Clifton D. Finney of Coldwater, passed away Thursday, Oct. 7, after a long illness. A long-time resident of Calloway County, Cliff was actively involved in many charitable and community organizations. Cliff, the eldest of four children, was born on leap year, Feb. 29, 1932 to Mr. Bennie D. Finney and Lovie Kirkland Finney (both deceased). Mr. Finney is survived by two sisters, Clysta Finney Rowland and husband, Gene of Reidland, Lucy Finney Rogers of Mayfield; and brother-in-law, Lee Rogers. He is preceded by his sister, Jean Pat Finney Rogers of Farmington. Mr. Finney is also survived by his wife, Norma Simmons Finney; six children; James B. Finney, Sandra Finney vanGoethem, Sherry Finney Duke, Charlotte Finney Bunkley, Clifton Dale Finney and Malynda Finney; along with 15 grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A 1950 Farmington High School graduate and member of the Farmington Baptist Church, Cliff went on to serve in the Michigan National Guard while working and starting a family in Michigan. Cliff found his life-long career in 1960 when he moved to California and entered the construction industry. He built numerous homes as well as commercial buildings throughout the Southwest and into Mexico before returning to Kentucky in 1968 to establish Finney Construction Company, which he ran successfully for 40 years. In addition to building hundreds of area homes, Cliff's construction career allowed him to work on many area landmarks including the Jackson Purchase Medical Center, The Sirloin Stockade and a McDonald's restaurant. Recently, Cliff completed the construction of a White Haven replica home for Drs. Wade and Bambi Etherton. Cliff also served on the Calloway County Park Board, Board of Directors, and as presiding President of Murray Investors Corporation. In 1974, he was inducted into the honorary order of the Kentucky Colonels. Additionally, in the 1990's, he was honored as a Duke of Paducah. Continuing an association he began in 1964 as a member the Blue Masonic Lodge #659 in La Habra, Calif., Cliff was admitted to the Farmington Masonic Lodge #382 when he returned to Kentucky. Cliff achieved 32nd Degree Scottish Rite - Madisonville, and became a member of the Mayfield Commandry No. 49 on his way to induction into the Mystic Order of the Shrine in 1972. As a Shriner, Cliff rose to Potentate, Rizpah Shrine, Madisonville, Kentucky in 1989. He actively served the Shrine, holding numerous positions including: Past Potentate and Treasurer Emeritus; Past President - Murray Shrine Club; Past President Rizpah Clowns; Chairman - Murray Shrine Club Bingo; member Mayfield Commandry No. 49; Royal Order of the Jesters - Western, Kentucky Court No. 171; charter member - Rizpah Shrine Legion of Honor; Past Worthy Patron of Murray Star Chapter 433, Order of Eastern Star; and Past President - Cabiri Club of Past Potentates.
Actively involved in the charitable work of the Shrine hospitals, Cliff is Member Emeritus of the Board of Governors - Lexington Shrine Hospital as well as Member Emeritus of National Shrine Hospitals - Colorado Corporation. Cliff helped numerous children and their families obtain critical, life-changing and life-saving care through the charitable work of the Shrine burn and orthopedic hospitals.
Mr. Finney's funeral services will be held Monday, Oct. 11, 2010, at 11 a.m. at the J.H. Churchill Funeral Home, 201 South 3rd St., Murray. Viewing will be held from 5-9 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 10, 2010, with special Masonic service held at 7:30 p.m., Sunday evening at the funeral home. Serving as pallbearers will be Mr. Finney's grandsons: Christopher Bunkley, Steven Bunkley, Scott Duke, David Finney, Jason Finney, Eric vanGoethem and Todd vanGoethem. The Rizpah Legion of Honor will serve as honorary pallbearers.
The family suggests expressions of sympathy may be sent to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 1900 Richmond Road, Lexington, Ky. 40502. Online condolences may be made at www.thejhchurchillfuneralhome.com.
Monday, October 11th, 2010, J H Churchill Funeral Home
Murray Memorial Gardens