Philip Pearce Finn Jr.

Obituary
5 entries
  • "He was a dear man with the best sense of humor. God watch..."
    - Wendy Moyer
  • - Carolyn Bergh
  • "Praying that God will comfort you in your loss."
    - Marolyn Floyd
  • "May the God of all comfort strengthen the entire family..."
    - V.C.
  • "Philip Finn was a true Gentleman. He will surely be..."
    - Sandy Riner
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Philip Pearce Finn, Jr.
AIKEN, SC - Mr. Philip Pearce Finn, Jr, aged 79, passed away peacefully in the comfort of his home on Monday, May 4, 2015.
A Requiem Mass will be celebrated at 10 AM on Monday, May 11, 2015 at the new parish of St. Mary Help of Christian Catholic Church, 138 Fairfield St., SE, Aiken, SC 29803. Father Gregory Wilson Celebrant.
Friends may call this Sunday evening from 6 until 8 PM at George's Funeral Home in Downtown, Aiken, SC.
Family would like to thank Dr. Vinogrado and the nurses at University Oncology in the Aiken and Augusta and the nurses and doctors at the Heart & Vascular Institute in Augusta, GA as well as family and friends that came from Scotland. Also, the family is indebted to the friends and family that helped during this very difficult time.
In addition to his parents, Philip Pearce Finn, Sr, and Nell McHale Finn, he was preceded in death by two brothers, Michael and John Finn.
Survivors include his wife of 39 years, Ann Marie Finn (ne;e Colquhoun), of Aiken, SC; a nephew, David Finn and a sister-in-law, Margaret Finn, both of London, England; as well as a host of extended family and friends.
Following is Philip's reflections on his life to his family and friends:
Like being a six year old and scampering down the garden to dive into our corrugated iron shelter with Mom, Dad and two brothers, at the wail of the air raid siren... Of listening to Hitler's bombs dropping (fortunately for us) in other parts of Enfield.
Like leaving school and home at 16 to become an indentured apprentice 200 miles away in Mexborough, South Yorkshire, at a starting wage of one pound 12 shillings a week (less than three dollars), reduced to one pounds 8 shillings after stoppages. Learning the business with help and tutoring of my oldest friend, Leo White (retd Northern News Editor, Daily Mirror, Manchester).
Like service in the Royal Air Force, and being forced after six weeks of rigorous square bashing into hospital for intensive glucose treatment after a dramatic loss in weight... Ace was very overweight when he went in.
Like six lost months working nights as a trainee subeditor on the Sheffield Telegraph, followed by a couple of years as sports editor of the South Yorkshire edition of the Yorkshire Evening News, with the main task of following Doncaster Rovers' fortunes, home and away. More great formative years working as a freelance with Ron Cookson on the East Mid News Service.
Like achieving half a life's ambition in the early 60s, joining the Manchester office of the Daily Express, a great global newspaper with sales of four million a day. What fun, especially the day with my panchromatic partner Martin Gilfeather we went to test some unbreakable panes of glass at the world-renowned Pilkingtons factory in St. Helens, Lancashire. Boffins had spent years and millions in research, but Martin got the snap of Lord Ace shattering all that good work with a housebrick thrown baseball pitcher style. There was shock and horror, only to be even more deeply compounded some time later with a repeat of the same crashing outcome. It was all resolved when the scientists discovered a tiny nail sticking out of the frame holding the panes. Martin and I shared other adventures. Not least four icy, windswept days in December outside a whitewashed cottage on the romantic Isle of Mull, waiting to corner a cop, a war hero father of four, who had run off with a blonde woman doctor, who fed him a diet of pills even before anyone heard about Viagra. (The two lovers met late at night at Penrith in the Lake District while waiting for the dogs they were walking dogs to have a tinkle). The cop threatened us with a shotgun, but was subsequently arrested for trying to murder the doc. Martin landed us another scoop, paying five pounds (almost a week's wages) to get a first bite of the closely guarded centenary baking of the Denby Dale Pie. The Daily Mail had paid a fortune for the meat in the pie! We got a congratulatory message and a bottle of champers from Vincent Mulchrone, then the Mail 's and Britain's best feature writer.
Like going to Fleet Street, then the very mecca of journalism, and getting a first foreign assignment, three days with a gay British Earl, lunching each day at Portugal's ritziest dining houses while backgrounding the Earl's role in the lives of Britain's most notorious underworld gang run by the Kray Brothers. Later there was a visit to Turkey, and an amazing interview with Brits being held in a rat-infested pig sty prison outside Ankara on what today would be trivial drug charges.
Like setting foot in the US on November 30, 1969, and within days having lunch at Manhattan's famed 21 Club, where a group of rival British journos were standing at the bar asking, "Who's that bird with Phil Finn?" It was Shirley MacLaine. Soon afterwards there was same-day coverage at Kent State University, Ohio, of the tragic shooting of four anti-Vietnam protesting students by the National Guard. More open-line reporting until 5am London time on the second Ali-Frazier fight at Madison Square Garden. Covering the death in Haiti of Papa Doc, and then chatting with his son, and being credited with being the first to call him Baby Doc. Being arrested by blue steel-helmeted, machine-gun toting soldiers at the airport in Sao Paulo, Brazil, for being an alleged kidnapper! Three hilarious weeks in Punta Arenas, at the foot of Chile, with Terry Fincher, the Express's greatest-ever photographer, as we tried (in vain) to get into the Falkands. We ate monster crab salads for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Later standing in the Oval Office with Ronald Reagan, welcoming our conquering heroine, Margaret Thatcher. Just as memorable was the last interview with Louis Armstrong at his home in Queens, not long before he died. Louis played me a few bars of "What a Wonderful World" and gave me his card in which he was seen through a keyhole sitting on his toilet, his faced creased in a huge grin ,with the words, "Leave it All Behind your, Baby".
All these priceless, odd ball memories, and a thousand more come crowding back. And now we look forward avidly for what else is out there. And no one could have a bigger, better army of friends and well wishers. Leading them all is herself... Lady Ace, a bonnie Scots' lass, who has these past weeks revealed even more of her precious, hidden qualities. No one should be so lucky.
Life is a gift.
Love all round,
Ann Marie and Phil Finn, Jr, aka Lord Ace.
The Historic George Funeral Home, 211 Park Ave., SW, Aiken, SC 29801 (803.649.6234) in charge of arrangements.
Funeral Home
George Funeral Home & Cremation Center
211 Park Avenue, SW
Aiken, SC 29801
(803) 220-0728
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Published in The Aiken Standard and North Augusta Star on May 6, 2015