Joseph “Joe” Melchione, a senior partner in the Glendale law firm of Styskal, Wiese & Melchione and a recognized expert on the legal representation of credit unions, died April 17 from lung cancer. He was 64.

Melchione’s belief in the values and principles of the cooperative credit union model left a lasting legacy spanning hundreds of clients, said Bruce Pearson, a partner Styskal, Wiese & Melchione.

“He was brilliant and irreplaceable for his family, SW&M and the credit union movement, and will be greatly missed by all,” Pearson said in a prepared statement.

Melchione joined the firm in 1974 and helped build it into the first law firm in the country to specialize in serving the needs of the credit union industry. Styskal, Wiese & Melchione serves more than 350 credit unions nationwide.

Melchione served for 25 years on the faculty of Western CUNA Management School in Ontario, an institute for training credit union professionals.

Melchione made a lasting impact on his students and brought knowledge and enthusiasm to the program, said Western CUNA Management School President and CEO James D. Likens.

“A true original, trailblazer and great friend, Joe touched the lives and careers of countless of us working in the industry and beyond, making immeasurable contributions to the continued success of our movement,” Likens said in a prepared statement.

Mark R. Madler