Saturday, December 18, 2010

5 thoughts on G. Willard Finney, 1918-1988

The brothers Finney, George Willard to the right and Claire to the left, circa the 1980s.
5. Twenty-two years ago today my dad, G. Willard Finney, died. He was born a few days after World War I ended, survived the Great Depression on an Iowa farm and loaded ships as a seaman in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

4. He sold hardware and other goods. He stood behind every product with nothing more than his name and a handshake.

3. He was the father of four boys the old fashioned way and a daughter and another son through adoption. He loved his children without hesitation, encouraged them to be individuals with only one stipulation: Be the best you can at whatever you choose.

2. He enjoyed growing copious amounts of tomatoes and cucumbers in his garden, eating Breyers ice cream from the carton with table spoons and Hawkeye football games.

1. A fisherman and hunter, he did his best to understand his last son, a homebody without athletic skill who preferred cartoons and comic books to Boy Scouts and 10-point bucks. He once attended a "Doctor Who" convention at Iowa Public Television and, by all accounts, enjoyed himself. I miss him everyday.


  1. A great tribute to a great father. I miss my Dad every day, too.

  2. Dan, thanks for sharing this about your dad.

    On this day, twenty-four years ago, my mom died. She was 31. She had four girls and I was second-oldest. I miss her, too.

    From this year on, I'll remember that you are probably just as sad as I am whenever December 18th rolls around. Not drowning in grief, just reflective of times gone by.

    Best wishes, friend.