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John Joseph Finazzo M.D.

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John Joseph Finazzo, M.D. age 50, of Palm Springs, California, passed away with his family by his side at Desert Regional Hospital on March 7, 2015. Dr. Finazzo was born in Fontana, California on September 25, 1964 to Francesco Paolo and Francesca Bica Finazzo. A UCR Alumni Scholar, Dr. Finazzo graduated Valedictorian from Fontana High School in 1982. Dr. Finazzo graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude in 1986 as part of the UCR Bio Medical program receiving Bachelors in Biomedical Science from the University of California and a Medical Doctorate from UCLA Medical School. He completed his residency in Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery from State University of New York's Brooklyn Health Science Center, New York City. Dr. Finazzo was Board Certified in Otolaryngology/ Head and Neck Surgery and Sleep Medicine. He was a member of the Phi Kappa Sigma fraternity and UCR Alumni Board of Directors. Dr. Finazzo was an avid sports fan as a Member of the Wooden Athletic Fund for his alma mater the UCLA Bruins. Dr. Finazzo had been in private practice in Otolaryngology in the Palm Springs area since 1995. He served as Chief of ENT at Eisenhower Memorial Medical Center, was an officer of the Palm Springs Academy of Medicine, and sat on the Board of Directors of Hope Square Surgery Center. Dr. Finazzo was awarded "Top Doctor" in his specialty by Palm Springs Life magazine eight consecutive years, America's Top Physicians Consumer's Research Council 2010-2014, Top Peer Reviewed Sleep Medicine Physician 2013 and was honoree of the year by the Palm Springs Chapter of the Sons of Italy in 2010. Dr. Finazzo actively supported UCR students by serving as a mentor, offering opportunities to have students shadow him at his practice, and speaking annually at the Student Alumni Association's Medical Career Conference. He served on the UCR Alumni Association Board of Directors, as a member of the UCRAA Executive Committee, and as chair of the UCRAA scholarship program. Dr. Finazzo is survived by his wife of 25 years, Lorna Marie Walek, also a graduate of UCR. John and Lorna were married at Our Lady Queen of Angles Catholic Church, Newport Beach in May, 1989. John and Lorna lived in Beverly Hills, New York City, and Palm Springs. They celebrated their 25th Wedding anniversary by remarrying with their children by their side in Normandy, France in May, 2014. Dr. Finazzo leaves behind three children - Juliana Rose, John Michael, and Joseph Peter - along with his parents, an older sister, Mary, and older brother, Paul. John's beloved younger brother James preceded him in death. John's spirit of love, service, and generosity were celebrated on April 18, 2015 during mass at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Palm Springs with final internment at Forest Lawn Cathedral City. Dr. Finazzo will be greatly missed by his family, friends and his patients. The family requests that any donations be made in honor of: John J. Finazzo, M.D., UCR Medical School, UC Riverside Foundation (900 University Ave., Riverside, CA 92521).
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 18, 2015
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