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Anthony “Tony” Finnegan

  • On September 16, 2021
  • 17 Comments

Anthony “Tony” Finnegan passed away peacefully on September 15 surrounded by his family. He was 71.

Tony, born August 7, 1950 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was charismatic, entertaining and a natural storyteller. Tony often said that he was born in the wrong era, as he didn’t own a cellphone, didn’t carry a wallet, and lived in an 19th century house that he lovingly referred to as “The Burrow.” When walking into his family’s home, reality was suspended, and visitors were transported to a simpler time where conversations and debates over a pint were alive and well. Each holiday decoration was meticulously cared for and each ornament on the Christmas tree represented someone important in his life.

He was a passionate and beloved educator at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School in Coraopolis, Pa until he retired in 2009. To his students, he was known to have a gift for humanizing history, by helping to envision the lives and challenges of the people who influenced events. He was an avid Civil War buff and he and his wife Phyllis York Finnegan, of 48 years, would spend many days steadily walking the battlefields at Gettysburg in the early morning to reflect on the lives and stories of those who lived during the event.

All who knew Tony will never forget his quick wit, intelligence, and creativity, but above all, Tony will be remembered for his deep affection and love for his family and friends. He was unique in the very best of ways and will not soon be forgotten.

He is survived by his wife Phyllis, their three children: Sean, his wife, Stephanie and their children, Piper and Parker of Los Alamos, New Mexico; Shannon Grant, her husband Matt and their children, Hailey and Emma of Venetia, Pennsylvania; and Meaghean Finnegan, her husband David Patterson and their daughter Niamh of Donaghadee, Ireland. In addition, he is survived by sisters, Susan Berg and Cynthia Gigliotti and brothers Dennis and Daniel, as well 18 nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his mother, Mary Christine and father, Richard Finnegan.

Friends will be welcomed from 12 p.m. until the time of prayer service at 7 p.m. on Sunday, September 19 at Pittsburgh Cremation and Funeral Care, 3285 Washington Road, McMurray PA, 15317. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly asks you to consider donations in his name to Gettysburg National Park or the American Battlefield Trust.

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17 Comments

Jessica Thomas
I’m extremely sorry for your loss. Mr.Finnegan was my history teacher when I went to olsh and his profound knowledge about history drew me to the subject making it my favorite in school. He was a wonderful teacher and I thank him for all the laughs and advice over the years as my teacher. I hope he’s resting easy. So sorry again for your loss.
deb Hancock
an absolutely incredible loss; a man who literally touched and changed thousands of lives. a warm and gentle soul who had the ability to make you feel that you were the most incredible person on earth. god's speed.
Erin Smida
Sorry to hear of Mr.Finnegan’s passing. Thoughts and prayers.
Gina Chalfant
I will never forget the many hours of love and laughter had by your fireside. Knowing you enriched my life and I always felt I learned something when visiting. Rest well my friend, and may your spirit fly high. ❤️ Gina Chalfant
Alyson Nolte
I kept a log in the back of my history notebook of all of the wise, intriguing, comforting, or downright hilarious things Mr. Finnegan said during class for the year that I was blessed enough to have him as a teacher. As you may imagine, it was several pages long before the end of the year. Quite a few of those bits of wisdom still live fresh in my mind and have shaped who I am as a person and as an educator today. He absolutely left an indelible mark on his students and all those fortunate to know him. My prayers for all those mourning his loss. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
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