Edward Joseph Finnegan of Gary, SD, passed away on November 30, 2020, at Sanford Medical Center in Sioux Falls, SD. After becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, Ed engaged in every reasonable medical intervention to restore his health. When it became clear this was not possible, he made the decision to pass away peacefully, and without pain. A celebration of Ed’s life will be held at a later date. The Horvath Funeral Service is handling the arrangements.
“In the warm embrace of kith and kin” —a quote from the movie, Christmas Vacation—exemplifies a life well lived with family, friends, and good times. Ed was born on August 12, 1944, in Marshall, Minnesota, to Edward and Eleanor Finnegan. He grew up in Minneota, MN, where he attended St. Edward’s Catholic School and Minneota High School. Shortly after high school, Ed served in Vietnam providing air weather support, owing to his giftedness in math. Upon returning, he began working with his father at Finnegan’s Super Valu, which he later purchased. At a high school football game in Ghent, MN, Ed met his wife of 45 years, Ronette. Together they provided a loving home to three children. After Ronette was diagnosed with cancer, Ed sold his store to spend more time with her and family. Ed lovingly cared for Ronette during her time in hospice at their cabin on Lake Cochrane in Gary, SD. Ed expressed his love for friends and family through acts of service and quality time. He belonged to the Jaycees for many years and was an active member in his church. As a volunteer firefighter of 27 years, Ed enjoyed the companionship of those in his department. He later told his adult children of some harrowing times as a firefighter—and they were thankful to have learned much later. For many years, he delivered groceries to those no longer able to come into his store. This too resulted in some interesting stories. Ed also provided comfort to friends and family going through hard times. From the annual Thanksgiving viewing of Christmas Vacation to annual golf tournaments, Ed made time with family and friends his top priority. His nieces, nephews, and grandchildren likely remember how much he liked to tease—no one escaped “look at my elbow.” He loved travelling to new places: hunting and fishing trips with friends, hotel-swimming weekends with his young children and family friends, many visits to the Finnegan family cabin, exploring new cities with his grandchildren, winter visits to see his friends in Arizona, and many more. Ed also expressed his love by sharing his appreciation of sports. As a young man, he participated in softball and golf leagues and continued golfing throughout his life. He delighted in taking his children to professional games (even the Twins World Series). He also looked forward to tailgating and attending games with his friends. He liked playing cards—from five hundred with his young children, to years of bridge club, to more recent Euchre tournaments. And, of course, Ed enjoyed happy hour with his friends and family—there was always a final, final. Ed’s proudest achievement was his role as father to three and grandfather to four. Even as his grandchildren grew into teenagers, he made an effort to connect with them through phone calls, texts, and of course, a healthy dose of teasing. He picked up his son Nick from Marshall most weekends and watched baseball and football games together. Many family weekends at Lake Cochrane were spent pontooning, playing games, making s’mores (he liked the marshmallow charred), having a drink with the neighbors next door, viewing corny movies, being bemused by humming birds, and watching the sunset. Being by the lake was a source of happiness, relaxation, and calm. He was proud to share this with his kith and kin.
Ed was preceded in death by his wife Ronette (Johnson); his young brother Jeff; and his brother-in-law Dale Dodge. He is survived by his daughter Anjanette, her husband Chris Alme, and their sons – Aidan and Liam – all of St. Paul, MN; his son Anthony, his wife Karin, and their sons – Brendan and Kieran – all of Maple Grove, MN; his son Nicholas of Marshall, MN; his sister Maureen Hogan; his sister Pat Allman and her husband Mike; his sister Carol Wegner and her husband Bob; his sister Rosemarie Finnegan; his brother-in-law Bob Stevens and his wife Barb; his brother-in-law Dennis Johnson and his wife Debbie; his sister-in-law Diane Dodge; his sister-in-law Beatrice Jones and her husband Mike; many nieces, nephews, and cousins; and many, many friends.