Saturday, November 18, 2023
12:00 PM EST
St. Matthew Lutheran Church
5125 Cascade Rd SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
1 (616) 942-9091
Visitation from 11 AM until the start of the service
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
St. Matthew Lutheran Church
5125 Cascade Rd SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546
950 Corporate Office Drive Suite 150
Milford, MI 48381
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Fredrick Finn, it is easy to see both his unwavering strength and his unconditional love for his family. He was a shining example of kindness and generosity in ways both great and small. Nothing brought Fred greater joy than spending time with his loved ones, even in the simplest of moments. He was a provider for many and a friend to all that he met. Dearly loved, Fred will be forever missed by those who knew him best.
As the 1940s drew to a close, the United States and the world slowly began to heal from the horrors of WWII. Soldiers returned home, rationing on common goods had become a thing of the past, and families were reunited at last. It was during this time that James Finn, a veteran of WWII himself, and Mary Wainwright Finn of Bay City, Michigan, were eagerly awaiting the birth of their fourth child. Their wait was finally over on February 2, 1949, when they welcomed the son they named Fredrick William into the world.
Growing up, Fred was a typical young man of his generation in many ways. He was raised in the family home alongside his siblings, Sharon, Peg, Jim “Bud”, and Kathleen. Fred was only two years younger than his brother, Bud, and throughout his childhood, the two brothers were inseparable. They shared a love for sports and even played baseball and football on their high school teams together, and they spent a lot of time pheasant and deer hunting along with their father and their dog, Blackie. When the ditches froze over in the winter, the boys would play hockey together.
From a young age Fred excelled in everything he put his mind to, as long as he didn’t have to sit still! He attended a one-room schoolhouse and enjoyed the social aspect of school and sports. During his high school years, Fred played basketball, baseball, and football. He graduated from Akron-Fairgrove High School in 1967, and then went on to attend Eastern Michigan University. Fred worked third shift at a gas station while working towards his undergrad degree. He then earned his Master's and eventually began working at Thermotron in Holland.
New and exciting changes were on the horizon for Fredrick as he met the woman who would soon become the love of his life. Her name was Kristin McCulloch, and the two first met at Z’s Bar in downtown Grand Rapids. Both Fred and Kristin had just completed the 1986 25K Old Kent River Bank Run and were celebrating at the bar when they quickly discovered that they lived near each other. The two began running together and went on their first date to Guthrie’s. The rest is history, as they say, and with a desire to spend the rest of their lives together Fredrick and Kristin were married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Wyoming on September 30, 1989. The newlyweds then enjoyed a honeymoon in the Upper Peninsula before settling down in East Grand Rapids.
All who knew Fred can surely agree that he treasured his family above all else. He and Kristin were overjoyed to welcome their two daughters, Katherine and Holly, into their hearts and home. Fred thrived in his role as a father, and he was always supportive of his daughters and instilled in them a love for sports and a strong work ethic. He never missed a practice, game, party, or school function. Fred loved playing sports with Katherine and Holly, coaching them, and giving them advice. He also remained close to his siblings throughout his life. Over the years his family grew to include many cousins, nieces, and nephews. Fred always considered himself blessed to be surrounded by so many loved ones.
Fred was never afraid to work hard in order to provide for his family. For a time, he worked in the evenings as an instructor at Davenport University while also working as a purchasing agent with Grand Rapids Public Schools. He built his career there on the foundation of his solid work ethic and genuine care for others. After 28 years, Fred retired on January 30 of 2014.
Throughout his entire life, Fred was dedicated to serving others in whatever way he could. He was a regular volunteer for Habitat for Humanity and would help build houses for those in need, sometimes with his daughter, Holly, by his side. The Finn family was active members of the St. Luke Lutheran Church for many years, then at St. Matthew Lutheran Church. Fred’s faith gave him many opportunities to contribute to his community.
Never one to sit still for long, Fred pursued many hobbies to stay busy in his free time. His lifelong passion for running was influential in his life, and it taught him the importance of perseverance and discipline. Fred also played defense in adult league hockey for many years. He loved both participating in and watching sports, and he was an avid fan of the Red Wings and Michigan State University teams. Fred enjoyed reading historical nonfiction, especially books about WWII, and he liked watching Band of Brothers, Saving Private Ryan, and Bosch Investigator. He also loved listening to Jackson Brown, Tom Petty, and all kinds of classic rock. Fred enjoyed grilling, and he was known for his sweet tooth and love for candy. He treasured his dogs, especially Jackson.
Fred was always up for adventure. The Finn family spent time at the family property on Christmas Cove, in Northport, MI, for many years. Fred loved to travel, whether it was road trips across Michigan to visit his family in the thumb area or Kristin’s in Detroit, or to faraway locations like Florida, Alaska, Ireland, England, Scotland, and Wales. He liked staying active by playing golf and in his church’s softball league, and he and Katherine even walked the Appalachian Trail together.
As his family and friends can certainly attest, Fredrick Finn truly understood the secret to a life well lived. He was a constant source of strength, even in the most difficult of times, and he was always willing to go above and beyond to serve his loved ones and those around him. Though he will be deeply missed, Fred leaves behind a priceless legacy that his loved ones will be proud to carry on in his footsteps.
Fredrick (Fred) William Finn passed peacefully in his sleep at Commonwealth Senior Living in Grand Rapids, Michigan on November 9, 2023 and is now with his Lord and Savior. He was born February 02, 1949, in Bay City, to James and Mary Finn. He graduated from Akron-Fairgrove high school where he loved to play football and baseball. He attended Eastern Michigan University, and obtained a master’s degree. Fred worked as director of purchasing for Grand Rapids Public Schools.
Fred married Kristin (McCulloch) Finn at Trinity Lutheran Church on September 30, 1989. He had two daughters: Katherine and Holly Finn of Grand Rapids, Michigan. No one loved being a dad more than Fred. He never missed a sporting event, promotion ceremony, school play, or choir concert for his children.
Fred is survived by three siblings: Margaret (Tom) Heckman of Grand Blanc, Jim (Pat) Finn of Bay City, and Kathleen Doyen of Essexville. In addition to his siblings Fred is survived by Dean Sella. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, coworkers, and friends who will miss him terribly. Fred is preceded in death by his parents, James and Mary Finn, his sister Sharon Sella, and Sharon’s daughter in law, Marnie (Randy) Sella.
Fred loved spending time in nature, listening to music, and mowing the lawn. He enjoyed going to the beach, and perfected the art of jumping into cold water. He played hockey in recreation leagues most of his adult life. He loved the Red Wings, Michigan State, and the Detroit Tigers. Fred was an avid runner. He finished the Boston Marathon, several other marathons, and countless River Bank Runs. He read many books, and could’ve won Jeopardy many times over. Fred was an active church member for many years. He served as a lector, an usher, an Deacon, and mowed the church lawn. He volunteered for Habitat for Humanity, and played for the church softball league.
Fred’s visitation will be Friday, November 17, 2023 from 6 to 8pm. On Saturday, November 18, there will be a visitation at 11am. Fred’s celebration of life will begin at noon with a luncheon to follow. All services will be held at Saint Matthew’s Lutheran Church, 5125 Cascade Road SE, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546.