Helen Marie Finger, 89, died early on the morning of June 10 at the Hospice of Reno County in Hutchinson after a brave struggle against pancreatic cancer.
Faith and family were the pillars of Helen’s life. She was born on Aug. 27, 1926, in a farm house with no electricity or indoor plumbing just outside of Timken, KS, to B.F. Pechanec and Rose Mary Vsetecka Pechanec.
Helen married Marvin Finger on May 11, 1948, in a double wedding ceremony at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Timken, officiated by Helen’s parish priest, Fr. Emil Kapaun, who is being considered for sainthood by the Vatican. Helen always remembered Fr. Kapaun’s holiness and devotion to his parishioners, so she was not surprised to learn of his dedicated service to fellow prisoners of war later in Korea.
Helen was a warm, loving person who could make anyone feel at home – whether it was friends brought home by children or strangers who had run into car trouble or hit an animal on the state highway next to the family farm. She was happiest when any or all of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren were at the farm, and hosted “round-ups” of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren during summers so they would get to know each other and share good memories.
She was a founding member of Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Burdett, which featured a statue of Mary purchased by Marvin’s mother in gratitude for his safe return from the war. They later attended Sacred Heart parish in Larned, where Helen was a member of the Altar Society and also a Laudator for PSR Religion. She spent decades as a project leader for the Rozel Rockets 4-H Club and as a member of the local election board. She was a faithful blood donor and also served as a lay chaplain at the Kansas Department of Corrections and Larned State Hospital.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her husband, Marvin, as well as her older sister, Rosemary, and an infant brother, Johnny.
She is survived by five sons and three daughters: Don (Marsha) of Quinter; Ed (Arlene) of Andover; Marvin Jr., Eugene, Ore.; Mary (Jim) Mitchell, Rozel; Trish (Steve) Stacey of Hutchinson; Stanley, Wichita; Steven (Jeanne) of Spokane, Wash., and Beverly (Allen) Biehl of Austin, Texas.
She is also survived by brother Frank (MaryAnn) and sister Mary Urban, both of LaCrosse; 22 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, at Beckwith Mortuary in Larned. Family will be present from 6 to 8 p.m. Another visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, at the mortuary. Vigil with a rosary will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, June 23, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Larned. The funeral Mass will be at 9 a.m. on Friday, June 24, at Sacred Heart, with Father Warren Stecklein presiding. Burial will be at Larned Cemetery.
Memorials may be sent to the Marvin Finger 4-H Endowment Fund or the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Parish Center, both in care of Beckwith Mortuary, Box 477, Larned, Kansas, 67550. Condolences may be left at www.beckwithmortuary.com.
Funeral aggrangements provided by
Beckwith Mortuary, Inc.
P.O. Box 477
Larned, KS 67550
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, June 12, 2016#