OBITUARY

Lynda Sue Finch

January 5, 1947December 24, 2020
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Lynda Sue Finch “Wife, mother, grandma, great grandma, soccer mom, motocross mom, pretty much the best”

Lynda Sue Finch was born on January 5th, 1947 in Kansas City Missouri. She spent many of her younger years growing up in Lexington Kentucky. In middle school she moved with her family to Delano California. Lynda became a world traveler early on as she spent the summer of 65 as an exchange student with families of Norwegian Rotarians. The trip took her by plane to New York and then by boat, on the Italian Liner S.S. Castel Selice, across the Atlantic to London, England and Hamburg, Germany. Lynda was an exceptionally cute girl and was known for her legs. In a Delano Highschool Paper article, dated December 20, 1963 and titled “Campus Query Reveals Qualities Students Look For in “Perfect” Boy or Girl”, one boy stated his perfect girl would have “legs like Lynda Witherspoon.”

In high school Lynda was the head Cheerleader for the Delano Tigers. This allowed her to attend many high school games. In 1965 a North High School Star point guard Tom Finch was pushed into the Delano Tiger Cheerleader seats. That is where Tom and Lynda first set eyes on each other and to this day legend has it “the candle was lit.”

It would be another year before Tom and Lynda would formally meet in a class at Bakersfield College. And well, the rest is history.

Tom and Lynda Finch would be married in Las Vegas Nevada on July 5th, 1966. Although they would live in other places from time to time they would always come back to their hometown in Bakersfield, California. Their first child Jeff Finch was born on February 3rd, 1967. Followed by their second son Mike Finch on November 22nd, 1968 and their third son Brad Finch on April 28th, 1973.

Lynda was passionate about her family. She dedicated her entire life to her husband Tom and raising their three boys. She was a cub scout den mother. On July 28th, 1977 an article in “The Rustler”, a King City newspaper, described a young boy who saved his younger sister from burning by rolling her on the ground. When asked how he knew to do that the boy stated, “he had been taught this in Boy Scouts by Mrs. Tom Finch, his Scout Leader.”

Lynda and Tom enjoyed coaching their boys in AYSO soccer. With some seasons coaching up to three different age groups. The weekdays were filled with soccer practice and weekends with soccer tournaments. Lynda always made orange slices for halftime break and spectacular team banners. Lynda enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the soccer lifestyle. In 1980 Lynda moved with her family to Yuba City California. The soccer lifestyle continued but also found the introduction of motocross to the Finch family. Lynda loved the active motocross lifestyle and cherished every moment with her family. In addition, Lynda traveled extensively and loved the RV lifestyle. Lynda could be found at various California motocross tracks enjoying race day activities and bon fire nights with her family. Life was not always perfect for Lynda, in 1982 her and Tom lost their youngest son Brad in an unfortunate ATV accident. This was obviously hard for Lynda.

In true Lynda fashion she persevered and focused more on her family determined not to let this event define her life. In 1984 Lynda retuned to Bakersfield with her family and reoccupied their longstanding family home. Lynda continued to support both boys in their sports and motocross through high school and beyond. She also worked in the Bakersfield College Admissions office for several years.

In 1990 Lynda became a grandmother to Justin Finch. Again in 1991 and 1997 two more grandchildren, Jordan and Julianne Finch, entered her life. Lynda enjoyed every moment she got with her grandchildren. She was always ready to babysit, shuttle them to and from school, attend a sporting event or birthday, or continue her love of traveling with family. And she did!

Lynda also took time with her husband Tom to travel extensively. Often popping back to Vegas to renew their wedding vows. Being retired at 50 allowed them to enjoy a lifestyle unlike any other. They traveled all over the United States.

During this period Lynda became fascinated and ultimately passionate about genealogy. Over the next couple of decades Lynda immersed herself in genealogy. Over time she would author, in coordination with others, several books such as “My Ozark Family”, “Our Missouri Family”, Kern County California “Mexican Settlement” Series Volumes I through VI and Civil War Veterans “The Last Call” and “Keep Green the Memory”, just to name a few.

