Peggy Lee Departs Her Favorite Port of Call—CURF

Peggy Lee Departs Her Favorite Port of Call—CURF

Peggy Lee Departs Her Favorite Port of Call—CURF

Story by Grace Virtue

Peggy Louise Stevens Lee, secretary/treasurer of the Columbia Union Revolving Fund (CURF), is departing her position after 35 years of yeoman service, including helping grow the fund from $3 million to $168 million (as of December 31, 2014). Lee also guided the fund through a complex registration process in 1993, and helped plan the first division-wide meeting of revolving fund personnel in 2006.

Lee started her career with the union in 1949 as a secretary in the education department. She left in 1952 but returned in 1980 as secretary to Don Russell, then union treasurer. Russell also put her in charge of CURF. Lee became treasurer and assistant secretary in 1992, and secretary/treasurer in January 1997. In 1993 she led the effort to have the fund registered as a security. Administrators say she accomplished spectacular growth through her management ability.

“People believe their funds are safe. That’s a huge contribution,” says Russell, who has remained Lee’s friend. He adds, “She followed the [General Conference] guidelines and got the best returns where possible. She is the best employee anyone could imagine. She is just plain brilliant; it will be hard to replace her.”

An Icon of Service

Peggy Lee and CURF co-workers Goldie Louis and Gloria Holland

Peggy Lee and CURF co-workers Goldie Louis and Gloria Holland

Helping churches, schools and other institutions grow their ministries through renovating or purchasing buildings or vehicles have been cited as Lee’s favorite parts of her job.

“Because of her dedication, hundreds of churches and schools have been enabled to acquire or build a suitable place of ministry,” says Dave Weigley, Columbia Union Conference president and CURF board chair. “She leaves an awesome legacy of dedication and service.”

Seth Bardu, a CURF vice president and audit review committee chair, agrees. “Peggy has been a stable force in the operation of our revolving fund. We are thankful for her commitment and pray that God continues to bless her.”

Alongside her work at the union, Lee served for 21 years as treasurer at Potomac Conference’s Hyattsville (Md.) church, where she also worked with the kindergarten department for 35 years. She’s now a member of Chesapeake Conference’s Baltimore First church in Ellicott City, Md.

A Change of Pace

Peggy Lee and her late husband, Don, enjoy one of their many cruises together.

Peggy Lee and her late husband, Don, enjoy one of their many cruises together.

Lee now hopes to spend her days sailing the blue ocean, or enjoying the beautifully landscaped yard she spent years perfecting. Daughter Peggy-Jean Lee says taking cruises and gardening are Lee’s favorite past time, earning her the moniker “Queen of Cruises.” She expects retirement to allow her more time to enjoy both.

“Until her back surgery in 2010, she would often spend eight to 10 hours on Fridays and Sundays in her yard, plus half an hour each day, deadheading plants and weeding. She hopes to be able to sit outside and enjoy her garden instead of getting home about dark every day,” says Peggy-Jean, who cruises with her.

 

Feature Photo: Peggy Lee is flanked by Rob Vandeman, Columbia Union Conference executive secretary, Dave Weigley, president and Seth Bardu, treasurer

 

 

 

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