1/2016      4/4/2016      4/5/2016       4/6/2016            4/15/2016


**The below was shared with us by Sheryl's family. This was found on her night stand - we are unsure of who the original author is, however they family did want to share it with our FedChoice family.**

While in the park one sunny day

With Sara by my side

I saw a toad upon the road       

And thought that he should hide

But as I passed I heard him say

Take me-please take me

I'm not quite so ugly - can't you see


While in the park that sunny day

With Sara by my side

I saw a frog upon a log

His beauty he could not hide

As I reached for him I heard him say

Did you not see

The magnificent Toad upon the road

He is for you - not me


He's not Sara the sweetest dog

Nor a beautiful green like me

But if you would look beyond his face

I'm sure that you will see

The beauty just beneath the skin

And the grace which lies within


As I left the park that sunny day

With Sara by my side

I had a smile upon my face

A smile I could not hide

For I know the person who would see

The beauty and the grace

Of the magnificent Toad upon the road

And give him his proper place.


As I struggle to accept the loss of Sheryl at the Credit Union, I also must contend with the thought of losing Sheryl in my personal life… Like so many other wonderful stories we’ve read about Sheryl, my story includes her all-natural foods, juices, quiet whispers, and hugs. However, my father is also forever linked with Sheryl. Before Sheryl started her career at the Credit Union on September 10, 1979, she was my Dad’s secretary in the IRS! It was my father that encouraged her to work at the Credit Union which at the time only had 14 employees. Over the years Sheryl spoke about my Dad and how great it was to work with him… so even though my father passed away over 22 years ago I still felt a connection to him through Sheryl. I began my career at the Credit Union as a mortgage loan officer in 1987 and Sheryl quickly took me under her wings. I was not very good with balancing my general ledgers so she would patiently work with me to find my (many) errors… and I learned a lot as a result. That was 29 years ago! On a personal note, I remember going with Sheryl to check out a new townhome development under construction across the street from her apartment in Alexandria. Understandably, she was nervous buying her first home and needed some encouragement to take the “big leap”… which she did that same day! Eventually she joined the Homeowner’s Association Board of this community and thoroughly enjoyed it. That was 20 years ago! Sheryl dedicated her life to FedChoice and coming here was one of her greatest passions. She was so proud of her work and reputation with our staff, auditors and examiners. We were her family and she was an integral part of us. She was also a part of my family. I will miss you, Sheryl. How lucky I am to have known someone who was so hard to say goodbye. In my heart are the memories and there you will always be…

~David Bunch

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Oh my goodness - where do I start? I have worked with Sheryl for almost 27 years - and what a roller-coaster it has been!! Work was work - we always managed to have a good time - frustrating? Absolutely!! Educating? Most definitely! Rewarding? I wouldn't have it any other way!! Outside of work - did you know Sheryl collected spoons? I brought her back one from my first visit to Hawaii. I couldn't find it for about 3 months as it got stuck in the lining of my luggage! She only asked twice about her spoon and I knew she was disappointed when I couldn't find it. Needless to say - I was on a mission to make her smile! When I heard of Sheryl's sudden passing, my very first thought was - "remember we took her to the drag races?". That was such a fun day and so outside the norm for her - we packed a cooler (yes, with beer), stopped at Popeye's Chicken (I had a coupon) and off we went for the day! We truly enjoyed ourselves watching the races and especially the people! As many have stated, Sheryl was kindness from the heart. Didn't matter what the issue was, work or not - her intentions always came from the heart. You didn't always realize it at the time - but when all was said and done - you were left with a good feeling. I'm a remote employee of the credit union, so I only saw Sheryl twice a week - sometimes not at all! BUT - when we connected, it was with a hug, a soft spoken word, a "how you doing?" never silent, always humble. Our last conversation was Monday March 28th - my phone rang like six times - no message - that wasn't Sheryl's style - she wanted to SPEAK TO YOU! I called her back. She said I have a question for you. Of course you do, I said. Well - it's personal. I told her "that's OK" - ask away! Because of all her genealogy research, she came across a pocket of Ostrander's in Minnesota and wanted to know if I was Norwegian! We laughed about that for a good while before I let her know that my research was Dutch! I did tell her I would dig deeper and get back to her though - I will have to do that in my prayers. My sincerest condolences to the Murray Family and our FedChoice Family - I'll miss you Sheryl.

