William L. Finley, Sr.

William L. Finley, Sr. was born on July 2, 1939, to his parents Edith and Charles M. Finley, Sr. in the city of St. Louis, Missouri. As a young boy he grew up in St. Louis and lived in Higbee, Missouri as well as parts of Hawaii. He graduated from Beaumont High School at the age of 16 and the following year enlisted in the U.S. Army. While he was in the military, his mom wrote letters to him about what she was learning from the bible with Jehovah’s Witnesses. He requested an early discharge from the military and due to his good standing, the request was granted. After returning home, he lived in the basement of his sister Gertrude’s home where they held book study. He sat in on one of those studies where he became interested in learning about Jehovah. Brother Walter Gray aided Bill in the truth prior to his baptism on August 9, 1962.

After leaving the military he went to trade school and obtained a degree in welding and drafting. Through the Urban League he went to baking school. Those skills would later become useful as Bill worked in the kitchen at the religious convention deep frying chicken. This is where he met his wife, Maxine, who was also working as a volunteer. Later after having a family, he volunteered working in the kitchen at the St. Louis Assembly Hall making sheet cakes and biscuits for the brothers and sisters. He also had the privilege of working on several Kingdom Hall projects with the tile crew alongside brother Charlie Davidson and Craig Green.

Bill worked for the U.S. Postal Service and finally United Parcel Service, where he worked for 36 years before retiring. Some of his hobbies included archery, building model cars, fishing, gardening, working with electronics, building CB radios, photography, and woodworking, but most of all he loved talking to people about the Bible. Bill served as an elder in the Hazelwood congregation for many years and later at the Creve Coeur congregation.
Bill married Maxine Shead on August 10, 1963. They were married 60 1/2 years, during which they became parents to four children: Patricia Renee, Bill, Jr., Felicia, and David.

Bill is survived by his wife Maxine, his two sons, Bill, Jr. and David, his daughter Felicia, his two daughters-in-law, Venee, and Moñica, five grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his siblings, Darlene Higdon, Gertrude A. Abernathy, Charles M. Finley, Jr., and his daughter Patricia Renee Finley.

Thoughts from His Children
In life and death, we praise our heavenly Father Jehovah. We give thanks to Him for giving us a wonderful father. He was patient, loving, with a great sense of humor, not harsh, but firm, approachable, and huggable. He fulfilled his role by instilling the truth in us and lived to make a good name with Jehovah. We could not ask for more. We loved him deeply and look forward to seeing him again. Deut. 6:6.7; Eccl. 7:1; Rev. 21:4


  1. Florence Cassell on April 8, 2024 at 6:00 am

    Cousin William: I want to express our heartfelt condolences from this branch of your family. , The Bible calls death an enemy. None of us can outrun it or fight it off. Most of us have seen this enemy claim the lives of people dear to us Apparently, the “train of life as we know it in this world” arrived at your doorstep and you had to get on board. But, it’s not the end…. because, you didn’t remain on that train, but boarded another train, and got in the sleeper car, that train’s destination is “eternal life in Jehovah’s new system of things, the paradise earth” that God has promised us. (2Peter 3:13) One by one, your family, friends and loved ones will be getting off this ‘train of life” when it comes to their departure point, and join you in the sleeper car . Together all will sleep until the train arrives at it’s final destination, the promised new system, earthly paradise. There all will depart and have a grand reunion and all will begin to enjoy life forever. What a joyous reunion that will be in a much more beautiful place. Picture that grand reunion in your mind, hold it dearly in your heart and let it serve as a measure of comfort, hope, and strength to carry you through this tough time. (Rev. 19:3,4)

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