John P. Finley

August 9, 1956 - July 16, 2023
candle-small flame
Soller-Baker Funeral Homes, Inc.
candle-small flame
Wendy Smiley
candle-small flame
Michał Błażejowski
candle-small flame
Leah Martin
candle-small flame
Wendy Smiley
candle-small flame
Tongcang Li
candle-tall flame
David Koltick
candle-tall flame
Yong Chen
candle-tall flame
Jessie Arnold
candle-tall flame
Shihua Huang
candle-tall flame
Riddhi Mehta
candle-tall flame
Xiaobing Shi
Light a Candle

John P. Finley, 66, of West Lafayette, IN passed on Sunday, July 16, 2023, at The Springs at Lafayette nursing facility after a lengthy battle with cancer with his wife and brother by his side. John was born in Philadelphia, PA, to the late John and Angelina (Russo) Finley. John was raised in Glenolden PAContinue Reading

Edgar Y Reed left a message on February 22, 2024:
Miss you JP. Fond memories of days bogeying too many holes at Cobbs Creek and head scratching too many problems in Halliday and Resnick. But it was good to get back in contact after all the years if only briefly. Smooth Sailing and perhaps see you in the next lifetime. Bead.
Wendy Smiley left a message on February 19, 2024:
Dear Mary, I am heartily sorry for the loss of the love of your life, John, and you were the love of his. We will miss him greatly. Love Wendy and Tom
Michał Błażejowski left a message on February 15, 2024:
RIP Dear John
Sue Hunt left a message on February 9, 2024:
I am so very sorry to hear about John's passing. I was attempting to contact him regarding our 50th high school reunion and found his memorial. It was wonderful to hear about all his accomplishments and read these messages. We grew up together and spent many years hanging out as teens until we moved away from home. Glad to know John reached for the stars.
Leah Martin left a message on November 18, 2023:
In memory of John P. Finley, Leah Martin lit a candle
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
John Jacobsen left a message on September 22, 2023:
Last night at dinner I was talking with my partner Eden about how rare it is anymore to be able to learn one-on-one with a teacher, outside of a classroom setting, for any length of time. After a bit of reflection, this got me telling her about the time I spent as an undergraduate at Wisconsin working with John. I'd met John's boss Ugo by chance and had done some work for him. I was hungry to learn and somewhat capable at writing software, but otherwise completely new to experimental physics. At Ugo's prodding, John took me under his wing and, in a very real sense, got me started as an experimentalist. (This was during the last few years of his grad school career.) We wrote a paper with a few others based on data from the COS-B gamma ray satellite. We ran shift on Maui, Hawaii and operated the Haleakala Gamma Ray Observatory together. I learned the rudiments of statistics and the fine points of searching for faint (in our case, too-faint) signals buried in noise. John was energetic and funny and good at explaining things. I learned it was possible to dive deep into technical work while also keeping a sense of humor and one's humanity. My apprenticeship with John helped set the stage for work at CERN, my own doctorate, and a lengthy career as a software engineer working closely with physicists. Sadly, I was too young then to really appreciate the time and effort John had put into me, and I let the relationship wither. Eden reminded me that it was good to thank people for things they've done, even years later, before it's too late. Sadly, in this case it is too late, for I came here to discover John passed away just a few months ago. I regret not thanking him. I celebrate him for who he was and for all that he gave me, 35 years ago. Thank you, John. I send my deepest condolences to you, Mary, and to John's family, for your loss.
David Cinabro left a message on September 8, 2023:
I met John as my office mate as new graduate students at the University of Wisconsin in Physics. We bonded over shared science interests and as I later figured out similar cultural backgrounds and similar tastes in music. John was older having not taken the straight path to graduate work, and I looked up to him. I hung out with John and Mary as we settled in. We always had great talks about physics, music, baseball, food, etc. I invited John and Mary to my wedding. We met a few times at conferences and my wife and I visited after John and Mary settled in Indiana and we settled in Michigan. We invited each other for talks at our respective institutions and we hung out afterwards like we did back in graduate school. We met frequently for a few years when we were both physics department chairs at the annual Midwestern Physics Department Chairs meeting in Chicago. I am still stunned John is gone. He is a great friend and I will miss him terribly.
Gloria Koenigsberger left a message on August 31, 2023:
I am so very sorry to hear that John is no longer with us. He was a wonderful collaborator and an amazing person.
Julia Sibley left a message on August 31, 2023:
Oh, my. I just learned of John's passing. I hold Mary and all those that loved him in my heart. He was such a sweet, gentle man and will be missed.
Ravishankar Chatta Subramaniam left a message on August 22, 2023:
Dr. Finley would always greet me with me with a cheerful smile each time we got to pass each other in the hallway. I would miss these beautiful words of his: "Good to see you". May his soul rest in peace.
Rod & Suzanne Lessard left a message on August 13, 2023:
Dearest Mary, I can’t believe I’m writing this note, but we just heard about John’s passing and are so sorry for your loss. Sending our condolences, buckets of love and endless hugs to you from us, in California. John was an extraordinary person – one of those unique individuals filled with boyhood wonder and enthusiastically shared his curiosity with our little kiddos, Courtney and Mark. When we think of John we smile, remembering him as perceptive, understanding, gracious and wise – the adjectives barely hint at how great he was. Our time in West Lafayette was so special and Rod, Courtney, Mark and I feel it was an immense privilege to have known John as a colleague and friend. Hearing of his passing brings immense sadness to Rod and I and we’re sending our love to you. Please know that we will keep you in your thoughts during this difficult time. xo
