Edward Finnegan

Edward J. Finnegan Jr.

Saturday, August 12th, 1944 - Monday, November 30th, 2020
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Edward Joseph Finnegan of Gary, SD, passed away on November 30, 2020, at Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD. After becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, Ed engaged in every reasonable medical intervention to restore his health. When it became clear this was not possible, he made the decision to pass away peacefully, and without pain.

“In the warm embrace of kith and kin” —a quote from the movie, Christmas Vacation—exemplifies a life well lived with family, friends, and good times. Ed was born on August 12, 1944, in Marshall, Minnesota, to Edward and Eleanor Finnegan. He grew up in Minneota, MN, where he attended St. Edward’s Catholic School and Minneota High School. Shortly after high school, Ed served in Vietnam providing air weather support, owing to his giftedness in math. Upon returning, he began working with his father at Finnegan’s Super Valu, which he later purchased. At a high school football game in Ghent, MN, Ed met his wife of 45 years, Ronette. Together they provided a loving home to three children. After Ronette was diagnosed with cancer, Ed sold his store to spend more time with her and family. Ed lovingly cared for Ronette during her time in hospice at their cabin on Lake Cochrane in Gary, SD.

Ed expressed his love for friends and family through acts of service and quality time. He belonged to the Jaycees for many years and was an active member in his church. As a volunteer firefighter of 27 years, Ed enjoyed the companionship of those in his department. He later told his adult children of some harrowing times as a firefighter—and they were thankful to have learned much later. For many years, he delivered groceries to those no longer able to come into his store. This too resulted in some interesting stories. Ed also provided comfort to friends and family going through hard times.

From the annual Thanksgiving viewing of Christmas Vacation to annual golf tournaments, Ed made time with family and friends his top priority. His nieces, nephews, and grandchildren likely remember how much he liked to tease—no one escaped “look at my elbow.” He loved travelling to new places: hunting and fishing trips with friends, hotel-swimming weekends with his young children and family friends, many visits to the Finnegan family cabin, exploring new cities with his grandchildren, winter visits to see his friends in Arizona, and many more. Ed also expressed his love by sharing his appreciation of sports. As a young man, he participated in softball and golf leagues and continued golfing throughout his life. He delighted in taking his children to professional games (even the Twins World Series). He also looked forward to tailgating and attending games with his friends. He liked playing cards—from five hundred with his young children, to years of bridge club, to more recent Euchre tournaments. And, of course, Ed enjoyed happy hour with his friends and family—there was always a final, final.

Ed’s proudest achievement was his role as father to three and grandfather to four. Even as his grandchildren grew into teenagers, he made an effort to connect with them through phone calls, texts, and of course, a healthy dose of teasing. He picked up his son Nick from Marshall most weekends and watched baseball and football games together. Many family weekends at Lake Cochrane were spent pontooning, playing games, making s’mores (he liked the marshmallow charred), having a drink with the neighbors next door, viewing corny movies, being bemused by humming birds, and watching the sunset. Being by the lake was a source of happiness, relaxation, and calm. He was proud to share this with his kith and kin.

Ed was preceded in death by his wife Ronette (Johnson); his young brother Jeff; and his brother-in-law Dale Dodge. He is survived by his daughter Anjanette, her husband Chris Alme, and their sons – Aidan and Liam – all of St. Paul, MN; his son Anthony, his wife Karin, and their sons – Brendan and Kieran – all of Maple Grove, MN; his son Nicholas of Marshall, MN; his sister Maureen Hogan; his sister Pat Allman and her husband Mike; his sister Carol Wegner and her husband Bob; his sister Rosemarie Finnegan; his brother-in-law Bob Stevens and his wife Barb; his brother-in-law Dennis Johnson and his wife Debbie; his sister-in-law Diane Dodge; his sister-in-law Beatrice Jones and her husband Mike; many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and many, many friends.

The family is remembering Ed with contributions to St. Edward School and Church in Minneota, MN, and the Sanford Enterprise Employee Fund to help healthcare workers facing financial hardship due to COVID-19.

Information regarding a Christian burial and a celebration of Ed’s life will be shared at a later date.
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2 trees have been planted in memory of Edward J. Finnegan Jr.