Lynda and Tom would travel to missions, churches and cemeteries throughout the US enjoying the sights, but more importantly, pouring through birth certificates, census data, and any other sources of information that might tell the story of a particular individual or group. Lynda worked tirelessly supporting and educating researchers, scholars, institutions, organizations, and families in their quest to “dig up the past.”

Lynda was a Board member of the Kern County Genealogical Society and held the position of Vice President for six years. She is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War Ida Saxton McKinley Tent 93 in Bakersfield. Lynda was a driving force in identifying and marking the graves of Civil War soldiers buried in Kern County and at the Historic Union Cemetery. Based on this effort, and the two Civil War Veterans books, Lynda was awarded the Dr. Mary Edwards Walker medal by the Sons of Union Veterans in “recognition of outstanding, sustained and conspicuous service” to that organization for leadership in the restoration and protection of the graves and historic cannon monument.

Lynda could be found at the Beale Library in the morning giving presentations on Buffalo Soldiers during African American History Month or providing information to a doctorate student working on their thesis. Lynda had become a subject matter expert in her field. After the Golden State Killer was identified through ancestry DNA Lynda was contacted by the local news to give her opinion on the technology. To her every person who has ever lived had a story to tell. And if the information was out there, she wanted to find it and tell it.

In 2019 and 2020 two great grandchildren, Talia and Jace Finch, entered her life. This was another wonderful moment in Lynda’s life, she loved family. Although passionate about genealogy family was always Lynda’s first passion.

For those who knew Lynda we hope this paragraph will help fill in the blanks because it’s too difficult to capture her entire life in a few paragraphs. Lynda was a dedicated positive contributor to life. Lynda often took to arts and crafts to show her appreciation and love to family and friends. Her most recent creation were face masks for 2020. When you went to a holiday party it was always the little things that made each event that much more special. The Department 56 village lit up on her mantel, the sleigh bells hanging from the door, nativity scene on top of a stand, tablecloth with singing angels, mistletoe doylies on each arm rest, Christmas tree beaming with color, that perfect gift for each person and the dinner recipe neatly printed out by the oven. This was Lynda. She did this in everything she did, even slicing up the oranges as a half time snack for the soccer team.

Lynda passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in her home Christmas Eve night. Lynda and Tom were married for fifty-four wonderful years. In her last week Lynda was having the time of her life. She had prepared the house for a wonderful Christmas Holiday party. During this week several family members stopped by to check in and see when the festivities would begin. This included both her sons and spouses, grandsons and spouses, granddaughter, great grandson and great granddaughter. Before she went to bed Christmas Eve night she had prepared as much food as possible and printed a recipe for Chili Relleno Casserole and set it next to the oven. The last word on her recipe simply said “YUM!” This was a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmothers last gift to her family. Our family is happy to report that on Christmas day we enjoyed that last meal she had so kindly prepared for us the night before. Lynda would have wanted it that way.

You will be so deeply missed. We love you.

Surviving Relatives: • Husband – Tom Finch • Son – *Jeff Finch, wife Joan Finch • Son – Mike Finch, wife Tracy Finch • *Grandson – Justin Finch, wife Tara Finch • Great Granddaughter - Talia Finch • Great Grandson – Jace Finch • *Grandson – Jordan Finch, Wife Emily Finch • *Granddaughter – Julianne Finch • Sister - Donna Witherspoon/ Kelly • Nephew - Kevin Kelly • Niece - Meri Kelly/ Lynn • Niece - Terri Kelly/ Graves

Preceded by: • Son – Thomas Bradley Finch • Father – Earl Chester Witherspoon • Mother – Mary Bernice Witherspoon • Brother – Robert Lenard Witherspoon • Sister-in-Law – Cheri Vandermark

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Jeff Finch, Pallbearer
  • Mike Finch, Pallbearer
  • Jordan Finch, Pallbearer
  • Justin Finch, Pallbearer
  • Thomas Bradley Finch, Honorary Pallbearer