Wendy Smiley left a message on August 7, 2023:
Mary, We are heartily sorry for your loss. Much Love, Wendy, Tom and family
MARY DENNIS left a message on August 4, 2023:
Mary, I was so very sorry and saddened to learn of the recent passing of your lovely husband John. My heart goes out to you and John's family. You are in my prayers and thoughts.
Dave Kieda left a message on August 2, 2023:
John and I worked together for many years as astronomers on the Whipple Observatory and the VERITAS observatory. He was a key-founding member of the gamma-ray astrophysics community. We shared many nights observing together since 1997, sharing stories of Philadelphia (I went to U Penn), and also discussing life as we progressed through our careers and our families grew. John and I collaborated on the upgrade of the VERITAS telescope cameras in the early 2010's. He and his students at Purdue built up a lab to test and verify the quality of over 2000 photomultiplier tube light sensors. At > $500 each photomultiplier, this was a million-dollar responsibility. John did an amazing job that guaranteed the success of the project. I have a nice picture of John in the summer 2012 after reassembling one of the VERITAS cameras working with a Utah summer REU student(Lexi Parrey), n on rebuilding the camera. We have a fun time-lapse video I'd be glad to share showing John and Lexi disassembling and reassembling the camera. Unfortunately, this website would not upload the picture. John was a great friend. We all miss him. A single person can make a huge difference in the world through their kindness and humor. John was one of those rare individuals.
Dave LeFevre left a message on July 31, 2023:
John, I really enjoyed working with you at Purdue. You will be missed.
Vasanti and Anant Ramdas left a message on July 31, 2023:
Our sincere condolences to Mary Finley and other members of the family. Vasanti and Anant
Tongcang Li left a message on July 30, 2023:
In memory of John P. Finley, Tongcang Li lit a candle
Ben Zitzer left a message on July 29, 2023:
John was my PhD advisor, but beyond that he was my mentor and my friend. I have many fond memories of playing golf with or he would sometimes have me over for dinner. He had a great sense of humor and a lot of varied interests and I felt like I could talk with him on basically any subject. He would encourage us by telling us "Proceed Undaunted!" I will miss him a great deal.
Danny Milisavljevic left a message on July 29, 2023:
I am deeply saddened to hear of the passing of John. He was kind and insightful, funny, supportive, and always made time to talk. He was very influential in my decision to come to Purdue and I will miss him dearly.
Niranjan Shivaram left a message on July 28, 2023:
My deepest condolences to the Finley family. John hired me as an assistant professor in 2019 when he was the Department Head at Purdue PhysAstro. He was always very helpful and supportive. Whenever I ran into him in the hallway, he was kind, friendly, and cheerful. I am grateful to John for everything and I will miss him in the Department.
Peace of mind is a call away. We’re here when you need us most.
Wei Xie left a message on July 28, 2023:
Rest in peace. You will be missed by many.
Della Josephine Willmann left a message on July 28, 2023:
I will miss John's patience in teaching and answering all questions about the heavens. Such a sweet man will be deeply missed.
David Koltick left a message on July 28, 2023:
I worked closely with John, collaborating on elementary particle physics research. He was so insightful about the next step to take in research. HIs students and Post Doc's will continue to pursue the vision he taught. I will truly miss his steady hand.
Yong Chen left a message on July 28, 2023:
In memory of John P. Finley, Yong Chen lit a candle
Jessie Arnold left a message on July 28, 2023:
In memory of John P. Finley, Jessie Arnold lit a candle
Shihua Huang left a message on July 28, 2023:
In memory of John P. Finley, Shihua Huang lit a candle
Riddhi Mehta left a message on July 27, 2023:
Condolences to the Finley family. He will be missed dearly.
Xiaobing Shi left a message on July 27, 2023:
I would like to offer my condolence to John's family. John was my advisor during the last five years. He was an excellent advisor and mentor. I am saddened by Professor Finley's passing.
CARLA REDDING left a message on July 27, 2023:
My heart goes out to Mary in this difficult time. John always put a smile on my face when I approached him. He will be dearly missed.
Souvik Das left a message on July 27, 2023:
My prayers and best regards to Prof. Finley's family. I am deeply grateful to Prof. Finley for the support he gave me in the Purdue Physics Department.
a physics student left a message on July 27, 2023:
I offer my condolescence to the family. He was the department head when I was an undergraduate student of physics at Purdue University. He always tried to make sure the students in the department enjoyed their experience, and frequently set aside time to informally hang out with the students at events. I remember him not as an unknown authority figure, but as a friendly leader who was open to communicate and extended genuine concern for us, and he will be missed.
JJ left a message on July 27, 2023:
I will never forget Professor John Finley trying to make everything funny and amusing! The positive energy in the Physics department and a warrior for fighting cancer.
Hao left a message on July 27, 2023:
In memory of John P. Finley, Hao lit a candle
Anna M Bauer left a message on July 27, 2023:
I worked in the Physics business office while John was the department head. We had many great discussions about baseball and football. He would come over every day to check in and tell us all hello! He will be missed. Prayers to John's family during this difficult time.
Yun left a message on July 27, 2023:
In memory of John P. Finley, Yun lit a candle
Penghua Chen left a message on July 27, 2023:
In memory of John P. Finley, Penghua Chen lit a candle
Lafayette Urban Ministry left a message on July 27, 2023:
The Board and Staff of Lafayette Urban Ministry wish to extend our sincerest condolences to Mary and John's extended family and friends. May God hold all of you in the palm of His hand.
Soller-Baker Funeral Homes, Inc. left a message:
Please accept our deepest condolences for your family's loss.
Show More