Obituary for Eugene Finger

Eugene (Gene) Donald Finger, age 87 of Northfield, passed away peacefully on Thursday afternoon, March 29, 2018, at the Northfield Hospital Long Term Care Center. He was in the company of his significant other, Chris Ellison and his five children and family members. An avid reader, fisherman and community volunteer, Gene was born May 28, 1930, in Bridgewater Township, Minnesota, to Donald and Laura (Hamann) Finger. He was raised on the family farm in the Little Prairie community of Bridgewater Township, attended Little Prairie School and graduated Northfield High School in 1948. Following high school he attended the University of […]

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Eugene (Gene) Donald Finger, age 87 of Northfield, passed away peacefully on Thursday afternoon, March 29, 2018, at the Northfield Hospital Long Term Care Center. He was in the company of his significant other, Chris Ellison and his five children and family members.

An avid reader, fisherman and community volunteer, Gene was born May 28, 1930, in Bridgewater Township, Minnesota, to Donald and Laura (Hamann) Finger. He was raised on the family farm in the Little Prairie community of Bridgewater Township, attended Little Prairie School and graduated Northfield High School in 1948. Following high school he attended the University of Minnesota Agriculture School in St. Paul for two years then lived in Sweden for a year as an exchange student. Upon his return to Dundas, he joined his father and brother Jon as a farmer. In 1953, Gene married Marlene Eul in Faribault. They began their life together on the family farm in Bridgewater Township and while working at Brockway Glass in the 1970s, he and Marlene established and operated Finger Drapery and Upholstery in Dundas.

Volunteering and community service were two strong passions of Gene’s. He was a member of Sertoma for more than 45 years, holding local and regional offices of the organization. Following the death of his business partner and fellow Sertoma member Johnny Johnson in 1980, Gene set out to walk from Northfield to Fargo, North Dakota at the age of 50, in memory of Johnny. He covered the 277 mile trek in 12 days and raised more than $20,000 that he donated to the Sertoma Annual Fund. As a passionate member of Sertoma, he campaigned and was elected as the International Director of the Great Plains Region in 1986-1987. He is most remembered for his annual involvement with the annual Defeat of Jesse James Days celebration committees, selling buttons on Bridge Square and winning the Joseph Lee Heywood award in 2005.

Gene and Marlene moved from Dundas to Northfield in 1989 and divorced in 1995. Gene began dating Chris Ellison and they have spent the past 23 years together. Following his retirement, Gene worked for Care Tenders, Epic Enterprise and 50 North. Gene was once a member of 4-H and served as an adult a 4-H leader. He was a volunteer at the Northfield Historical Society, a board member of 50 North and an active volunteer at the Northfield Senior Center.

He enjoyed traveling, helping people and had a special interest in NASCAR racing since his grandson is a driver in the local NASCAR circuit. He had a passion for making a difference and always worked to change things for the better. Gene was soft-spoken, giving, outgoing, a friend to all and he will be greatly missed.

In addition to his significant other Chris, Gene is survived by his five children: Debby Larsen of Northfield, Dawn (Gary) Reuvers of Dundas, David (Le Ann) of Phoenix, Dale (Krin) of Northfield, Denise (Kelly) Wefel of Dundas; 9 grandchildren, Trina (Dan) Volbrecht, Salyna (Jim) Herberg, Matthew (Megan) Larsen, Donny (Melissa) Reuvers, Ashley (Norbert) Michel, Kelsey Finger, Brooke Finger (Kurtis Carey), Blake (Hailey) Finger, Ethan Finger; 10 great-grandchildren, Tyler, Ryan, Noah, Addison, Alison, Cameron, Jackson, Brandon, Kayla and Landon. Gene is also survived by his brother, Jon (Phyllis) Finger of Northfield and his sister, Emily (Quinten) Burt of Pepin, Wisconsin in addition to nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends. He was preceded in death by his infant daughter Diane and his parents.

A gathering to celebrate Gene’s life will be held from 1:00-4:00 PM, Saturday, April 7, 2018, at the Reuvers’ Farm, 1524 – 120th Street East, Dundas. All are welcome. In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to Camp Sertoma, 1620 Mary Fawcett Memorial Dr, Brainerd, Minnesota 56401 or 50 North, 1651 Jefferson Parkway, Northfield.

Arrangements are with the Benson & Langehough Funeral Home. www.northfieldfuneral.com

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Visitation

April 7, 2018 - 1:00 PM - 4:00P.M.

Reuvers' Farm - Dundas
, Get Directions

6 Comments

  1. Gretchen (Haines) and Ron Tupa

    Gene was a great cousin. He will be greatly missed. He was a fair and honest man and loved his family.

    Reply
  2. Jenni Bailey

    “Lemonade Man” He helped make great Camp Sertoma memories for MANY Deaf and Hard of Hearing children. One of my forever favorite memories will be Gene driving around the lodge during Camp Sertoma with a power chair dress as royalty with the bright pink cloak and crown and a HUGE smile. He is a person that it can be said, “the world was a better place because he was here.” He will be missed but never forgotten. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.

    Reply
  3. Barbara Haak

    So very sorry to hear about Gene. What a great guy. I hadn’t lived in Northfield that long when Christine Hamblin and I joined Sertoma. Another great loss to Northfield and the old days of fun and envolvement. He truly was a hometown Icon for all. Take care Finger family.

    Reply
  4. Dena Eggum

    He will always be in my thought at Jesse James days and at the Quarterback club! What a great guy he will be missed!

    Reply
  5. Lorraine

    Gene was my oldest cousin.. He was a great guy, family man and all around really good guy. We were on a trip to CA so could not come up for his memorial celebration. His family will truly miss him.
    Sincerely, Paul and Lorraine Hamann Chandler

    Reply
  6. Bonnie and Larry Fowler

    Kris, Bonnie and I are so sorry for your loss. Gene was a very giving man. This will be a great loss for the community. Larry and Bonnie Fowler

    Reply

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