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118 South 2nd Street
Phone: 262-728-2500
Fax: 262-728-2626
Robert Finley

Robert Francis Finley

Monday, June 3rd, 1929 - Thursday, July 30th, 2020
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Delavan Memorial Arboretum
    440 North Terrace Street
    DELAVAN, WI 53115
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
Robert “Bob” Finley was born June 3, 1929 the only child of Lloyd and Georgianna (Milbrath) Finley of Delavan, Wi. He was raised in the Great Depression which shaped and formed many of his life long habits. Bob was good with his hands and a “do it your selfer.” In his early teen years he bartered a black powder shotgun for a Model T Ford, rebuilt it and drove it around Delavan so often that the Police Chief issued him a driving license because he was tired of turning a blind eye. During high school, one of Bob’s former girlfriends remembered that his idea of a date was taking his girl in his Model T out to a farm to shoot gophers from the car. This lifelong interest in cars led him to work at the local Chevrolet dealership sweeping floors and eventually repairing cars. Bob was a Chevrolet and Cadillac master mechanic and was trained in Detroit by General Motors. One of his other jobs at the dealership was driving tow trucks. He had many wild stories of pulling cars out of ditches on snowy nights. Bob graduated from Delavan High School in 1947 and within a couple of years was drafted into the army. His experience with automobiles resulted in being assigned to the motor pool at Fort Benning, Georgia. On weekend furlough he met 17 year old Joan Philpott from nearby Roanoke, Alabama while on a blind date with some friends. They were married in 1952 and after Bob’s military discharge, moved back to Delavan where he resumed his work at the Chevrolet dealership. Bob and Joan purchased a home in the Delavan Inlet in 1954 and this became their life long home. In 1964 Bob went to work for Sta-Rite Industries in Delavan as a maintenance electrician designing and building test stands and doing general repairs and electrical work. He retired from Sta-Rite in 1991. Bob was a deacon and on the building committee of the East Delavan Baptist Church and later served as a deacon at Calvary Community Church in Williams Bay. He was currently a member of the Briggs Road Evangelical Free Church in Elkhorn. He had an abiding love and trust in the Lord and served him through the use of his talents as a mechanic and electrician in Church projects and at the Christian League for the Handicapped in Walworth, WI. In retirement, Bob discovered trailer camping and spent his summers and falls drifting around Wisconsin with Joan and a small circle of friends camping. One of his favorite activities was riding his bicycle down the campground bike trails. Bob remained active until his 90th year shoveling snow from his walkways, mowing the lawn and working on his cars. His mind was sharp until the end and he was able to remember his high school classmates by name and how much he paid for every car he had ever owned. He was still giving financial advice to his grandkids a week before his death. In March of 2020 Bob and Joan moved to Golden Years of Walworth where Joan resides today. Bob was preceded in death by his loving parents, Lloyd and Georianna Finley. He is survived by his wife, Joan (Philpott), two sons Patrick (Anita) Finley of Burlington, WI, Michael (Valentina de Navasques) of Milwaukee, WI, and three grandchildren Sean Finley of Burlington, WI, Benjamin Finley of Helsinki Finland, and Reid Finley of Milwaukee, Wi. Bob will be fondly remembered for the stories that he told and the life he led. Betzer Funeral Home is serving the Finley Family.


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John Stafford

Posted at 08:32pm
Bob was a great guy! I remember him as our main electrician at StaRite in my early years.

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