Dave Finley, Springdale Council president, dies
David Finley was orange-and-black and blue-and-white — even though he wasn't a Springdale native, and never studied at Penn State.
Ken Lloyd met Finley at Springdale sports games some 30 years ago, long before he was mayor and Finley the borough council president. They traveled to State College for Penn State football games, and went to Ann Arbor, Mich., to see the Nittany Lions take on Michigan.
“He was a great Penn State fan. He was a very knowledgeable sports fan. He knew the history of most sports,” Lloyd said. “He was just a good guy. He was not a very political guy. He tried to lead the borough in a do-whatever's-right role.”
David E. Finley died Thursday, May 29, 2014, in Canterbury Place in Pittsburgh from a battle with cancer. He was 72.
Finley was being remembered for his love of sports and the community he served.
“He was a real asset to the community,” said Judge David Sosovicka. A Springdale resident, Sosovicka said he knew Finley for more than 30 years, and attended Springdale Dynamos football and basketball games with him.
“I believe he always tried to do what was right for the citizens of the borough,” Sosovicka said.
Finley was born and raised in Johnstown. He graduated from Bishop McCort High School and John Carroll University.
He was a retired sales manager for R.J. Reynolds.
Finley was a commissioned officer in the Army and was assigned to an airborne infantry division during the Vietnam era.
He was appointed to Springdale Council in February 2009. Later that year, he was elected to council, and again in 2013.
Finley had been a Republican. Lloyd, who was elected mayor in November, said he helped sway him in changing his registration to Democrat.
“Dave and I disagreed on some issues,” Lloyd said. “But he says, when I do disagree with you, you'll always be my friend.
“That's what's wrong with politics today. People become visceral and mean if you disagree with each other. Dave was never like that. Dave and I could disagree, then he'd say, ‘Where do you want to go eat?' ”
When Springdale was recently without a borough manager, Finley was at the borough's office almost every day helping out, Councilman John Molnar said.
“He truly cared for the town. He was a gentleman that did things and didn't look for any recognition,” Molnar said, adding that Finley went through his illness without letting many people know.
“The town lost a good man. I lost a good friend,” Molnar said. “We won't forget him.”
Finley was a member of St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Springdale, where he served as a member of the parish council, was a lector and taught religious classes.
“I thought he was a gentle spirit — a very direct spirit,” said the Rev. Ken Kezmarsky of St. Alphonsus. “He let you know what he thinks. He was pretty honest.”
Finley read for Sunday Mass and during the week, and did readings at funerals, Kezmarsky said.
“He was always there. You could always count on him,” Kezmarsky said. “Anything for the church, he was ready to jump in and help out.”
His wife, Carol, said she and her husband appreciated the warm-heartedness of the people they've befriended since moving to Springdale in 1983.
“The people here are so kind and friendly,” she said. “They'll do anything for you. It's like being home.”
Brian C. Rittmeyer is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4701 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Staff writer Liz Hayes contributed to this report.
The Valley News Dispatch will occasionally run obituary stories on notable local residents. They are news items and as such, no charge is applied. The subjects of these stories are solely the discretion of the editors.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.