~Sharon Ostrander


It was with great sadness and a heavy heart last week, while out of town, to hear of Sheryl’s passing. I met Sheryl almost 13 years ago when I started at FedChoice. She was so instrumental in getting me acclimated to the credit union and how HR interacted with Accounting on a regular basis. She continued throughout the years to be a resource you could count on to give you the history of how we got to where FedChoice (or the old IR) was at that moment. I know she probably told me a thousand times “you can’t do that” and of course, I would ask “why not?” As I moved into the Lending area, she continued to “keep me out of trouble”, by keeping tabs on what was going on including some long-time members that she would always make sure we were taking care of. I am sure she will be looking down from above during budget time this fall and I will feel her on my shoulder saying “are you sure you want to do that?” Sheryl always enjoyed talking about the latest technology with my husband at the holiday parties including this most recent one. Because she and I shared some knowledge on databases, she always got excited when she could run a new script or report from her SQL database. As we continue to use many of the Excel spreadsheets for reports which she created, she will continue to be with us in some way. If you find any with lots of macros, links to many other spreadsheets, or having to trace a cell back to where it is originating from, you can count on that Sheryl most likely had a hand in creating it. Does anyone remember in years past for mother’s day, an anonymous person (aka Sheryl) would leave all the mothers a rose on their desk? What a nice surprise it was! I have always felt that FedChoice was just like a family member to Sheryl, and this was her motherly instinct. When Sheryl started making the boxes for the Inspired Financial Service, she would say “wait until you see what I am working on for this month”. Her creativity and excitement was inspirational. Sheryl will be missed for all the countless and unseen activities she performed, as well as, for all those times when we have all said “call Sheryl, she will know.” Maybe she will be able to give us a sign when we call on her now.

~Susan Barnes


I think I mentioned last week when I spoke briefly that Sheryl and I had a standing daily meeting at 6:15 AM, whether I had planned for one or not... : ) Our relationship began nearly 9 years ago when I started working for FedChoice. Sheryl was a perfectionist in accounting. In many ways she wanted things done exactly the way she had done it for 30 years. Initially I thought she was pretty stubborn but over time I realized she had a great love for the credit union and only held to her beliefs and ideas because in her heart and mind she believed her way was the best way. I tried to blend her ideas and guidance into everything I did, and found that although her methods might have been "old school" the information she possessed was very valuable to all the decisions we made. Before her current manager, Brian, she would come in many times and was sad because of some of the issues that would challenge her. Many times in the early hours of the morning I would listen and reassure her that better times were coming. She loved Abbie Legge, when Abbie worked for us from 2012 to 2015. Abbie was a younger kindred spirit. She loved and respected Brian Daskalovitz . Brian was much younger but understood the essence of what she was trying to do to help the credit union. She enjoyed working with current staff in Accounting (Bisi Edward, Dwayne and Lataya and talked a lot with Yvonne who works for me in Risk) Sheryls lasting, visible contribution will be the good spirit and example she generated with her "boxes"... I had the privilege many times of being the first person to see the latest finished creation when it was brought in early. She was proud of every one and beemed with delight when she sat it down right on top of everything I was working on to show it to me.... : ) She always checked on me when I was not in early, and in time I did the same thing with her. She loved the staff, spending extra time with the people she thought needed it. People often got a life lesson from her, whether they wanted it or not, kind of like your grade school teacher who never left and kept telling you when you were right and when you made a mistake. All done with love and concern. My sympathies and condolences to her wonderful family, who I met yesterday. I have the same feeling for all staff who knew and worked with her for whatever length of time they knew her. Goodbye Sheryl, we all loved you and will miss you...

~Mike Martin


Dear Sheryl, I walked in as a new kid on the block wide eyed ready to change stuff. You were the vet that had a system and processes that had been proven over time. I made suggestions and every time it was "well I don't know". We had different opinions on what to change and how to change but what you made me realize was change isn't a one-way street. You shouldn't change just for the benefit of one department, The change should benefit everyone. I finally understood that what I wanted to change would help our department but would make it more difficult for others. I was ignorant to this, so thank you Sheryl for showing me the way. We then started to work together where I would ask what if and you would tell me.."well I don't know". Although now you would tell me why you were apprehensive and with this we had a bond. You approached me one day when i was eating Chick Fil A and you said " do you know what's in that stuff?" I simply replied "goodness". You laughed so hard because you know you had 3 Youtube videos prepared to explain to me why "goodness" was not in Chick Fil A or chicken period. I never ate Chick Fil A in front of you again. You offered numerous "healthy" drinks which I gracefully declined due to the mere sight and texture of whatever it was and every time you would offer me a drink I'd offer to buy you Chick Fil A. Sheryl thank you for the memories, I will never forget you.

