1926 - 2014 | Obituary Condolences
ERVIN "BERT" FINLEY passed away at the age of 87 the evening of March 15, 2014, at Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House in Huntington, W.Va. Bert died five days after the death of his beloved wife of 65 years, Berdenia "Dean" Shy Finley. Theirs was the truest marriage of love and devotion - they were each other's best friend for all of these years. Bert was born with severe club feet in 1926, and when he was two-years-old in 1928, he had experimental surgery to swap the bones between his right and left legs. It was a complete success and young Bert became the actual poster child for March of Dimes. The surgery was such a success that by all accounts, Bert became a fabulous jitterbug dancer as an adult. Bert served in the U.S. Air Force during WWII as a maintenance engineer for the famous B-29 Superfortress planes, two of which (Enola Gay and Bockscar) carried the Little Boy and Fat Man atomic bombs that ended the war in the Pacific. Immediately following the War, Bert spent three months in the midst of the testing by the United States of its atomic weapons during Operation Crossroads in the Marshall Islands, during which time he was repeatedly exposed to atomic radiation. Following his discharge from the military after the Korean War, Bert and Dean lived in Huntington before moving to Columbus, Ohio where Bert drove 18-wheeler semis for almost 30 years - he received an award for driving more than a million miles without an accident. Bert and Dean moved back to Huntington 25 years ago to retire and to be near family; he was a member of the American Legion and Masonic Lodges in Huntington. Bert was born to Esther Queen Finley and Brady Finley Sr., on October 18, 1926, in Wayne County, W.Va. He is survived by his sister Charlotte Finley Weaver and by his brother Brady Finley Jr.; by a host of sisters and brothers-in-law of the Shy family and by numerous nieces and nephews and cousins. He was preceded in death by his sisters Ruth Finley Gravely and Fanny "Penny" Finley King and by his brother Dallas Finley, and also by his brothers-in-law Tennis Gravely and Norm Weaver Sr. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, March 22, 2014 at noon at White Chapel Memorial Gardens, Barboursville, with a lunch reception immediately following at Tascali's Pasta & Grill located at 6007 U.S. Route 60 in Barboursville. In lieu of flowers, the family wishes that any donations be made to the Emogene Dolin Jones Hospice House at 3100 Staunton Rd., Huntington, WV 25702. Rollins Funeral Home, Kenova, is assisting the family.
Published in The Herald-Dispatch from Mar. 19 to Mar. 20, 2014
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