Bradford D. Finch
Word was received recently of the death of Bradford D. Finch, 96, of Cokato, MN, on Sunday, January 5, 2014. Bradford was the son of long-time Fayette County Engineer Aulden Finch.
Bradford Duane Finch was born in West Union on June 5, 1917, to Aulden D. and Xanta (Talcott) Finch. He graduated from West Union High School, Class of 1934, then attended Luther College for two years before transferring to the University of Iowa where he graduated with a Degree in Law.
Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the beginning of WW II, Brad joined the Navy and was stationed out of Norfolk, VA, onboard The USS Merrick, a Supply Ship that hauled personnel and equipment for building air bases in and around the Caribbean, travelling back and forth across the Atlantic. It was while Brad was stationed in Virginia that he met the girl who would become his wife, Frances Bryan. Just three months after they met, on Nov. 21, 1942, “Frankie” and Brad were married with a military wedding in Richmond, VA.
Soon, Brad applied for a change of duty and signed up with the Naval Air Corps, became a flight instructor, and eventually was transferred to Minneapolis, where he remained following the end of WWII. Brad began a long career in the insurance business, working into his 90’s. He enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, fly-fishing on the Bitterroot, blazing trails on his 4-Wheeler and Dirt Bikes, along with loving summers at his cabin in Montana.
Brad was very proud of the fact that he was a direct descendant of Gov. William Bradford of the Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts, and that his ancestors came to America aboard the Mayflower.
Brad was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved wife “Frankie”, and his sister “Betty” Schroder, Bellevue, WA. Survivors are his daughter, Cathie (Skip) Hall, Annandale MN; son, John (Debbie) Finch, Brooklyn Park MN; six grandchildren: Britt Stroup and son, E.J.; Tucker (Emily) Hall and daughters, Clara, Naomi, and June; Emily (Justin) Kolflat and sons, Jeremy and Robbie; Tracy (Andre) Levin and son, Henrik; Allison (Luke) Eppard and sons, Drew and Jack; Jamie (Megan) Finch. Also, nieces Heather Adams, Diane Zehnder, Betsy Adams, and Robin Robertson, and their families in the Pacific Northwest; as well as special cousins Charlane Macon and Ronald Finch of Florida.
A memorial service was held in Cokato, MN. Bradford’s ashes would be sprinkled, as were his wife’s, among the wild flowers at their cabin on the East Fork of the Bitterroot River in SW Montana. 18p18