~Dwayne Henry


Dear Sheryl,

Here are some things I never got to say when you were here… You were a wonderful person - always so ready to help and go above and beyond whenever I reached out to you. I knew you were the expert in your department, but I tried not to bother you with all my questions because I knew you would pour out your HEART and SOUL to help me! Such degree of service would exhaust a person with selfish mind; however, you were selfless in serving others so it never drained you. Rather, it energized you!! Sheryl, I’ll remember you – your smiles, your eagerness, your passion… I’ll remember you – your voice, your walk, your gestures… I’ll remember you - Sheryl…

~Sandra Park


Not knowing Sheryl long, she always gave me her genuine and sincere attention to every problem I created while learning a new processing system. Sheryl will be truly missed by me and the FedChoice Family.

You are in my prayers,

~Denise Allen


I met Sheryl 25 years ago when I came to the work for the credit union. Sheryl always took the time to answer my questions and believe me our conversations always became a mini-class but I always came away with learning something or another. Sheryl called me recently when she found out I was going to retire. Sheryl asked me, "Are you sure you want to do this before full retirement age?" I replied, "Sheryl it's time, I need to change things up besides you just never know." We both laughed and she wished me well. Sheryl's passing made me realize that I did make the right decision. I didn't get the chance to witness the energy and spirit that others have talked about but I will miss the long conversations from extension 4533.

~Ginny Kosmalski


Working in Marketing, you might not think I had the pleasure of working with Sheryl, but I actually did work with Sheryl quite often. From working with Sheryl over the last five years, I came to know her as a fun, kind and energetic co-worker and friend. Outside of work related topics, we talked about Sturgis and the family business, the Dakotas, food and cooking, and box ideas for Inspired Financial Service. Sheryl knew I loved golf and was planning to make her next Inspired Financial Service box golf themed, which I know would of been fantastic! Sheryl also looked very similar to my mother, which I communicated to Sheryl. I like to think she enjoyed this as much as I did, and maybe she thought of me as a son. Sheryl is a wonderful person and I will truly miss her.

~Mark Evanko


This is Peter Gray and I just wanted to pass on my condolences to the Murray and FedChoice family on the sudden loss of our dear friend and colleague Sheryl Murray. It was a great since of loss when I heard of her passing. I just wanted to let you know that I extend my greatest sympathy and my heart is truly saddened. Sheryl was more than just a wonderful person, she was someone that was dedicated to her job and was the "go to person for any questions I may have had related to accounting issues. I truly enjoyed the conversations we had when I would come to the Accounting Department. She would always stress to me the importance maintaining my health. She would always try to get me to drink or eat some kind of organic food or drink! I always got a kick out of that! I recall this green drink she would always ask me to try! She would tell me, "This will clean you out Pete!" "All the toxins in your body will be out in one drink!" After smelling this concoction, I nearly fainted! We always laughed at my reaction. None the less, I never drank it! It's moments like that I will cherish and remember the most. She will be dearly missed. We know her passing will not only leave a void in our lives, but in the hearts of all those who knew her. Sheryl will always remain in our hearts. My sincere thoughts and prayers go out to the Murray and FedChoice family.

~Peter Gray


Working in the Philly Branch we didn't get the opportunity to work with Sheryl everyday but anytime we did get the chance it was always a very positive experience. Whenever we called, even though it was only with a problem or some type of issue Sheryl was always happy to hear from us and we could actually hear her smiling over the phone. She was always happy to take the time to talk, not only about business but also to ask how we were doing and she asked about everyone. She was a very genuine person who truly cared about the people in her life and she will be greatly missed. We are very grateful that we had the chance to meet her and appreciate reading all of the stories written by coworkers who had the chance to work with her on a daily basis.

~Philly Branch (Diane, Joyce, Calvin, Joanie, Ginny)


Sheryl always managed to make me laugh during every interaction I had with her. The many times I went to Sheryl with a problem she would always say "What am I going to do with you Doug?", then Sheryl would chuckle and begin to resolve my problem. One of my fondest memories occurred as I was leaving work for the day. Sheryl and I met in the hallway to leave the building, after which we exited the building to walk to our cars, Sheryl told me to have a nice evening and to “Rock On”. Now, this is something I would always say to Sheryl after every interaction with her and I literally laughed the whole way home, what made this so special is how Sheryl said it in such a serious tone.

