Gerry Findley, who helped start and nurture hundreds of community banks and became known as the dean of California banking consultants, has died. He was 85.
Findley watched the telecast of UCLA's football team defeating Rice University last Saturday with his family and died peacefully of leukemia Sunday at his home in Brea, said his son, Gary.
The Arkansas native, who joined the Navy at 19 and survived the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, adopted California as his home after World War II, earning a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in finance and banking from UCLA.
Findley got started working for Union Bank, where he was responsible for creating community banking institutions that would serve as clients for Union Bank's correspondent banking division. He went independent in the mid-1950s, creating Gerry Findley & Associates, a Brea-based management consulting firm working with small banks and savings and loans in the western United States.
A prolific writer, Findley expanded into publishing in the 1960s, creating the Findley Reports, which provided financial analysis of all of California's FDIC-insured institutions, and the California Banking Newsletter.
In the late 1990s, his son, a banking attorney, began running the family businesses, but Gerry Findley continued until recently to write for the newsletter and to take on consulting assignments, assisted at times by his two daughters.
He also wrote numerous magazine articles and several books, including "Get Rich -- Own a Local Bank." The family is now editing his final work: an account of his coming to grips with his fatal disease and the lessons that experience offers for others, his son said.
Findley, whose wife, Myrtle, died in 1996, is survived by his son; daughters Minde Findley and Pam Findley-Flor; and six grandchildren.
A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. today at First Christian Church, 109 E. Wilshire Ave., Fullerton. Instead of flowers, the family suggested donations to the Virginia K. Crosson Cancer Center, in care of St. Jude Memorial Foundation in Fullerton.