Services

  • Funeral Service

    Thursday, January 14, 2021

  • Graveside Service

    Thursday, January 14, 2021

Memories

Lynda Sue Finch

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Monica Torres Rice

January 12, 2021

Lynda was my genealogy mentor and friend. I met Lynda about 10 years ago at the Kern County Genealogy meeting. Her and best friend Rachel had invited me to participate in her “Sonoran Project” which featured Mexicans in Kern County and from there on she became my fellow excursionist. It was because of Lynda and her little “Flip” camera that lead me to a passion for genealogy. I loved going places with her. I felt like I had my own personal walking professor on our trips. I loved how she’d pull me in close and tell me all the things she knew about the place we were at. I told Lynda she could be the next “Huell Howser.” She said, “That’s what I recruited you for.” That’s when she told me she wanted me to start recording places we visited and find out as much information as I could and share it with the group. So there I went in search of the same exact “Flip” camera, despite the fact I could never get the thing to work, I set out to do exactly what she told me. I then ask Lynda if it would be okay to use my iPhone instead, she just laughed and said, “Of course, you don’t have to be just like me.” I said, “But I do want to be like you. You’re so fascinating.” She blushed and gave me a big hug. We celebrated many of her birthdays as a group, most of them at Mexican restaurants. We would tease Lynda that she knew more about Mexican history than we did and we were Mexican.That’s when someone in the group had the idea to change her name to “Muy, Lynda” which in Spanish we say, “Muy, Lindo” meaning “very pretty.” Lynda, our group has suffered a great loss but we know you would want us to carry on in our search for genealogy and history. I will miss you Lynda, the group will never be the same without you but I know you’re having your greatest adventure now in heaven. I hope they have “Flip” cameras in heaven and you’re recording every moment.
Your friend and mentee,
Monica Torres Rice
In Lieu of flowers, a donation has been made to KC Genealogical Society in her honor.

Mary Jacobs

January 8, 2021

Lynda and I had a great time working at Bakersfield College. She was the evening Admission clerk and I was assistant to the night Dean. I knew Lynda to be a dedicated employee, but it didn't atop there. We shared quite a few PIES and other yummy treats from her kitchen. We shared our life stories, which were more paralleled than you might believe, my being fifteen years older; loss of son, hours at baseball games, scouts, camping, involvement in genealogy, visiting in her home, amazed at her decorating and crafty appearance of each room. We laughed a lot and in my memory it was such fun . I was saddened to hear of her passing and my condolences and God's care to ALL of her dear family.

Steve Napier

January 7, 2021

I worked at Mobil Oil for Tom for many years and my wife and I met Lynda at several Christmas parties. She obviously was a wonderful and engaging person. I am so sorry boss. I can't imagine losing Becky. But God will be there for you and the boys and your family.

Becky and I will be praying for your Family at our church this Sunday.

Cisco Padilla

January 7, 2021

I first met Lynda one day when her son Mike Finch and I were on a lunch break. Mike has always talked to highly about Lynda and Tom and I could see how he lid up every time he spoke about them. Mike had told me many great stories about him and his family growing up and slowly I began to feel like I got to know them just a little bit more every time we spoke. The day I met Lynda she came out with the biggest smile you could think of and have me a big hug. The way Lynda spoke to me was very warm and inviting. She then proceeded to offer me a drink and some delicious hard candies. She really made an effort to get to know me a bit and make me feel at home. I was fortunate enough to visit the Finch household a couple other times and Lynda was always there with her amazing smile and hospitality. Lynda truly is a special person. It is easy to see why Mike always spoke so highly of her every time we told stories about growing up. Lynda will continue to have a special place in my heart. My heart sunk to hear of her passing but found some comfort knowing that Our Lord has gained a Great Angel in Heaven.
My condolences to the family and may Our Lord heal any pain they might be going through.

Ann Henritze Hoopes

January 6, 2021

I smile when I remember Lynda. My first memory was the day Lynda arrived at Cecil Avenue Elementary School and Lynda walked into a class I was in. So cute, petite, with a wide smile and an accent that was so charming. My condolences to the family. Ann

Mari Carroll

January 5, 2021

How I will miss you, Dear Friend! We spent so much time pouring through cemetery records and then at the Museum. I was a worker but you were the one who pulled everything together into the fabulous books on Kern County Civil War Veterans. I was always amazed by your talents. The work you started will continue and I'm sure you will still be there to guide us.

