Cover photo for Michael Henry Finney's Obituary
Michael Henry Finney Profile Photo
1939 Michael 2015

Michael Henry Finney

October 20, 1939 — December 30, 2015

Michael Henry Finney (76) passed away peacefully on Wednesday, December 30, 2015 in Hatfield, WI after a valiant battle with cancer. Michael was born October 20, 1939 in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota to Henry and Vivian (Bell) Finney. He grew up in Lake City, MN honing his future skills as an avid outdoorsman. After high school, he served six years in the Army Reserve. He then attended Winona State University, where he studied biology and geology earning a Bachelors of Science degree. It was at Winona State where he met and fell in love with Mary Landino. The two were married in 1966 and then moved to St. Charles, MN to begin their teaching careers. They then secured positions at Neillsville Public Schools. Michael taught high school science courses at Neillsville for 29 years. Working in and out of the classroom, Michael coached football, scored basketball and wrestling meets, and timed at track meets. He and Mary were members of Neillsville United Church of Christ. Michael loved the outdoors. He spent nearly every day fishing (ice fishing, trout fishing, walley fishing on Lake Arbutus). Given he was an avid reader, he developed an encyclopedic knowledge of birds, trees, flowers, and plants. In fact, Michael worked with Listemen Arboretum identifying trees and flowers, in addition to helping create the marked trails. He was a life-long contributor to the Smithsonian Society, Wildlife Fund, and Humane Society. Michael spent his life with a dog by his side. Michael traveled the U.S and world with Mary. He particularly enjoyed his time visiting Alaska, Hawaii, and the Southwest. They also spent time in England, Ireland, Haiti, Costa Rica, among other destinations. Most recently, they would spend a month of winter "warming up" in Mexico. He is survived by his wife, Mary of Hatfield, WI; his two children, Lisa Finney of Plymouth, WI and Sara Finney (Steven Hinrichs) of Harrisonburg, VA; his two grandchildren, Michael and Devin Sikora; his brother, Brian (Yvonne) Finney of Palm Coast, FL; his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Margaret and Bruce Rakestraw of Neillsville, WI; and his two nieces Amanda (Travis) Mortenson and Amy (Josh) Lewis. Visitation and celebration of life will take place at Gesche Funeral Home at 11:00 a.m., Friday, January 8, 2016. Pastor Jacoba Koppert will officiate. Visitation will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m., Friday morning prior to the service.In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Clark County Humane Society or the American Cancer Society Hope Lodge of Marshfield, WI. Online Condolences may be made at www.geschefh.com. The Gesche Funeral Home is assisting Michael's family with Funeral arrangements.Funeral Home:Gesche Funeral Home4 South Grand AvenueNeillsville, WIUS 54456
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