Robert Finley, 94, of Danville passed away April 27, 2021 at Williamsport Nursing Home.
Robert Finley was born on March 18, 1927 to Mildred (Turner) Finley and Frank Finley in Danville, IL. He is survived by his daughter, Teresa (Bill) Arnold, granddaughter Megan Arnold and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded by his wife, Margaret in 2004, his mother and father and his beloved son Curtis, a Navy veteran and brothers Wayne, Lee, and Glenn.
Bob attended Danville High School and joined the Navy his senior year. He served during World War II in Okinawa on a repair ship. He survived a typhoon; his ship was wrecked and a fire resulted. Bob was in Okinawa being sent to invade Japan when President Truman authorized dropping the atomic bomb.
At an early age Bob enjoyed making toy airplanes which he decorated his room with. He wanted to fly.
After returning home from the Navy, he and Robert Hoskins, a childhood friend, bought a used plane for $100 and spent the winter restoring it. They had a total of $800 in it. His first flight was from the Highland Airport on 14th St. This plane was later replaced by a Cessna 182, and then a Turbo 210 Centurion, which he kept for 30 years.
Bob and Margaret joined The Flying Farmers Organization and enjoyed many trips with the group. He was the president of the Illinois Flying Farmers in 2004 and the Man of the Year for the International Flying Farmers in 2005. He flew for over 50 years.
Bob owned and operated Finley Drainage Systems and laid farm tile in many farms in Vermilion County and in Indiana. Bob employed local help, among those was his nephew, Ron Huls, who also farmed for him for many years. Ron was a good friend and skilled mechanic.
His idea of a sign for his farm was completed in 2018 with a picture of his Turbo-2010, drainage tile and a corn field. It is located on the Finley Farm Shop land.
Bob was the first person to use a 2-way radio in his hay baling business. He was featured in the Motorola Magazine in 1953 with his 2-way radios.
In later life he enjoyed his winters in Florida with a special friend, Dolores Green. Bob liked playing Euchre and other games, square dancing and his “Flying Farmer” friends.
Bob will be sadly missed by all that knew and loved him.
A Celebration of Life will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 1, 2021 at CrossRoads Christian Church 3613 N Vermilion Street, Danville, IL 61832. Miles Clark will officiate. Burial will be in Johnson Cemetery Danville, IL with Military Rites accorded by American Legion Post 210 Honor Guard. Visitation will be held on Saturday, May 1, 2021 from 9:00 – 10:30 AM at CrossRoads Christian Church. Sunset Funeral Home and Cremation Center 3940 N Vermilion St., Danville, Illinois 61834 is assisting the family with arrangements.
It is kindly requested that those in attendance of the visitation or services wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Memorials may be mailed to 14631 E. 2000 N. Road Danville, IL 61834 for Johnson Cemetery in Robert’s memory.
Please join Bob’s family in sharing memories, photos and videos on his tribute wall at www.sunsetfuneralhome.com .
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