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Obituary: Finch, Wm. Howard, Jr.

FINCH, Jr. Wm. Howard Howard Finch, Jr. (81), a respected member of the Pullman community, while surrounded by family, died Feb. 7 due to complications of lymphoma. Howard was born Jan. 11, 1933 in Belle Fourche, SD to Wm. Howard Sr. and Teresa Finch, later moving to Ione, WA where the family worked at a logging camp. Their final move, with just $32 to their name was to Pullman in 1941, where they established Finch’s Grocery, giving Howard a job in high school and college as a meat cutter. Howard graduated from Pullman High School where he met his childhood sweetheart, Lola Story Finch, later marrying their junior year at college at Washington State College. Following their graduation from WSC in 1955, as an ROTC cadet, Howard served two years in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged as a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Returning to Pullman he worked at Finch’s Grocery, First National Bank of Pullman, which later became Old National Bank, the WSU Housing Dept. and ultimately retired as owner/broker of Wheatland Realty, Pullman. Howard was a loyal Coug fan, often found passionately yelling at the refs. He enjoyed discussing politics and current issues, and was known to occasionally voice an extreme position, one he didn’t hold, just to provoke a good argument. He was a great believer in community service and participation. He was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity, serving many years as its financial advisor. He was active in the Lions’ Club, Rotary, the Pullman Chamber of Commerce, member and president of the Community Action Board, member and president of the Washington-Idaho Symphony Association and instrumental in organizing Pullman’s first-ever Fourth of July celebration. Survivors include the love of his life and wife of fifty-nine years, Lola Story Finch; one daughter Jackie Finch and her husband Jim Jepsen of Oak Park, IL and their children Kristin and Curtis; two sons: Rick Finch and his wife Kris of Pullman and their children, Cody, Mickey, Katie and Colin; and Rob Finch also of Pullman and his children, Kyle and Jayneanne. While he may never have admitted it, he loved the grandchildren dropping in at all hours of the day. He and Lola enjoyed a very special relationship with each grandchild. In addition, he is survived by two brothers: Ben Finch, Palouse and Jerry Finch, Pullman and was preceded in death by his parents, one brother and a sister. At his request, Howard was cremated. A celebration of Howard’s life will be held this spring, in a season that is associated with the renewal of life. Howard loved the Palouse and the family farm, and looked forward every year to the end of winter, bringing calving season and the greening of fields. A gift/contribution may be made in the name of Howard and Lola Finch to Pullman Regional Hospital for the purpose of enhancing oncology services for the community.