Kenneth “Ken” Finley, died at the Westview Nursing Home in Bedford, Indiana, on Monday, May 8, 2023. He was 93 yrs old.
Ken was born on September 28, 1929, in Needmore, Indiana, to Paul and Esther Finley. The family moved to Clear Creek, Indiana, in 1931. He attended Clear Creek Elementary and Bloomington High School graduating in 1947.
Ken, an outstanding athlete, was a state champion wrestler. He received a scholarship to wrestle at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. During his time there, he was undefeated for three seasons until the final match of his senior year. Washington and Lee was one of the top programs in the 1940’s.
He joined the Marines during the Korean War and was immediately placed on the Marine wrestling team in San Diego. Ken helped coach the team and won the All Marine Tourney. He competed in the qualifying tournaments leading up to the 1952 Olympic Games. Ken earned a spot in the final Olympic trials held in Ames, Iowa. The winner of Ken’s weight class (160 lbs), won the Gold Medal in Helsinki, Finland in 1952.
After Kenny was discharged, he returned home, married, and started working as a car and truck salesman for McIntyre Chevrolet, now Royal Chevrolet. He was the Indiana Truck salesman of the year during this time. He was on the North Lawrence Water Board for 20 yrs.
He was a great personality and was known for his great sense of humor and he wrote many poems and published some too. He was the part owner of the Midwest Art Gallery in Bloomington for awhile. He partnered with his brother Jack in that venture and he became friends with many artists throughout the Midwest. He was a character who never met a stranger and was generous with everyone. He lived a full life and was always welcoming to all.
Kenny was preceded in death by his parents, Paul and Esther Finley; his daughters, Rita and Angel; sons, Michael and Timothy; his grandson Toby; and brother, Jack D. Finley. He is survived by one son, Jeff Finley; granddaughter, Tiffany Gragg; and grandsons, Jason Finley and Josh Finley. He is also survived by sisters, Joanne May and Jane Chafin; and brothers, William and George Finley all of Bloomington. He attended Burgoon Baptist Church.
A celebration of life will be held on Thursday, May 18, 2023 from 12:00 P.M. until 1:00 P.M. at The Funeral Chapel of Powell and Deckard. A service will begin at 1:00 P.M. Burial will follow at 2:15 P.M. at Clear Creek Cemetery.