ROBERT MEYER FINER AKA: BOB "SNAPPER" FINER
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Bob was called home by his loving heavenly father on the 17th of November 2010. Bob had a zest for life, meeting each new day with excitement and looking for the next opportunity that may come around the corner. Bob was born in Mt. Carroll, Illinois on the 4th of March 1953. He resided there until he graduated from High School in 1971. After leaving Mt. Carroll he attended Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin graduating in 1975 with a B.A. in history. Bob believed strongly in the bible verse Matthew 17:20 "I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'move from here to there' and it will. Nothing will be impossible for you." He lived his life in this manner through and through. In 1972 Bob was accepted into the Platoon Leader's Class (PLC)/U.S. Marine Corps (U.S.M.C) and was PLC Honor-man in 1973 and 1974. He earned his private pilot's license in the U.S.M.C flight indoctrination program in 1975 and graduated as an Honor Graduate from the U.S.M.C officer basic school. After graduating officer basic school Bob was competitively chosen to participate in the Army Ranger School and was an Honor Graduate there as well. From 1976-79 Bob commanded infantry troops in the Marine Corps. In 1979 he was accepted into flight school and flew until he retired in 1995. Bob held a variety of leadership positions during twenty years of active duty in the Marines, serving both as an infantry officer and naval aviator flying the A-4M, A-4E, TA-4J/F, OV-10A and OV-10D before retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Bob was a Marine to the core; he spent 20 years commanding men on the ground as well as in the air. While he was an inspiration to his men, he received probably more inspiration from them, which led him to be an outstanding officer and leader. Upon retiring from the Corps Bob explored several avenues such as working as a team building coach for Team Trek and teaching High School history before landing back into the flying world, where his true passion resided. Bob flew the OV-10 in South America before landing a job flying the S-2 Grumman aerial tanker during fire season for DynCorp/CalFire.
Bob loved flying. It was his passion and his avocation for the past 35 years. He was a stick and rudder man who was a master at energy management. When he flew he had the grace of an eagle soaring in the sky. Bob believed that without continual growth and progress, such works as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. When not flying fire Bob spent much of his time expanding Finer Flying, his personal flying business. This included performing awesome aerial exhibits flying Dena Rae, his Pitts stunt bi-plane, in a variety of air shows and conducting specialized training and flight operations.
When not flying, Bob loved life to the fullest. He enjoyed skiing, motorcycle riding, working out, swimming, scuba diving, hiking, and the great outdoors. He had four loves in his life: Jesus Christ our Savior, his wife Dena, his children Danny, Jonathan, Shawna, and Chasity, and flying the great Blue Skies above. He will be deeply missed by them all!
If Bob had to summarize his life, he would say he had a great ride. He is flying free in the heavenly kingdom and is blessed to be in the presence of God almighty and the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Isaiah 40:31 "Those who hope in the lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."
Bob is survived by his wife, Dena R. Finer; Children, Danny M. Finer (son), Jonathan R. Finer (son), Shawna R. Tapp (stepdaughter), and Chasity G. Tapp (stepdaughter). And a sister, Suellen Myers.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin Finer and Eva Mae Finer.
A memorial service will be held at Calvary Chapel, 123 Auto Drive, Boise, ID on Thursday, December 2, 2010, at 12:30 p.m. Burial will follow at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery at 3:00 p.m. will full military honors by the United States Marines. Local arrangements are by Alden-Waggoner Funeral Chapel, Boise, Idaho.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on November 28, 2010