~Doug Strejeck


                I came across a saying last week that so perfectly captures the essence of Sheryl…”Never stop doing little things for others.  Sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts.”   Sheryl constantly did “little” (and often not so little!) things for so many people – more than I ever realized.  In the days since Sheryl’s journey to Heaven, it has been astounding to hear the stories of how her kindness touched so many people at the Credit Union and occupied their hearts.  Mine included!  Whether it was a hug (she loved hugs!), an offer to taste her latest juice recipe, a surprise lunch for you that she lovingly assembled, a tip on how to improve genealogy research, a story about her family (of which she was so proud!), or one of the silly conversations that would result in one of her giggling spells, Sheryl always made time for others in these and many other ways. 

                She was famous for saying that she only needed a minute of your time…of course, we all came to know that no conversation with Sheryl was only for a minute.  But, when you think about it, she never put time constraints on anything she did for others; she would devote as much time as you needed without hesitation.  And while she may have preferred to speak very softly, whisper actually, she certainly made a memorable imprint.

                One of the things that stands out to me about Sheryl is how true she stayed to who she was.  She wasn’t concerned with the latest trends (except for her beloved technology!), sayings, or what was politically correct, shall we say.  She was who she was, a woman from South Dakota with strong ties to her family, her community back home, and her ideals.  In that, there is a lesson for all of us. 

                I’ll miss you, Sheryl…

~Karen Sandor


I can't tell you how much I going to miss her. I saw your email earlier when I was checking my emails randomly on PTO, but didn't know what to say or how to express the feelings.

I am one of the “morning persons” who comes to the office early and there are only few vehicles in the parking lot - including that green Subaru parked on the side lot. I always making sure that it is there to make sure someone in the building before I go in. Then, being one of the first ones to say hi i side of the building and getting that smile from her - unforgettable. Then, most mornings she showed up at my cubicle to talk about or ask a question about how we can improve the FED line service or SD or ACH processing. She was so excited about the new machines for Check 21 installment. We worked on the machine in the Accounting and she was so happy that it worked after the first setup and with no issues. Then she worked with Mike Nagrampa to complete them at all branches. She was so excited about this project.

She had helped me a lot when I started my work at FedChoice earlier. When I go to her desk to ask any questions, she is always with a smile, "What's up Paul?". Her whispering to you when talking about Fedline, confidential information and talking about her family business or working with other stuff… I am gonna really miss that.

I was glad to see her, during her last Friday which we talked about Check21 machines are working fine and saw her smile before my PTO and before she was gone to WORK with angels. I know she is looking down on us to make sure all the reports are accurately done and Fedline is working fine. That's Sheryl.

Wow....I just can't... there are no words to describe.



As you have already stated it is so hard to believe that Sheryl is gone. Memories of Sheryl are many as she was always there to greet both Betsy and I whenever we came to the CU and to the annual CU party. I know that she is a tremendous loss to the CU family as she was very dedicated to her work and the CU as a whole. We are praying for her family and friends at this time.

~Larry and Betsy King


Hi David, Your call yesterday regarding the death of Sheryl truly knocked me for a loop. Sheryl and I have known each other for her entire time with the credit union plus some time she spent at IRS. I always considered her as a friend and many times was amazed at the enormity of her contribution to our credit union. Her loyalty was unflagging. Her heart literally was right into her job and she gave it her all. I always enjoyed seeing her and at those moments, our hug of each other was better than a simple "hello." Rather, it was two old friends reestablishing a long time connection. In the future, at credit union employee gatherings, you can be sure that I will be missing the moment that she and I would walk across the room to each other. Please thank her family for lending her to us for all these years. We loved having her with us and her presence made us a better place. All the best.

~Ina and Art Altman



As many of you mentioned this morning, Sheryl had gone gung-ho with changing her diet under the guidance of a number of nutritional gurus. She and I spoke about food and recipes many times since I was also making modifications to my diet. Sheryl introduced me to hemp seed hearts. She even gave me a salad dressing recipe (without oil) that used hemp seeds as one of the prime ingredients. I made the recipe quite a while ago. It was good but I haven’t mixed it up lately. I’m glad that I still have the photocopy that she gave me! I will think of her every time I pick through my many magazine pages, print-outs from cooking websites, etc. that I refer to often when I feel like making something out of the ordinary. I am so sorry that she was called away so soon. Sheryl still had so much to contribute to FedChoice and the rest of us. She will be sorely missed.

