POTOMAC FALLS, Va. - Col. James Robert Finton, 93, died on Friday, April 26, 2013, at the Johnson Center, Falcons Landing Retirement Community in Potomac Falls, Va. from the effects of a stroke he had suffered one week beforehand. He had been an original resident of Falcons Landing since 1996.
Col. Finton was born in Salamanca to Isaac Callin Finton and Ivy Gertrude (Sweet) Finton. He was a descendant of both the Sweet and Bosworth families who were early settlers of Southwestern New York State from New England.
As a teenager, he moved with his parents to Washington, D.C., where he graduated from Eastern High School. He became a career officer in the U.S. Air Force having been commissioned in 1941 at the University of Maryland through the Reserve Officers Training Corps. Following receipt of his Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Maryland, he performed graduate work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. During World War II, he was assigned to a joint Anglo-American Base on the Red Sea in Aden. His career after the war took him to numerous Air Force assignments, including multiple tours at both the Pentagon and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Dayton, Ohio, as well as tours at Andrews Air Force Base and as Professor of Air Science at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va. Col. Finton received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Air Force Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster and the Air Force Commendation Medal.
Col. Finton was an avid golfer and a lifelong member of the Army Navy Country Club, Arlington, Va. He also was a member of two hereditary societies, The Order of the Founders and Patriots of America and the Sons of the American Revolution.
His wife of 56 years, Iris Hammer Finton, predeceased him in 1998. From the marriage he had three sons: James Robert Finton, Jr. (Joanna) and Thomas Edward Finton (Gwyn), both of Roanoke, Va., and Timothy Christopher Finton (Tonya) of Bethesda, Md. In addition, he is survived by three grandchildren: Emily T. Finton of Baltimore, Md., Christopher J. G. Finton of Richmond, Va. and Thomas W. G. Finton attending Middlebury College in Vt.
In 2000, Col. Finton remarried and is survived by his wife, Dorothy Finton of Falcons Landing.
A memorial service was held on Monday, May 20, in the chapel at Falcons Landing. Burial with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery will take place at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the
, ATTN: Memorials, P.O. Box 5216, Glen Allen, Va. 23058 or at strokeassociation.org.
Published in The Salamanca Press from May 22 to June 21, 2013