Joseph Francis Finn, Jr, loving husband, father, brother, uncle, grandfather and friend. Joseph Finn was a resident of Wellesley for over 50 years and died peacefully of congestive heart failure surrounded by his family and friends. He is survived by his loving children, Christopher J. Finn (Heather) of Lincoln, Maryellen F. Kottenstette (Nicholas) of Sterling, Elizabeth F. Payne (Adam) of Natick and Andrew T. Finn (Nicole) of Saugus; 12 grandchildren; his brother Paul (Paula) Finn; his sisters, Susan Brita and Kathy (Robert) DiTrapano. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Molly Finn (née McGuire) and many nieces and nephews whom he loved. He is preceded in death by his loving wife, Lynn Durning Finn, his granddaughter Cecilia Kottenstette and his brother Dennis Finn.
Joseph was born May 23, 1942 to Joseph Francis Finn, Sr and Joanne Finn née Leahy. He graduated from Boston Latin School in 1959 in the top 10% of his class and was a member of The National Honor Society. Joe attended College of the Holy Cross and graduated in the top 12% of his class in 1963 as an accounting major and manager of the Holy Cross football team. Following graduation, he joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps and taught at Bagdad College for a year. Upon returning stateside he went to work for Aurthur Anderson, which was the largest accounting firm in the country at the time. After a year there, he volunteered for the Army Reserves. In 1968 he graduated from the University of Toronto with an MBA. He was sponsored for a PhD but had to return to the US before its completion or be considered AWOL from his Army service.
In the summer of 1968 Joe was instantly taken with a young woman whom he met while looking for the midnight Mass at Boston College. As the story goes, Lynn was also looking for the midnight Mass. Lynn asked, “do you know where the midnight Mass is?” Joe took one look at her and thought, talk fast. They married on July 12, 1969, moved to Wellesley in 1971, where he was a life-long resident, and soon after began welcoming their 4 children into their life. Joe worked very hard. He was gone early in the morning and was always home at night for dinner. The Finns always had family dinner. He strived for consistency as a parent. He made sure his children knew he loved them, would take care of them and was responsible for them. As a husband, it was just as important for Joe to give his wife Lynn full support. Lynn thrived in the consistency and rhythm of a stable home environment. Joe was madly in love with Lynn aka “the adored one,” from the day they met until the day she left this world in December of 2017.
Joe worked for Mosaic Tile and Northern Telecom during the early part of his marriage. In 1975 Joe started his own company with only $80 in his bank account. Joe specialized in Management Consulting for insolvent and distressed businesses and bankruptcy functionary work to include: bankruptcy trustee, assignee for the benefit of creditors, liquidating agent, accounting for the creditor committee, accounting for the debtor, accountant for the second tier lenders and a whole host of functionary activities. In fact, when he went into semi-retirement in 2012, he was the dominant bankruptcy trustee in all of Massachusetts by a wide margin. Assisting and rehabilitating people in their business was his vocation due to his early childhood experience of his family’s company (The Neponset Woolen Mills of Canton, MA) becoming insolvent. He understood the family pathology, the stress, the strain, and the recrimination that happens to people when the family business goes bad.
Joe was a devout Catholic his whole life and devoted his life to helping others. For over 50 years, he was an active member of St. John’s the Evangelist Church in Wellesley. He taught high school CCD into the mid 1980s. He was also a founding member of Voice of the Faithful, championing transparency and reform within the Catholic Church. Joe engaged in service activities such as Friends of Southeast Asian Refugees, which he helped get up and running in the early 1980s. He served on the audit committee of the Boston Latin School Association for many years. He sat on the board of trustees at both of the local seminaries, for 10 years, both Pope St. John XXI Seminary from 1984 to 1994, and St. John Seminary from 1994 to 2004. He also assisted his beloved wife with the Wellness Clinic at St. Francis Shrine, Arch Street as well as the Wellness Clinic at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross.
He was a proud member of the Order of Malta since 1984 including a time as Hospitaller for the order in the Boston area. He particularly enjoyed being the Vice Chair of Spiritual Activities. Joe was also part of the reform of the Order of Malta, American Association, from 1997 to 2000. Then serving as a member of the Board of Councilors from 2001 until 2006. As a Knight in the Order of Malta, he worked as part of the staff caring for the Procession des Malades on pilgrimages to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.
Joe was an avid golfer and for over 30 years, was an active member of Wellesley Country Club. His love for golf started at an early age as his father and grandfather were both active members of Charles River Country Club. He played in a multitude of member-guest tournaments throughout New England with close friends and would take an annual trip with his brothers and friends to South Carolina up until his heath no longer allowed him. One of his most enjoyable and memorable tournament wins was winning the member guest at Thorny Lea CC in Brockton, MA with his brother Paul.
He was a devoted brother, husband, and father. He is also survived by 11 treasured grandchildren: Catherine, Elizabeth and Joseph Finn. Marie, Therese, Claire, Ignatius, and Isabel Kottenstette, Finn and Amelie Payne, and Clementine Finn.
When asked what he hoped for his family and friends he said “the fact that they grow in Jesus, they grow in understanding of Jesus, and they grow in an understanding of the Blessed Mother, they grow in an understanding of the faith in their lives and how their lives are really shaped and driven by the Holy Spirit. That is, to me, the most important thing, so that they are with me, assuming I go to heaven. I hope I do.”
“I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.” John 11:25-26
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Friday, September 22, 2023 at 11AM in St. John the Evangelist Church, 9 Glen Rd. Wellesley. Interment will be private. Visiting hours will be Thursday, from 4-7PM at the Henry J. Burke & Sons Funeral Home, 56 Washington St. Wellesley.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to https://pilgrimagefoundation.org/donate.html
Please indicate that your donation is in memory of Joseph F. Finn, Jr.