~Debbie Wright


In my 13 ½ years at FedChoice, Sheryl always opened her arms and ears no matter what she had on her plate herself.  She was so very proud of her family, most recently showing pictures of her niece’s son on the front of the Strider Bike brochure.  She recently tried to give me cash towards my daughters pizza fundraiser for school but didn’t wanna buy anything.  Her and I went back in forth for 20 mins about how I couldn’t take it unless she bought something but she didn’t wanna hear it.  She told me to buy something for the kids but I said no….we are already getting a free box of cookies because so many FedChoice employees bought stuff.  Needless to say I put the cash back in her hand and told her to go back to her desk….LOL.  She will be missed so very much.  In case you didn’t see the picture of her great nephew….he is the child on the left.


~Jennifer Powell


Condolence Greetings to the Murray Family,

I am honored to share some background information on my working and personal relationship with your family member, Sheryl Murray.  She and I had worked together for the past 16 years.  Those years were spent exchanging a wealth of knowledge and expertise needed to fulfill our career responsibilities.  I must say that she was extremely dedicated to getting the job done and guiding me through the path to get my job done.  She always had a pleasant smile for me; an uplifting tone of voice, even when I interrupted her while she was busy meeting or exceeding deadline assignments and an ear to listen to me when I had problems….For the most part, she spoke quietly but she had much to say. She liked working on the computers because she was very creative.

I will miss her unselfish ways.  She was the type of coworker whom would take the time to think of her coworkers during special holidays. I would come to work and she would leave some type of trinket on my desk to let me know that I was special. Thinking of her coworkers was not mandatory but it was greatly appreciated when Sheryl Murray considered me during any holiday. Even on her last holiday, she left me a beautiful chocolate bunny which I have shared for your family to see.  It would be nice to hear from you all.  She has shared her family tree with me and our families had a lot in common.

~Yvonne Jackson


Hi guys,

Yvonne talked this morning about a present Sheryl left for her this morning.  She came in early one morning and all the lights were off in our area, except for her desk light which was shining on a random chocolate bunny.  Yvonne walked around asking everyone if they had left her the Easter gift.  You can guess who left it for her.



I loved Sheryl as a person & her spirit because she was truly a dedicated & talented employee who believed in the Credit Union movement (mission, etc.).  We had a great time talking at the Holiday Party in January 2016. Her presence & smile will truly be missed.


Peace & Love,  

~Brenda H. Jackson



Good morning,

Sheryl truly touched me by her soft-spoken and kind nature. I will miss her warm pat and rub on the back. In fact, all of us in IT would joke about this… who’ve got the most rubbing and whispering.  

She would come to ask me for a report or to request to schedule GL even after sending an email AND Track-it request. She just want to come and ask in person. “Did you see my email? Did you get my request?” I always saw it as dedication and loyalty to her daily work and the credit union.



Brian called me this early afternoon about Sheryl. I am so sorry to hear of her death.  I really liked Sheryl and we had a very good relationship over so many years. She knew all my Black Lab dogs by name. She also had a very special relationship with our staff, and particular Terry Tiemann.  I 1st meet her in 1993, as a cold call appointment.  It was because of her effort that we started to work with your CU in, or around 1997. Without her effort, to get us approved, we would have never had the business relationship with your CU that we have had for many years.. I will never forget your Houston visit around 1998 give or take a year (you, Karen and Sheryl) to check out the office and the firm. Connie and I went out to dinner with you guys.  She was a very-very dedicated employee, and work was her life. I had a very nice visit with her at our 2016 GAC dinner at the Palm Sunday eve. Wow, I never thought that would be the last time I saw her.

Each year when I do our annual South Dakota Pheasant hunt driving from Mt to SD (we have done it for 23 years now)  I will think of Sheryl as we drive through Sturgis, SD which is the location of Sheryl’s family ranch. We always drive over around Halloween weekend time, for the hunt and I-90 goes right through Sturgis. I would always call her on my cell phone and tell her that we just pasted the family ranch.

Life is so precious and unpredictable. I will never forget Sheryl.  She was a special person in my career, and I will miss her.

~Steve Coale, Senior Managing Director, Amherst Pierpont Credit Union Group


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