David J. Finanger
David J. Finanger passed from this earthly life at Pine Crest Nursing Home on June 2, 2021. He was born September 22, 1927, in LaCrosse, WI to Earl and Beatrice (Peterson) Finanger. At age 12 his family moved to Wauwatosa, WI where Dave graduated from Wauwatosa High School in 1945. He completed one semester at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN before being drafted in the US Army Air Force in 1945 where he served as a cryptographer stationed in Alaska. After his honorable discharge, he returned to St. Olaf College where he received his bachelor’s degree in 1950. He then returned to Milwaukee where he joined Weinbrenner Shoe Company as a Traffic Manager. In 1957 he was transferred to the Merrill office where he spent his working career first as office manager and later as Credit Manager retiring in 1994, after 43 years.
Dave married Carol Dahm, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church in Merrill on Oct. 22, 1957. Their 63 years of marriage were blessed with three children, Kristin (Jacob) Barnes and their children Emma, Seth and Peter Barnes, Erik Finanger with partner Kari Solomonson and Kari Finanger Kufahl with partner Brian Haack and her children Daniel (Stephanie) Kufahl, children Claire and Ian and Dr. Timothy (Jacey) Kufahl and their daughter Hannah. He is also survived by his wife Carol, sister Patricia (David) Nuesse, brother Kenton (Lois) Finanger, sisters-in-law Harriet Henrich and Marlene (William) Krueger and brother-in-law Harry Dahm. He is further survived by many nieces and nephews. He was proceeded in death by his parents Earl and Beatrice Finanger, sisters-in-law Lucia Finanger, Annette Scott, Dorothy Dahm and Elaine Dahm, and brothers-in-law Gerald Henrich, George Scott, Leroy Dahm and Jim Dahm.
Dave enjoyed all sports, especially playing golf and tennis. In 1957, he was one of the first joggers in Merrill where he was stopped by police and asked why he was running! He also was an excellent violinist and together with his wife, who is a harpist, he entertained at many events for 37 years, most recently they played for a wedding in 2019. He acted as an agent to bring the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra to Merrill in 1982 and 1984, where they played to a sold-out audience. In addition, he served the Merrill community by acting as President of the Merrill Historical Society, President of United Way, President, Secretary and Sunday School Superintendent of Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church. He was on the Holy Cross Hospital Foundation Board, Homme Home Board, and the Technical School Board. He was a member of Rotary for 30 years, serving as President and being named a Paul Harris Fellow. When his children were young, he managed a Little League baseball team for many years. Dave will be remembered by his family and friends as a “Gentle Man”.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that memorials be sent to Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church (Merrill, WI), the Merrill Historical Society or the charity of your choice. A Memorial Service will be held Friday, June 11, 2021, at Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church at 1:00 pm. Rev. Pat Schutz will officiate. Visitation will be held at the church from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm. There will be a celebration of Dave’s life at the Northwoods VFW, immediately following the service. A private family inurnment will take place at Merrill Memorial Park Cemetery. For those unable to attend, the service will be live streamed and available for viewing at 1:00 pm and can be found under his obituary on the funeral home website. Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements. Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at www.waidfuneral.com.