Donna Amendola/Breedlove

January 4, 2021

Lynda and I were not only best friends, but cheerleaders together. I also rode with Tom and her to Las Vegas where they got married. I loved this sweet friend of mine. We met a few years ago for a 2 hour lunch that lasted all day. I know she was a great wife, mother and Grandmother. She loved them all with a fierce love. I was sad to hear of her passing. I know she will be greatly missed. She was a light that spread to so many people around her. I pray the Lord will hold you close and comfort them all. She left an imprint on my heart that will always remain. See you in the sweet bye & bye my dear friend.

Ann McCright

January 4, 2021

Jerry and I lived on the same street with Tom and Linda while our boys grew up. We had a great relationship. Loved Tom and Lynda. We were there when they lost their youngest son. We have many memories of our kids growing up together since Highland Elementary was just steps away! Heaven received a great Angel! See you soon Lynda. Jerry & Ann McCright

Natalie P

January 3, 2021

Lynda was a sweet soul and a beautiful woman. I met her at Beale Memorial Library while I was looking for genealogy information with my grandmother. Lynda gave her time and expertise to help us out of the kindness of her heart. She was a tremendous woman and I thank God for sending her into my family's life.

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you.

Dianna Saario

January 2, 2021

Dear Linda, As I look at a picture taken at a DUV meeting, I remember your laughter, your patience, love of genealogy, your smile, and most of all your enthusiasm for life past and and present. We will most of all miss your light!
Dianna

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

1948-1949

FROM THE FAMILY

1950's

FROM THE FAMILY

1950's

FROM THE FAMILY

1950's

FROM THE FAMILY

1960's

FROM THE FAMILY

1960's

FROM THE FAMILY

1960's

FROM THE FAMILY

1960's

FROM THE FAMILY

1970's

Biography

Organizations or Memberships:
• Board Member and former Vice President of the Kern County Genealogical Society
• Daughters of the American Revolution
• Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War.

Special Achievements:
• Author of Several Historical Books. To name a few:
o My Ozark Family
o Our Missouri Family
o Kern County California “Mexican Settlement” Series
 Volume 1 - Pioneers from the South
 Volume II – The Legacy
 Volume III – The American Dream
 Volume IV – Building Kern The First 100 Years
 Volume V – 1920-1930 Census
 Volume VI – 1940 Census
o Civil War Veterans – The Last Call
o Civil War Veterans – Keep Green the Memory
• Recipient of the Dr. Mary Edwards Walker medal by the Sons of Union Veterans
• Self-Taught Subject Matter Expert in Genealogy
o Quoted numerous times by newspapers and other organizations on topics related to ancestry and genealogy.
o Worked with countless institutions and organizations providing materials and insight to researchers, educators, authors, and others on genealogy, family history, census data, etc.
• Presenter at several venues on history, genealogy, and numerous family histories.
• Helping families reconstruct and resurrect the life of a loved one long passed. She loved the challenge of investigating a person’s story.

Surviving Relatives:
• Husband – Tom Finch
• Son – *Jeff Finch, wife Joan Finch
• Son – Mike Finch, wife Tracy Finch
• *Grandson – Justin Finch, wife Tara Finch
o Great Granddaughter - Talia Finch
o Great Grandson – Jace Finch
• *Grandson – Jordan Finch, Wife Emily Finch
• *Granddaughter – Julianne Finch
• Sister - Donna Witherspoon/ Kelly
• Nephew - Kevin Kelly
• Niece - Meri Kelly/ Lynn
• Niece - Terri Kelly/ Graves

Preceded by:
• Son – Thomas Bradley Finch
• Father – Earl Chester Witherspoon
• Mother – Mary Bernice Witherspoon
• Brother – Robert Lenard Witherspoon
• Sister-in-Law – Cheri Vandermark