Robert Sterling Finley Sr.
Former Louisiana and New Mexico resident Robert Sterling Finley Sr., 98, died of natural causes at his home in Baton Rouge on June 23, 2020.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 58 years, Katherine Price Finley; parents, John A. Finley and Bess Opal Browning Finley; and his four brothers and one sister, Eleanor Elizabeth, Quentin, Browning, Warren, and Marvin.
Robert Finley Sr. was born in Crowley on Feb. 7, 1922, and fondly talked about his early years after school selling popcorn at the Rice Theatre.
Crowley City Hall is the former site of the Crowley Motor Company where, for 45 years, the Finley family sold and serviced Ford and Chrysler products throughout the area.
Robert joined the United States Navy, serving on an LST in the South Pacific during World War II. After serving in the Naval Reserves for 25 years, he retired a Lieutenant Commander.
He graduated with a Master of Science degree from the University of Southwestern Louisiana in 1966 and served as president of the Alumni Association at the University.
He worked many years as a biology instructor in Louisiana and New Mexico during his years as owner of La Junta Guest Ranch in Alto, New Mexico. During those years he served as a volunteer fireman and EMS driver for Sun Valley, New Mexico, as well as playing golf as often as he could.
Also preceding him in death are his granddaughter, Sarah Emelie Finley; nephews, Forrest Finley and Rocky Finley; and niece, Jamie Lee Jacobson.
He is survived by one brother, Stanley Kasper Finley (wife Barbara Bergeron) and their son, John. He is also survived by his two children, Robert Sterling Finley Jr. (Nancy Finley), of Arlington, Texas, and his daughter, Lynn Finley Dunstan (late Arthur E.) of Baton Rouge; grandchildren, Katherine Finley Slocum (Allen, Texas); Robert S. Finley III (Natick, Massachusetts); Jennifer Finley (Leonville); Jill Finley Nissen (Arlington, Texas) and Katherine Dunstan Hebert (Shreveport).
He is also survived by fire great-grandchildren: Taylor E. Slocum, Ian S. Fenn, Ava J. Fenn, Arthur James Hebert and Miller Price Hebert; and many nieces and nephews who stayed in touch with him over his long life, Jay and Armen and Tommy Finley (Quentin and Mildred Finley); Jane Marks, and Karl Finley and Debbie Bravenec (Browning and Kitty Finley); Cynthia Nolan, Kent Finley, Bess Browning Finley, and Mark Finley ( Warren and Mavis Finley); Catherine Sue F. Miller and Joan Finley (Marvin and Carrie Finley); Judith Katherine Jacobson, Alto, New Mexico (Jan and Conrad Jacobson).
Because of the pandemic, a memorial service honoring Robert Finley will be held at a later date at the UL Alumni Center in Lafayette.