Joan Finlay, 91, passed peacefully from this world on December 25, 2023. Joan Finlay was born in Hallsville, Missouri August 28, 1932, the only child of William Howard and Carrie Elizabeth McMinn Roberts. She lived some years of her younger life in Kansas City, Missouri, before her family returned to Hallsville where Joan attended junior and senior high school. While a student, Joan took up the sport of basketball, participating on the Hallsville women’s basketball team for multiple years. As a youngster in Hallsville, Joan rode the train to Columbia weekly for piano lessons and learned a skill which followed her throughout her life. She was an accomplished musician.
Family and friends are invited to Joan’s Life Celebration 11:00 AM Saturday, December 30, 2023 at the First Christian Church in Centralia, burial will follow in the Glendale Memorial Gardens.
A visitation will be held from 9:30 AM until the time of the service on Saturday at the church.
Upon graduating from high school, Joan enrolled in Christian Female College (now Columbia College) where she completed a program in secretarial science. She worked briefly in Columbia before marrying the love of her life, John W. (Jack) Finlay, who preceded her in death. They made their forever home in Centralia, MO in 1953 and were married 55 years.
Joan was employed by AB Chance Co for 12 years, beginning as a file clerk and later working for the late Cliff Hough, as an executive secretary. Joan continued at Chance Co until 1969, at which time she concluded working outside the home. A short time later, she began the Joan Finlay Piano Studio. For the next forty or more years, she touched many, many lives of young people by educating them in the fine art of piano from her home. Many students of Joan’s went on to future successes, excelling in state contests and beginning piano studios of their own. Joan also enjoyed the art of watercolor painting and created works that covered all facets of nature. She was modest about her talent, but it was undeniable.
From her childhood, Joan served her community in many ways. The early years saw her playing for church services at Red Top Christian Church. Later Joan provided music for the choir at the First Christian Church for more than 50 years. She provided music at the funeral services of many members of this community and gave endless hours of time accompanying singers and choirs at the local schools.
Joan will be missed by so many people of the Centralia and Hallsville communities, but none will miss her more than her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. She is survived by son Kent Finlay and wife Marjorie of Centralia, daughter Cara Finlay of Albuquerque, NM, and son John R Finlay and wife Melissa of Centralia. Her greatly loved grandchildren include Rosanne Palacios (Jose), Royace Finlay (Teri), Ray Finlay (Suzanne), Kalin Finlay, Cady Finlay, and Caris Finlay and six great-grandchildren, Lila and Jack Finlay, Leonardo and Bianca Palacios, and Knox and Colton Finlay.
Memorial donations are suggested to the First Christian Church of Centralia and may be sent in care of Fenton-Kendrick Funeral Home, 104 S. Collier St. Centralia, MO 65240.
Online condolences may be left at www.fentonkendrickfh.com