Deacon John F. “Jack” Finney
December 24, 1936 – November 8, 2020
John Francis “Jack” Finney was born on December 24, 1936 on a farm in York County, Nebraska to John E. and Helen Murrell Finney. The family had moved around quite often (Nebraska, Iowa, and even Texas) as farming was not a very successful occupation for his father in those depression years. When WWII began, they moved to Omaha where his dad went to welding school.
In the spring of 1944, his mother, Helen died during childbirth, and so did the baby. When this happened, Jack and his younger brother, Dick went back to York, NE to a Catholic Boarding School (a few students and many nuns) and remained there for 2 years until their father remarried Blanche and they could be a family again, adding also a fun stepbrother, Leon. In 1950 the Finney family who had now grown to 7 and included two little sisters, Kathleen and Phyllis, moved to an acreage near Irvington, NE. Jack began school there as a 7th grader – and met his “bride”, another Phyllis (Peterson), at their school. Seven years later they were married at St. Bernard’s Church
Jack and Phyllis had three children, Diane, Mike, and Sue, and they decided moving to a farm would be a good idea. Then the kids could have horses, Jack could raise pigs, they could have a garden, and Jack could continue to work at OPPD. So, in 1969 that dream came true. Jack worked at OPPD for almost 40 years, initially climbing power poles, installing and repairing, and completing his years there in management, lastly as Center Manager in Papillion, responsible for men and women who were keeping the electricity flowing in SW Douglas and Sarpy Counties.
Faith and Church were always important in Jack and Phyllis’ life. As newlywed’s, they were parishioners at Holy Name until they bought their little home in Keystone which was in St. Bernard’s Parish. Soon they became founding members at St. James as that new parish was formed. All 3 children attended their Elementary school years at St. James. Jack was on the Parish Council there and on the Building Committee as St. Elizabeth Ann was being planned and built.
In 1980 Jack and Phyllis began the Deacon Program Formation which was a 3 year program, and, he was ordained as a Permanent Deacon at SEA on October 30, 1983 before SEA Church was completed and while Mass was being held at Sunny Slope School. He was the first Permanent Deacon at SEA so there were no role models to follow. There were many new opportunities to become involved with – Baptism Classes with Baptisms following. facilitating RCIA classes yearly and volunteering as a Chaplain at the Douglas County Jail for over 10 years. Doing those ministries, plus working fulltime at OPPD, and raising pigs on the farm kept Jack quite busy. He did always find time to watch his children and grandchildren participate in lots of different sports, even helping coach some of their teams. It wasn’t until he retired in 1995 that he took up golf. Jack and Phyllis spent the cold winter months in South Texas.
Jack is also survived by 7 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren that he was very fond of.
Survived by wife, Phyllis D.; children: Diane Kueny (Mark), Mike Finney (Patti) and Sue Taylor (Joe); 7 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; and siblings: Dick Finney (Opal), Leon Finney (Connie), Kathleen Leith and Phyllis Sobczyk (Terry).
VISITATION following CDC guidelines: Thursday, November 12th from 5pm to 7pm, at the West Center Chapel followed by VIGIL SERVICE at 7pm. MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL: Friday, November 13th at 11am, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church (5419 N. 114th St.) In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to St. Vincent de Paul Society at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church.
To view a live broadcast of the Vigil and Mass, go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Service” button on the homepage.