David E. Finley U.S. Veteran

July 23, 1935 - July 13, 2012

David E. Finley, Ph.D., age 76, of Jefferson City, Missouri, died July 13, 2012, at Heisinger Bluffs Care Center. Dr. Finley was born July 23, 1935, in Springfield, Illinois, the son of Ottis Earl and Minnie Lucille Lambert Finley. He was married May 28, 1960, in Chatham, Illinois, to Julia R. Sexton, who preceded him in death on August 15, 2010. Dr. Finley graduated from Lanphier High School, Springfield, Illinois, in 1954. He continued his education at the Institute of Business Techniques before transferring to Western Illinois University in Macomb, Illinois. There he earned a B.S. in secondary business education (1962), and an M.S. in biology (1964). In 1967, he then earned a Ph.D. in botany from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 1954 to 1957, he proudly served in the United States Air Force where he attended the Air University, served as a medical services specialist and was awarded the Soldiers Medal for heroism. He was a member of the American Legion, Roscoe Enloe Post 5. Dr. Finley took a position at Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Missouri in 1967, where he served as professor of biology for 33 years. In 1986, he became head of the Department of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, serving until 2000, when he retired from Lincoln University as Professor Emeritus in biology. Dr. Finley was a member of the Association of College and University Biology Educators, where he served a number of years on the steering committee, as a member of the editorial board of Bioscene, as well as president and past-president. He held memberships in Sigma Xi, Beta Beta Beta, Kappa Delta Pi, Chi Gamma Iota, and Pi Omega Pi honor societies. During his leisure time, he liked to bowl and do light woodworking. He enjoyed making toys for his grandchildren, friends, and donations to Toys for Tots, the Rape and Abuse Crisis Center and the Samaritan Center. He is survived by two daughters and their families: Dava-Leigh Brush, husband Steven and son Benjamin Wilson, of Arnold; and Kelli Reed, husband Aaron and children Neil and Eve, of Jefferson City. Other survivors include many nieces, nephews and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; one sister, Donna Jean Finley; and two brothers, Albert Keith "Bubby" Finley and Otis Earl Finley. Visitation will be held at Freeman Mortuary from 3:00 until 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, 2012. Funeral services will be conducted at 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, July 18, 2012, in the Freeman Chapel with Reverend Brian Kirk officiating and military honors will follow his service. Private graveside services and entombment will be held in the Mausoleum of Riverview Cemetery at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Capital Region Medical Center Cardiac Rehabilitation Department, or the Herman T. Miller Scholarship Foundation in care of Lincoln University. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary.

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Freeman Mortuary
  • 915 Madison Street Jefferson City, Mo 65101
  • 573-636-5533
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