John David Finlay Jr.

Published 9:34 am Monday, November 11, 2013

Mr. John David Finlay Jr., 82, died peacefully after a brief illness Friday, Nov. 8, 2013.

Mr. Finlay was born in Brewton on April 28, 1931, to Mr. John David Finlay, Sr. and Mrs. Emily Wallace Finlay. He grew up in Brewton at the height of the Depression and attended the Brewton City Schools and the Brewton Collegiate Institute. He graduated from Emory University and also completed graduate work at The University of London School of Economics and the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. He later served four years as a captain in the United States Navy on the USS Oriskany. He spent many years sailing the beautiful shores of Ft. Walton Beach, Fla.

In Brewton, Mr. Finlay worked through the years managing his family-owned department store, Robbins and McGowin. He volunteered and worked on the boards of the United Fund, the Brewton Public Library, and First United Methodist Church of Brewton, where he often played the piano and organ. He also served 25 years as an active director of the First National Bank of Brewton. Mr. Finlay was a trustee for the D.W. McMillan Trust for more than 36 years. He was a driving force in founding the Greater Brewton Foundation. He was also active in the Brewton Rotary Club, The Brewton Council of the Arts, and the Jefferson Davis Community College Advisory Board. He was instrumental in opening The Tri-County Dental Clinic because he understood the needs in his community. He was Brewton’s Man of the Year in 1975.

He is survived by his only sister, Emily Finlay Wesley of Brewton; three nieces, Follin Smith Gerdy of Conestoga, Pa., Kate Smith Lavelle of Fairhope and Leigh Smith Faircloth of Mobile; and one nephew, Robert Russell Smith Jr. of Brewton. He is also survived by many great-nieces and great-nephews.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, from 10 until 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Brewton.

Services are scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 12, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Brewton with Dr. Ed Glaze officiating. A private burial will be held after the service at Union Cemetery with Williams Memorial Chapel Funeral Home of Brewton directing.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to: The Greater Brewton Foundation, P.O. Box 87, Brewton, AL 36427 or The First United Methodist Church of Brewton, 820 Belleville Avenue, Brewton, AL 36426.