Cover photo for Richard Francis Finn's Obituary
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1928 Richard 2023

Richard Francis Finn

April 22, 1928 — January 13, 2023

Sheldon, Iowa

 

Richard F. Finn

Sheldon, Iowa

               Richard F. Finn, age 94 of Sheldon, Iowa passed away on Friday, January 13, 2023, at Prairie View Retirement Home in Sanborn, Iowa.  His service will be at 11:00 A.M. on Thursday, January 19, 2023 at St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church with Fr. Timothy Hogan ~ officiating.

To view Richard's livestream please register at https://event.forgetmenotceremonies.com/ceremony?c=8aa2c6db-40d1-4748-a509-cd9b9e4b9434

Burial will be in St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery in Sheldon, Iowa.

Visitation will be 1 hour prior to the service at St. Cecelia’s Catholic Church in Sanborn.

              

Memorial gifts may be sent to Prairie View Campus (610 Eastern St., Sanborn, IA  51248)

where they will be used for scholarships for employees seeking to further their education.

Karen can be reached at Box 222, Lake Park IA  51347.

 

Arrangements are under the care of the Vander Ploeg Funeral Home – Sheldon.

Online condolences may be made to the Family at  www.vanderploegfunerals.com

 

IN LOVING MEMORY OF

RICHARD F. FINN

 

BORN: April 22,1928 ~ Carroll, Nebraska

PASSED AWAY: January 13, 2023 ~ Sanborn, Iowa

 

FUNERAL SERVICE

11:00 A.M. Thursday, January 19, 2023

St. Cecilia’s Catholic Church; Sanborn, Iowa

Fr. Timothy Hogan ~ Officiating

 

CONGREGATIONAL HYMNS

“Here I Am Lord”

“Amazing Grace”

“Eye Has Not Seen”

Song of Farewell “Irish Blessing”

 “On Eagle’s Wings”

Organist: Margaret Anderson

Cantor: Jon Sterk

 

HONORARY CASKET BEARERS

Michael Finn                                          James Finn

Richard Finn                                           Brian Finn

CASKET BEARERS

Stephen Finn                                          Barry Sterk

Andrew Sterk                                            Jon Sterk

Kelsey Sterk                                                 Andy Le

 

FINAL RESTING PLACE

St. Patrick Catholic Cemetery ~ Sheldon, Iowa

 

Memorial gifts may be sent to Prairie View Campus

(610 Eastern St., Sanborn, IA  51248)

where they will be used for scholarships for

employees seeking to further their education.

Karen can be reached at Box 222, Lake Park IA  51347.

 

Arrangements are under the care of the

Vander Ploeg Funeral Home - Sheldon.

     Richard Francis Finn, 94, died at Prairie View Nursing Home in Sanborn on January 13, 2023. Memorial Mass will be at 11:00 Thursday, January 19, 2023, at St. Cecilia’s (Sanborn) followed by burial at 1:30 in St. Patrick’s Cemetery (Sheldon).

     Richard, the son of Nebraska natives Matthew Finn and Mary Ahern, was born at Carroll, Nebraska, on April 22, 1928. He started his life on his parents’ farm northeast of Carroll. When he was still quite young the family moved to a farm just west of Wayne, Nebraska and it was there that he learned the fine arts of picking corn by hand and milking cows. It was also where his lifelong fondness for horses took hold. 

     He attended Wayne High School, graduating with the class of 1945. After graduation he chanced to meet Edna Jensen, who turned out to be the love of his life. A student at Wayne State College at the time, she and some other coeds were on the way back to their dorm one night when one of the girls turned an ankle and were “rescued” by Richard and his buddies. They went on their first date the next evening and never looked back.

     They were married on May 18, 1949. The wedding took place in Alexandria, Virginia, where Richard was stationed during his first stretch in the Army. After he was switched from active duty to reserve status they returned to Nebraska, living for a time at Norfolk, where their first son was born in 1950.

     Not long after that he was called up for active duty during the early stages of the Korean conflict. The Army first sent him to Fort Lewis, Washington, but after going through combat training there the Army wouldn’t let him leave when the rest of his unit was boarding a ship for the war zone. In an odd twist of fate, the Army decided that he couldn’t leave until they could provide him with the right kind of boots for his B-width feet. While his fellow combat engineers set sail across the Pacific, he stayed at Fort Lewis.

     It wasn’t long before they put him on another ship, however, expecting that he would catch up with his comrades overseas. When he arrived in Japan he found out that his unit had been nearly wiped out when they were sent into combat, so there was no unit there to catch up with. So, instead of having him serve with an engineers’ unit in Korea, the Army made him a clerk and kept him in Japan until he was released to go home.

     When he got back to the States, he and Edna continued to live in Nebraska for a few years and then moved to Wichita, Kansas. He was a journeyman electrician by then, affiliated with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. He was recently honored by the IBEW for being a member for more than 70 years.

     By 1954 he and Edna had three more sons and in 1959, on the advice of their doctor, they moved to Prescott, Arizona, hoping that the climate there would improve the health of one of their sons (the doctor was right). During their stay in Prescott they added another son and a daughter to the family.

     Richard worked for local contractors in Arizona until 1967, when he bought an appliance store in Prescott. At the same time he started his own contracting business. He ran Electric Supply & Contracting until 1973, when he took another doctor’s advice, after nearly getting electrocuted, and retired.

     That opened a new chapter in their life as Richard and Edna decided to return to the Midwest. They bought a 200-acre farm north of Wausa, Nebraska, in the northeast part of the state, where Richard did a bit of farming and enjoyed the time with his family and his horses. He later went back to doing some electrical work and then took a position as a State of Nebraska electrical inspector for a few years.

     When he eventually retired for good, Richard and Edna moved to Texas for a time and then decided to spend their remaining retirement years in Sheldon, Iowa, where they would be close to their daughter. 

     At their new home in Iowa Richard continued to spend time on his horses, but also kept busy working on lawnmowers and small engines. Things slowed down for him after Edna died in 2015. The horses were gone by then, but he kept working at his shop for at least a few hours almost every day. That stopped only when he was hospitalized following a serious fall in 2020. He eventually moved into the Prairie View Nursing Home, where he made new friends and took full advantage of the wonderful care provided by the staff there.

     Richard is survived by his six children, Michael (Ava) of Frisco, Texas; James (Linda) of Onsted, Michigan; Richard (Guadalupe) of Tucson, Arizona; Brian of Williams, Arizona; Karen (Barry Sterk) of Lake Park, Iowa; and Stephen (Susan) of Salt Lake City, Utah. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, one step great-grandchild and one step great, great-grandchild and his sister Betty (Carney-Budler).

     In addition to his wife, he was preceded in death by four brothers, Leo, John, Gene and Dean, daughter-in-law, Catherine Finn, and a sister, Ellen Lantaff. 

 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Richard Francis Finn, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, January 19, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Cecelia's Catholic Church ~ Sanborn

310 E 4th St,, Sanborn, IA 51248

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Funeral Service

Thursday, January 19, 2023

11:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

St. Cecelia's Catholic Church ~ Sanborn

310 E 4th St,, Sanborn, IA 51248

Livestream

Click to watch

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