In Loving Memory …

Earl R. Finley

Earl R. Finley, 91, of Sedalia, passed away Saturday, June 12, 2021, at the Missouri Veterans Home in Warrensburg.

He was born May 16, 1930, in St. Louis, MO, a son of George Cecil and Cannis Ruth (Morgan) Finley.

Earl honorably served in the United States Marine Corps and was a member of the First Christian Church in Sedalia.  He was also a member of the Sedalia Lions Club, MSTA (Missouri State Teachers Association), lifetime member of MASA (Missouri Association of School Administrators), and the University of Missouri Alumni Association.  Throughout his years in education Earl served in many roles from being a Teacher, Coach, and Principal, at Smith – Cotton High School, and Assistant Superintendent in Sedalia, and then retiring as Superintendent of the Knob Noster School District.  Earl also served as Assistant Commissioner in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and was on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Therapy Center.  He enjoyed playing golf and oil painting.

Survivors include his wife, Glenda; three children, Julie Clawson (Ron) of Warrensburg, Jim Finley of Liberty, and Dana Cass (Kirby) of La Monte; Glenda’s son, Justin Davis (Betty) of Phoenix, AZ; six grandchildren, Rod Clawson (Valerie), Matt Clawson (Shannon), Kyle Finley, Kirk Finley, Brian Cass (Kacie), and Darby Lewis (Jacob); Glenda’s granddaughter, Riley Davis; five great-grandchildren, Lucas, Vivienne, Jackson and Olivia Clawson, and Hadley Cass.

In addition to both of his parents Earl was preceded in death by his first wife Judith Ann Finley; two brothers, Ralph and Paul Finley.

Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. until memorial services at Noon on Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at the First Christian Church in Sedalia with Rev. Dr. Chad McMullin officiating.  Inurnment to follow at the Memorial Park Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions are suggested to the Sedalia School District Foundation for the Earl R. Finley Scholarship.


47 Responses

  1. Mr Finley was a favorite teacher and much beloved friend of my Dad.
    I will remember his humor and his many visits when my Dad couldn’t get to church.
    Condolences to the family.

  2. Glenda, I am so sorry for your loss. You were such a loving and caring wife to Earl. He was so lucky to have you in his life.

  3. I had Mr Finley as a teacher, Principal and later a good friend. A wonderful man I and my husband Bryan will be missing. Yet I’m sure God had a very special place for such a special man. Prayers are lifting for you in this time of great loss.
    Teresa Preuitt Tippie

  4. Our sincerest sympathy on your loss. Earl was x wonderful person and will be greatly missed.

  5. We fondly remember our high school principal in the early 70s, such a kind man. We loved seeing him on campus at Mizzou as undergrads while he was working on another degree…always asked if we were still meeting up between classes! With sincere sympathy from Mike and Annie (Fischer) Best

  6. Julie and family…I’m so sorry. I have so many great memories about your dad, not only as the principal but as your dad. He was a true gentleman.

  7. So sorry for your loss. Earl was a wonderful person and good friend. You have our deepest sympathy.

  8. He will and is missed from all of the boys he coached. He earned their respect in so many ways.

  9. I’m so sorry to learn of Earl’s passing. He was a wonderful man, and I had a great respect for him. May your many wonderful memories comfort you and your family.

  10. So sorry to hear this, lifting you all up in prayer. Our deepest sympathy 🙏🏻

  11. I am so sorry to hear this. Earl was one of my Dad’s best friends for more than 75 years and they did great work for the Sedalia School System. The Finley and Thomas families had a lot of good memories. Julie, Jim and Dana…our heart and prayers go out to you all.

  12. So sorry to hear the passing of Mr. Finley. He was a very big supported of our youths education. May you RIP. Condolences to the family.

  13. He was a class act all the way. Along with being one of his S-C students, I got to see him in his role with DESE when I was a Superintendent.

  14. Glenda and families,
    We are so sorry for your loss.
    Mr. Finley was a wonderful man.
    We will be thinking about and praying for you all in the days to come.
    Amy, Jordan and Logan Dey

  15. Our Condolences to the Family. He was a very respected man and will be missed.

  16. Glenda and Family, So sorry to learn of Earl’s passing. Earl was such an asset to Sedalia’s youth. He was a great teacher, principal, and Superintendent. Our condolences to the family. Please know you all are in our thoughts and prayers.
    Don & Becky Garst

  17. Glenda and family,

    We mourn the loss of Earl and pray for all of you. Earl leaves a wide legacy of influence over so many of us who were blessed to be taught and/or coached by him.

