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Anthony “Tony” Finnegan

  • On September 16, 2021

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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Brian Patterson
I'm sorry for your loss. Mr. Finnegan was an amazing teacher and a better person. I have thought of him often in my own teaching career and tried to bring life and energy to my lessons just as he did (he did it much more successfully). He taught me how to build relationships with students. and how a classroom culture can be built on respect and still have fun.
John A. Mihaloew
“There is no justice, just us” ended many an enlightening conversation with Tony. We shared a portion of the first floor hallway for many years. He was the best neighbor I could have had. His voice was often heard relating a story of history. I have included him in my daily prayers since his illness and will continue to do so. Please accept my most profound sadness and condolences. May his memory be Eternal. Love always to you all.
Karen Mancini
As an OLSH graduate of 1995, Mr Finnegan may have been by far my most impactful educator. He had high expectations for his students, which may have felt intimating as a teen, but instilled a level of critical thinking that has served me well throughout my adult life. I’ve often reflected on a turn of phrase, historical insight, or civics lessen. He taught us about the Hamilton/Burr dual long before Lin-Manuel Miranda came long. Even the memory of his cookie jar, filled with Oreos, elicits a visceral response. I am privileged to have studied under his tutelage, and will forever be a better person for it. My sincerest well wishes for his family, and highest marks for the man, Mr Tony Finnegan. Thank you for all of it. With a deep sadness but a glad heart, his legacy is passed forward to a new generation of students. See you on the other side, Karen Mancini Broadwater
John A. Mihaloew
I regret that I am unable to attend the visitation on Sunday. I’m currently on oxygen and must be very careful due to the COVID situation. I had hoped to see you all but I can’t. Be assured of my continued prayers for Tony and all of you. Continue to do well in your lives and vocations. May the Lord eatch over you always. Love, John A. Mihaloew (Mr. M)
Brian T
My Deepest Sympathy to the Finnegan Family. His Famous words " Don't be loud stupid " will always be inscribed in my brain. You Will Be Missed By Many.
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