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Merle Finley

August 6, 1928 January 31, 2019
Merle Finley
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Obituary for Merle Finley

The funeral service for Merle Finley, 90, of rural Mansfield, SD, will be 11:00am, Friday, February 8, 2019, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Aberdeen with Pastor Jeff Whillock officiating. Burial at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Merle died Thursday, January 31, at Aberdeen Health and Rehabilitation.

Visitation will be 3:00-7:00pm, Wednesday, with family present from 5:00-7:00pm, at Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home, 1111 South Main Street.

Merle Elwood Finley was born August 6, 1928 in Aberdeen, SD to Dewey Adelbert and Anna Minerva (Strouckel) Finley. Merle grew up on the family farm in the Scatterwood area. He attended a one room schoolhouse through eighth grade, later graduating from Cresbard High School in 1946. He continued his education at Northern State College to pursue pharmacy. Within the year, Merle returned to the family farm due to his father’s health problems. He met his future spouse Jean while acting as Sunday School Superintendent and leading church services together at Scatterwood Community Church.

Merle was united in marriage to Jean Alveda Anderson on June 16, 1951 in Aberdeen at Bethlehem Lutheran Church. They made their home for fifty-two years, on his grandfather William’s original homestead, a mile north of where he grew up. Five children were added to this union.

He was active in his community, serving on various boards including The Scatterwood Community Club and Scatterwood Cemetery. He served on the board for Union Township and was chairman of the Farmers Union of Chelsea for twenty years, and was also chairman of the Faulk County ASC committee.

Merle and Jean were world travelers, visiting Africa, Spain and Hawaii. They enjoyed their frequent vacations to Cancun Mexico. In his spare time, Merle enjoyed water skiing, snowmobiling, camping and attending the bike rallies in Sturgis.

Grateful for having shared Merle’s life are his children: Roger (LeAnn) Finley, Salem SD; Patty (Dean) Knie, Aberdeen; Peggy (David) Ford, Aberdeen; Richard (Lazette) Finley, Sioux Falls SD; James (Jolinda) Finley, Chelsea SD; grandchildren: Aaron Finley, Canistota SD; Benjamin Finley, Sioux Falls SD; Rachel (Paul) Longhenry, Montrose SD; John (Elisha) Knie, St. Louis MO; Kristina (Jason) Bjorklund, Sioux Falls SD; Brian (Janey) Knie, Aberdeen; Michael Ford, Littleton CO; Brandon Ford, Warner SD; Justin Swan, Sioux Falls SD; Cortney Finley, Sioux Falls SD; Amanda (Adam) Kindt, Watertown SD; Evan Finley, Chelsea SD; Kate Finley, Aberdeen SD; and great-grandchildren: Jerry Longhenry, AnnaLee Longhenry, Louise Longhenry, Haley Knie, Chelsea Knie, Megan Knie, Julia Knie, Sarah Knie and Lillian Swan; sister-in-law June Finley; nephews: Chuck, Todd, Scott and Sheldon (Cheryl) Finley; and great-niece: Sarah Finley.

Preceding Merle in death are his wife Jean Finley; parents Dewey and Anna Finley; grandson, Jacob Finley; and brothers, Wesley (Mary) Finley and Owen “Dick” Finley; and nephew: Roland Finley.

To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of Merle Finley, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events





3:00 PM 2/6/2019 3:00:00 PM - 7:00 PM 2/6/2019 7:00:00 PM
Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home

1111 South Main
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Family present from 5-7pm

Spitzer-Miller Funeral Home
1111 South Main Aberdeen 57401 SD
United States

Funeral Service




11:00 AM 2/8/2019 11:00:00 AM
Bethlehem Lutheran Church - Aberdeen

1620 Milwaukee Ave NE
Aberdeen, SD 57401

Bethlehem Lutheran Church - Aberdeen
1620 Milwaukee Ave NE Aberdeen 57401 SD
United States

Cemetery Details


Sunset Memorial Gardens Final Resting Place

5851 U.S. 12
Aberdeen, SD 57401

5851 U.S. 12 Aberdeen 57401 SD
United States

Memorial Contribution

Bethlehem Lutheran Church - Aberdeen

1620 Milwaukee Ave NE
Aberdeen, SD 57401
In lieu of flowers, the family prefers memorials in Merle's name to Bethlehem Lutheran Church, Aberdeen.

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