    One of our favorite memories is the night we all shared at dinner in Houston with you, Barry and Sherry Wallace, Jim and John Johnson and their wives.

    We pray that God will wrap His loving arms around you and the family in this time of loss.

    Bill and Dianne Brown
    Class of 1965

  18. Coach Finley will always remain as my hero. I admired and respected him as my coach. He was the reason I was able to continue my baseball career at the University of Missouri. It was his influence and mentoring that I became a baseball coach at the collegiate level for 25 years. I will cherish the memories of playing at S-C for Coach Finley in basketball and baseball. We are now missing another hero in our midst “on this side”. I ask God’s blessings, peace, and grace to my coach’s family.

  19. Julie and Finley family my deepest sympathy, Mr. Finley was the nicest man. He put up with all those sleep overs during our high school years. He was a great principal. My prayers are with you and your family.

  20. Earl hired me as a new teacher at SC in 1968. He was a great mentor and wonderful friend. He had a great impact on my career when I became a school administrator. My deepest sympathy to his family.

  21. So sorry to hear this. He was my teacher and later Principal at Smith-Cotton. He was also a coach for my ex-husband. Mr. Finley showed up at several class reunions of the class of 1968. I know he had special bond with a lot of the guys he coached in our class. He was a class act.

  22. Julie, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad. What a class act!

  23. Earl was a class act and a gentleman. I enjoyed getting to know him and playing golf with him. Condolences to his family.

  24. My condolences to the family. Heard many stories from my Dad about their adventures. 😊 God Bless you all. ❤️🙏

  25. Such a big loss to many in Sedalia. I had Coach Finley as a baseball coach from 1965 thru 67 at Smith Cotton. He will be missed.

  26. Our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Earl was a great man and role model for so many. He will be missed.

  27. Dear Glenda and Family, please accept my sincerest sympathy and prayers. The legend of Earl will live on in the hearts of all his students near and far. He was a loyal patron of mine and almost always ate the pork chop. Fond memories forever. Pam McGrath

  28. Our deepest condolences on your loss Glenda.
    Earl was one of our favorite people to play tennis with and against. Always had an upbeat attitude and made it fun. Such a good athlete and an even better person!
    Sincerely, Lee & Teresa

  29. Thoughts and prayers with Jim, Kyle and Kirk from the Dougherty’s.

  30. So very sorry to read this. Earl was just a terrific guy. A great leader, excellent athlete, and both a smooth story teller and ardent listener. My thoughts and prayers to Glenda and the whole family.

  31. We are deeply sorry and offer our prayers and condolences to Earl’s family. He was an outstanding school administrator, a family man, an artist! A longtime friend and colleague! He will be missed!
    Dean and Diane Ringen

  32. I can think of no man for which I had more respect! He had a huge impact on my career and that of many others.Prayers for all of the family!

  33. Sorry to hear about Dr. Finley. There are a small group of people who had such a great and positive influence on the current and future education of our kids. Earl was certainly one of them. He is a legend

  34. Earl Finley was without a doubt the most outstanding Principal that I had the opportunity working with in 30 yrs of teaching and coaching .We are so sorry for your lose Glenda and family. love to all in this time of your sorrel .

  35. We are so sorry to hear this. Mr. Finley was our high school principal and we both had the utmost respect for him. He was a fine man, an excellent educator, and a man of integrity.

  36. Earl was a man of great integrity and strength. One of the very top education leaders in Missouri for many years. A life well lived, a race well run and a friend who will be missed. Peace to all friends and family.

  37. So sorry for your loss. As a beginning superintendent I sought out Earl’s advice many, many times. He was a great mentor and a good friend. Earl is one of main reasons I sought out a job at DESE after my retirement. My primary goal is to help and assist young superintendents as Early did for me. Rest In Peace my friend!

  38. We are so very sorry to hear of Earl’s passing. He was a wonderful educator and coach. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Glenda and his family.

  39. Earl hired me in 1973 at SC. He was a true friend to me and my wife over our years in education. We were fortunate to connect many times over the years on the golf course. Not only was he a true professional educator but a darn good golfer as well. I feel so fortunate to have known him.

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