Life Story / Obituary
Patricia “Patty” Marie Finney was a caring and creative woman who had an honest and poetic outlook on life. She took an interest in people and spent time getting to know them deeply. She loved her family and invested in their happiness. With her constant smile and joyful personality, Patty made life sweet for those around her.
Patricia was born in Park Rapids, Minnesota at the beginning of the turbulent 1960s. The decade was marked by protests over the Vietnam War and by civil rights marches for equal treatment under the law for all Americans. The iconic yellow smiley face was gaining popularity, and indeed Harland (Jack) Hall Finney and Sandra Nagle were happy to welcome little Patty into their lives on September 10, 1962. She and her sisters Janell, Debby and Lila grew up in Walker, where their father supported the family as a butcher.
When Patricia was 17 years old, she met the man who would become her life’s partner. The year was 1979 and the place was University of Minnesota Hospital, where the two of them happened to be patients. Patrick Dwyer and Patricia Finney struck up a friendship that was complicated by the distance between their hometowns. Pat was from Michigan and Patty from Minnesota, but they managed to visit each other often. He came to her graduation from Walter Hackensack High School in 1982, and in 1990, she moved to Livonia, Michigan. Patty lived in the Franklin Square Apartments and worked in various food service jobs from then on. In 1992, they bought a house in Redford and made it their lifetime home. Once Pat and Patty were together, they stayed together in the bond of love.
The couple made a life for themselves that included many gatherings with the Dwyers. Together they created family traditions such as going to downtown Detroit the day after Thanksgiving to watch nieces and nephews ice skate and then try out a new restaurant (crab legs being Patty’s favorite dish); cutting down a Christmas tree and having a big family dinner; or opening up Christmas gifts to find Aunt Patty’s knitted pot scrubbers. In addition to the scrubbers, everyone was glad to receive blankets that she made for the kids. Knitting and needlework were not only pastimes that Patty enjoyed, they were also convenient. She could stitch while watching her “soaps” that she taped during the week and then watched for hours all weekend. She also liked movies (The Lady in Red was top on her list), but not sports...never. If Pat had control of the TV remote, Patty left the room because she knew what was sure to come. Patricia’s character showed in her fondness for cats. She was loving and caring, and over the years, she and Pat spent countless hours playing with a succession of pets: Midnight, Tiger (her favorite), Sparky and Lucky.
Patty was very inventive. She told jokes and made up her own. She researched recipes and tried them out. Above all, she wrote poetry and was good at it. She penned hundreds of poems and won several awards for her work. Interestingly, Patty Finney was a fan and pen pal of English poet Patricia Finney (yes, the very same name). How inspiring that must have been! Still, Patty received regular encouragement from fellow members of the Poets Society and became published on several occasions. For special events, Patty wrote poems for her nieces and nephews that promise to become family treasures.
The truth is, Patty herself was a treasure. She paid attention to people and zeroed in on their lives, preferring one-on-one conversations to larger group discussions. She cherished time with her nieces and nephews, as well as the neighborhood children, and had a way of making each one feel special. She will be sorely missed and fondly remembered by her family and friends.
Patricia (Patty) Marie Finney of Redford, Michigan, passed away Monday, July 14, 2014. She was preceded in death by her grandparents, Ewald and Carrie Nagel, Reginald Finney, William and Sarah McLean; father, Harland (Jack) Hall Finney.
Survived by mother and step-father, Sandra and Ernie Richardson; step-mother, Pat Finney; sisters, Janell and Brad Koering, Debby and Brent Yates and Lila and Derek Rutten; aunt to Stanley, Linnaea and Grant Lindahl, John, Victoria, and Alexis Yates, Julian and Chole Rutten.Loving Life-long partner and best friend to Patrick Dwyer.
Cherished member of the Dwyer family, “mom and dad” Bob and Noreen, “sister in law” to Mike and Mary, Jim and Mary, Dan and Shon, Brian and Marianne; “aunt Patty” to Brady, Megan, Sarah, Emma, Gordy, Brendan, Dylan and Colleen.
A memorial service celebrating Patty’s life will be held on Saturday, July 19 at 4PM in Neely-Turowski Life Story Funeral Home, 30200 Five Mile Rd, where family will receive friends from 1pm until service begins.
Please visit www.TurowskiLifeStory.com where you may sign the guestbook, share a memory, or upload a photo.