It is with great sorrow that his family announces the passing of brother, husband, father, and dear friend, Frank Herschel Finch, Jr., the evening of July 23, 2022, at UConn John Dempsey Hospital, Farmington, Connecticut, from complications of Parkinson’s disease, after a fall and brief illness.
Mr. Finch was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1933. His family soon moved to Urbana, Illinois when his father obtained a teaching job at the University of Illinois (where the elder Mr. Finch would go on to become the longtime Dean of the Graduate School of Education). Frank H. Finch, Jr. received his high-school education at University Laboratory High School (affectionately known as Uni High) in Urbana, Illinois which he attended with his younger brother John. Mr. Finch participated in high school theater and played varsity basketball (in his senior year, 1948-49, the team went 4-17). At the age of 16, Mr. Finch then attended Harvard College, obtaining a B.A. degree, cum laude, in 1953. He married and spent the next three years of active duty as a Naval Air Intelligence Officer, stationed primarily in and around the Pacific Ocean. After Naval service, Mr. Finch attended Harvard Law School earning his law degree in 1959. He was admitted to practice before the state courts of Connecticut in August of 1959 and joined the law firm of Howd & Lavieri, LLP in Winsted, Connecticut that same year. Highlights of his legal career include admission to practice before the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut and before the United States Supreme Court. He served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Connecticut state courts on a part time basis from 1961 until 1978. Mr. Finch was also a member of the American Bar Association and represented Connecticut in its House of Delegates for many years. Starting in 1959, Mr. Finch was very active in the Connecticut Bar Association, serving as its President from 1998 to 1999. Mr. Finch also served as President of the Litchfield County Bar Association and was a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation. In his Winsted-based practice at Howd, Lavieri and Finch, LLP, Mr. Finch represented a wide variety of clients with a special interest in corporate and business law. He was a Connecticut Trial Referee and starting in 1987, Mr. Finch served as Chairman of the Litchfield County Standing Committee on Recommendation for Admission to the Bar. In 2000, Mr. Finch was appointed to the Chief Justice’s Civil Commission, and in 2001 to the Federal Court Grievance Committee. Mr. Finch’s active tenure at Howd, Lavieri and Finch, LLP spanned 7 decades.
Mr. Finch also held a variety of leadership positions in service to the Northwest Connecticut community, as a director, officer, or trustee of numerous charitable and business organizations. For example, he was a director of the Northwest Connecticut Economic Development Corporation, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Northwest YMCA, Vice Chairman of the Regional Advisory Council of Northwest Connecticut Community College, Chairman of the Board of Winsted Memorial Hospital, and Vice Chairman of the Litchfield County University Club. For more than 50 years, Mr. Finch was an active member of the Rotary Club of the Torrington and Winsted Areas (he was delighted when his mother, then in her eighties, and his adult son, could both participate, as judges, of the annual Rotary Pet Parade). Often recognized for his contributions to the community, Mr. Finch was named Chamber Person of the Year on two separate occasions, and he was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Club.
Together with Louise Osborne, his loving wife of almost 40 years, Mr. Finch traveled the world, visiting Europe countless times, Africa, Egypt, South America, and the Caribbean islands. Frank and Louise hosted many political and charitable fundraisers at their beautiful Simsbury home, Finborne. Invites to their legendary Christmas parties were one of the most sought-after invitations of the year. As they grew older, their home at Finborne became their sanctuary.
In addition to his legal partners, employees, clients, and many friends (especially those with whom he shared many escapades and adventures, including Eddie Garcia and Elaine Galloway, Bill Harding, and the late George Demars), Mr. Finch will be missed by the surviving members of the Gin and Chowder Club (Mr. Finch was a regular guest of the Club for over 50 years), fans of his puns (a loyal and highly-tolerant group), as well as those who knew him from his vacation home in Freeport, Grand Bahamas.
Mr. Finch is survived by his devoted wife, Louise Osborne, his brother, John Finch of Sarasota, Florida, two children, Frank H. Finch III (known as Randy), and daughter Lani Finch, loving step-children Susan Osborne, Tim Reed, and Joseph and Shelley Osborne, step-grandson RJ Osborne, and his wife Katie, and two great-grandsons, Cannon and Oakley. Mr. Finch was predeceased by his step-granddaughter, Nichole Osborne.
In keeping with the Rotary motto, service above self, Mr. Finch has graciously donated his remains to the Yale Medical School “Body Donation Program.”
In the coming weeks, there will be a memorial celebration of his glorious life for family and friends. The family recommends memorial contributions be made in Mr. Finch’s memory, either to the Torrington-Winsted Rotary Fund at Northwest Community Foundation, P. O. Box 1144, Torrington, CT 06790, or to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, PO Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 21741-5014.
Condolences may be sent to Mr. Finch’s family by visiting www.cookfuneralhomect.com
Torrington-Winsted Rotary Fund at Northwest Community Foundation
P. O. Box 1144, Torrington CT 06790
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research - Donation Processing
P. O. Box 5014, Hagerstown MD 21741-5014