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Salute to Ralph Nicolson

A Veterans' Day Salute to Ralph Nicolson

On this Veterans' Day, TCT would like to pay special tribute to the late, great Ralph Nicolson — a founding TCT Member, former Glens Falls School Teacher, Veteran of World War II at the 'Battle of the Bulge', and an embodiment of all that is great about America and of course, credit unions. 

Thank you, Mr. Nicolson.


In Memoriam of Ralph Nicolson, A TCT Founding Member

A Note from TCT CEO, Curt Cecala

October 10, 2019

Hello TCT Family:

I want to share with you that Ralph Nicolson, one of the founders of our credit union recently passed. On behalf of everyone here at TCT, we want to express to his wife Lillian and family, our heartfelt sympathies for their loss. As you will read Ralph Nicolson was quite a remarkable man.

My memories of Mr. Nicolson are from our yearly Annual Meetings. Each year we would introduce Mr. Nicolson to our membership. He was the only member to be with us from the first day TCT started. Later, I would stop by his table to thank him and we would converse a little. He always had a smile for me. He would share some memories of what meetings were like in the early years, he would shake my hand and tell me how happy he is to see TCT doing well.

Over this past year, we embarked on a project on our credit union’s story and reached out to Mr. Nicolson. Thanks to him we learned the backdrop of the teacher’s financial struggles in New York State after World War II, and how our credit union is a byproduct of that movement. Every credit union has its story of people who believed in the power of one another to better each other and their community. Ralph Nicolson was one of those special people.

Below is an excerpt from his obituary. He lived an extraordinary life. He was part of a great generation who sacrificed much for their country and did so in such a humble way. Ralph Nicolson embodies what is great about America, and of course credit unions. Thank you, Mr. Nicolson.


Sept. 10, 1923 — Oct. 6, 2019

SARATOGA SPRINGS — Ralph Harry Nicolson, of Saratoga Springs, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, at the age of 96.

Ralph was born on Sept. 10, 1923, in Amarillo, Texas. He was the only child of Ralph H. and Bertha Irene (Grantham) Nicolson. He graduated from Manual Arts High School in Los Angeles, California in 1942. A highlight of his growing-up years was his involvement with the Boy Scouts, earning the Life Badge and serving many leadership roles. He continued his work with the Scouts into early adulthood.

He was a U.S. Army veteran of World War II. He served as an infantryman in the 75th Infantry Division. He was seriously injured during the Battle of the Bulge and received the Military Order of the Purple Heart for his service. As a survivor of this famous battle, he was often approached by various groups to speak about his wartime experience.

On July 14, 1946, he married Lillian (Blanchard) Nicolson of Oneonta. They had met in Potsdam. He was studying engineering at Clarkson University through the Army Specialized Training Program and she was attending Crane School of Music. They had 73 wonderful years together.

Falling in love with the Adirondack area on their honeymoon, Ralph and Lillian made their home in Queensbury. Ralph retired after 33 years of teaching industrial arts grades 7-12 at Queensbury School. While there, he served as president of the Queensbury Faculty Association and the Tri-County Teachers Association and was one of the founding members of the Tri-County Teachers' Credit Union (now the TCT Federal Credit Union). He was involved in developing the technology curriculum for the State Education Dept. and helped create the teacher training for that curriculum.

Ralph was an active member of Christ Church United Methodist in Glens Falls since 1951. He served many roles over the years, including Church School superintendent and chairman of the Social Concerns Committee.

Feeling the desire to give back to the community, and inspired by the great works of Habitat for Humanity, in 1982 he and Lillian co-founded the Glens Falls Area Habitat for Humanity affiliate, serving as co-presidents for many years. They worked on over 20 houses during their years with Habitat.

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TCT proudly sponsors Banzai at schools where students are eligible for TCT membership. This premium online financial literacy program is provided to teachers for free. 


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Each week during the school year we honor a special school employee for their efforts.


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