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David E. Finney

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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- Mr. David Eugene Finney, 88, of Jepson Road, Stamford, Vt., died peacefully Friday, Jan. 6, 2006, at the Vermont Veterans Home in Bennington, Vt., where he had lived since October 2004.

He was born in Deer Park, Wash., on Dec. 10, 1917, son of the late Robert W. and Alice (Trombley) Finney. He moved to Stamford as a child and attended elementary school in North Adams and Stamford. He graduated from Drury High School with the class of 1936.

Mr. Finney was a veteran of World War II, serving with the U.S. Army Air Force; he enlisted in 1940. He received his basic training in Savannah, Ga., and left for the Pacific area in December 1941, and arrived in Australia in January 1942. He was involved in battles and campaigns in Bismark Archipelago, Papua, New Guinea, and the Northern Solomons, where he received a good conduct medal and an American Defense Service Ribbon. He was in foreign service for three years until receiving his Honorable Discharge as Master Sgt. in August 1945.

In 1946 he performed as an aerial performer with an acrobatic team, The Eugene Troop, which was organized by his father in 1907.

As a young man, Mr. Finney had a horse stable and rented horses, he worked at a poultry hatchery in Troy, N.Y., and was employed by Sprague Electric Co., North Adams, until he entered military service in 1940.

After returning from the Air Force, Mr. Finney was employed by General Electric of Pittsfield, in the Naval Ordnance Department from 1946 to 1955.

In 1956, Mr. Finney operated a gasoline service station on Beaver Street, North Adams, moving the business in 1964 to Union Street where he was self employed as president/manager of the former Union Servicenter, Inc. He was last employed by the former Windsor Motors, in North Adams, as a service manager from 1971 to 1977.

In 1977, Mr. Finney, and his wife, the former Ellison J. Lawrence, joined the Peace Corps for a two-year term in Botswana, Africa. He served as a mechanics instructor with Central Transport Organization, Gaborone, Botswana, where he trained young men to maintain automobiles and trucks in both classroom and on-job training.

Mr. Finney was a long-time active member of the Stamford (Vt.) Community Church where he was an honorary life deacon. He was a member of the Greylock Lafayette Lodge of Masons, in North Adams since 1950, a 1934-1969 member of the Vermont State and National Grange and an active member of the Dr. George L. Curran Post 996 Veterans of Foreign Wars, North Adams, since 1947.

Besides his wife, whom he married on Oct. 28, 1950, he is survived by two sons, Alden Finney of Longbeach, Miss., and Nathan Finney of Stamford, four grandchildren, three great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a daughter, Martha Finney Gaudreau; two sisters; Lorraine Garland and Roberta Ruebesam; and a brother, Milton Finney.

Funeral service will be held in the spring at the Stamford (Vt.) Community Church with the Rev. William Wilson officiating. There are no calling hours. Burial will be at a later date at the convenience of the family.

Memorial donations may be made to the Stamford Community Church, or the Vermont Veterans Home Patient Activity Fund, through the Auge-San Soucie-Simmons Funeral Home, located at 46 North Church St., North Adams, MA 01247, which is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Bennington Banner on Jan. 9, 2006
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