David Differding

Posted at 11:28pm
A Bright Light in the Minneota community has been extinguished. Ed was one of the most kind and generous person my family has ever known. When my Dad (Joe) was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in June 2005, Ed was there, offering his SUV for the family to go to visit Dad in the hospital, and subsequently at Prairie Home Hospice in Marshall. Ed and my Dad were best of friends and his kindness and support when Dad passed, and subsequent kindness when Mom passed in 2009 will never be forgotten. He was a true and loyal friend and lived a life of giving and support to the community....the world needs more Ed Finnegan's

Bob & Nancy

Posted at 05:13pm
Great Memories: working at the store making "Little Ed" signs, time with You and Ron (Miss Johnson), men's night at golf, happy hour at E Battle
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Posted at 04:53pm
Even though dim right now for your loved ones remaining on earth, your light will shine on…

Our mom and her three sisters have gracefully lived through so much grief and loss throughout their lives yet stay so grounded in faith and service. On Monday, my heart broke for them when I learned that their oldest brother lost his battle fighting COVID-19 after he was airlifted eight days prior. Their biological grandfather died in 1918 due to the Pandemic when their Mom was two years old. They lost their youngest brother when he was two years old from a tragic accident. And others, and other horrific tragedies… I sense a connection and trust unification in spirit. With faith, there is a comfort that he will rest in peace with his wife who died of brain cancer a couple of years ago.

In gratitude and in memory, I remember their brother, our "Uncle Ed," as a servant to his country (Vietnam Vet) and to his community (owned the grocery store in town after our grandfather & volunteered as a Firefighter, with the Jaycees, and at church). I remember him as a fun-loving guy who had really great humor, a contagious smile, and a strong work ethic; supported and loved his family dearly; and loved drinks, social hours, golf, cards, movies, sports, the Vikings, lake-life, and other outdoor recreational activities. (My first time snowmobiling was with him!) His children and grandchildren remain his incredible treasures on this earth.

May Uncle Ed's service, kindness, energy, strength, silliness, and thoughtfulness remain and be shared through all those that he graced…

Our deepest sympathy extended to you all! We care. We love you. We miss you, Uncle Ed, and will carry on your spirit and all of our memories together...

Our thoughts and prayers for grace, comfort, and peace are with our mom and her sisters. Review the photos (even though many of them have Uncle Ed doing "bunny ears" or sticking out his tongue (oh, how we will miss him at gatherings!)) and recall your memories, good times, and shenanigans that only siblings can experience and endure...

Our thoughts and prayers for strength, peace and comfort are with our cousins - our uncle's children and grandchildren. Anjanette, Tony, and Nick - We are in admiration of your unconditional love, strength, intelligence, characters, spirits, and grace. We are sad that we can't be there in person with you but know that we are with you in spirit, and you are in our daily thoughts and prayers. We love you and send virtual hugs...

For everyone...

Please remain vigilant. Our time on earth is unique, and we all hold responsibility to share our gifts, peace and grace and to nurture the environment, ourselves, and one another.

It’s devastating to see so many families across our world separated at this time and having to say “good-byes” via FaceTime. May we think about others and not be selfish. May we follow the recommended public health guidelines. May we all do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19. May we all share kindness and grace. May we lift our healthcare and frontline brothers and sisters serving patients and their families.

* Peace - Love - Grace - Gratitude - Hope - Light *

Embrace the comfort of the Holy Spirit, now and always.

“Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word" - Luke 2 : 29

"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." - Psalms 34 : 18

Live life. Follow your callings. Share your gifts. Go play. Be silly. Be serious. Be you.

"For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Lord God; so turn, and live." - Ezekiel 18 : 32

Heartfelt Sympathies

Posted at 03:03pm
Im a friend if your sister Maureen! She loved you and your family! She is a wonderful person and a dear friend. Your family is in our prayers.
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Michael Erickson

Posted at 11:32am
Dear Tony, Anjanette and Nicholas,
Ed was an awesome guy who lit up the room when he came in. I know he loved his family
so much and was always there for them. He was one of my dads best friends, everybody loved Ed.
Mike, Karla, Spencer and Savannah Erickson
Charlie Dale
Liz Erickson


Linda Nuytten Posted at 03:03pm

What a fabulous tribute for your Dad. I feel like all who read it are touched by the life he lived. Thank you for sharing. There is peace in memories.🙏

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