Obituaries

Col. Thomas F. Finn, Jr.

July 13th, 2021

Thomas F. Finn, Jr., COL (Ret.) U. S. Army, age 74, of Wilmington, MA, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on July 12, 2021, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington.

Tom was born on September 24, 1946, in Boston, MA; he was the dear son of the late Thomas and Mary Finn. Tom lived in Hyde Park as a young boy before his family moved to Dedham, MA, where he was raised and educated. Tom graduated from Cathedral High School in Boston, MA, with the Class of 1964 and went on to further his education at Northeastern University in Boston where he participated in the ROTC program. Tom graduated from Northeastern in1969 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering.

Tom was proud of his heritage; he came from a long list of family members including his Dad, Uncles and Cousins, that served in various branches of the Military during several wars. Tom lived and breathed the Military for most of his life; following his graduation from Northeastern, Tom, started his career with the Army; he entered his first duty as a 2nd Lieutenant with the Army Infantry. Tom married his “sweetheart” Jane O’Connell on October 19, 1968 and soon after he was assigned his first duty in Germany where he brought his new bride. Tom spent most of that tour of duty overseas with 3rd of the 12th Armored Calvary Division; he was promoted to 1st Lieutenant in 1971. Tom was honorably discharged from active duty on August 31, 1973 and transferred to the U. S. Army Reserves.

Tom and Jane returned stateside with a young family in tow, they settled in Rockland, MA in 1973 before moving to Wilmington in September of 1975. While raising a young family, Tom also resumed his education; he attended Babson College, studied hard and earned a Master’s Degree in Business Administration, 1977.

While earning his master’s degree he began his 30 year Career at Polaroid Corporation, in Norwood, MA as an Engineer to Senior Principal Engineer.

Tom remained diligent in serving the Country; throughout his service as a reservist he continued to educate himself, answer the call of duty whenever needed and was always active and present when called upon. Throughout the years, Tom’s Army career took him through many phases; he proudly served in the U. S. Army during the Vietnam Era, following his honorable discharge from active duty he then devoted his life to the U. S. Army Reserves. In addition to the Reserves, Tom dedicated his time to The Association of the 1st Corps of Cadets in Boston as Past President and current Board Member. In 2008, at the age of 61, Tom, returned to active duty as he volunteered to go to Afghanistan and fight the War on Terrorism; he never hesitated to fight for our Country and the freedom of others. While serving in Afghanistan, Tom, was awarded several medals and commendations for his service including the Afghanistan Campaign medal with a Campaign Star, Bronze Star Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, Armed Forces Reserve Medal and NATO Medal. Tom moved up the ranks throughout his career, earning himself the rank of Full Bird Colonel; which his family was very proud of.

Tom went to work for the Oasis Company at Hanscom AFB in March of 2016. Tom had an unwavering work ethic and great people skills; he used his military background as well as his vast knowledge in his engineering field to make himself quite an asset to the company. Tom was scheduled to retire from the company as a Senior Systems Engineer in August 2021 following many years of dedicated service.

In his “down time”, Tom, enjoyed being with his family and looked forward to family adventures and events; he always had a video recorder going to capture every moment. He was known to be the “life of the party” every now and then; he was sociable, friendly and made everyone feel welcomed. Tom loved to attend sporting events for his children and later on his grandchildren whom he adored. Tom was well read and liked to research his family history; it fascinated him. Tom enjoyed relaxing at the family condo in Bartlett, New Hampshire, with family and friends and looked forward to his Army Reserve weekends with his buddies. Tom’s latest hobby included model trains; he was in the process of building a village for his trains and was attentive to every detail.

Tom will be fondly remembered as a “great guy”, he loved his family, friends and neighbors and would go out of his way to help anyone. He was undoubtedly a Proud American and Honorable Soldier; he was always willing to put others before himself. Tom will forever be in the hearts of all who loved him.

Tom was the beloved husband of Jane M. (O’Connell) Finn, devoted father of Katharine A. “Katie” Callahan & her husband Patrick, Matthew T. Finn & his wife Deirdre and Timothy F. X. Finn & his wife Lauren all of Wilmington and Patrick J. Finn & his wife Megan Borsari-Finn of Lawrence. Loving “Grampy” of Ryan, Hannah & Emma Callahan, Liam, Daniel & Brendan Finn, Timothy, Madeleine & Wyatt Finn, and Hayden, Brody & Irelynn Finn. Cherished son of the late Thomas F., Sr. and Mary M. (Cleary) Finn, dear brother of Kevin J. Finn of Litchfield, NH. Tom is also survived by his brothers and sisters-in-law, as well as many nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours at the Nichols Funeral Home, 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington, MA, on Thursday, July 15th from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place on Friday, July 16th at 10:00 a.m. in St. Theresa’s Church, 63 Winter St., North Reading, MA. Interment with Military Honors will follow in Wildwood Cemetery, Wilmington, MA.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s memory may be made to Local Heroes, Inc., P. O. Box 536, Wilmington, MA 01887. www.nicholsfuneralhome.com

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38 Entries in Guest Book for “Col. Thomas F. Finn, Jr.”

  1. Marilyn cox says:

    My heartfelt sympathy , love and prayers for Jane and the precious Finn family..Tom was a fighter to the end..never to give up,,I know you all suffered a great loss..I hope all the wonderful memories shared with him will in someway bring you some peace ..we know his faith and trust in our dear lord and love for his country was a strong foundation for him and a great legacy for you..God bless you all ,with my love Marilyn

  2. Jim Dias says:

    Sorry for your loss Tom was an outstanding officer and gentleman he will be missed by his Army buddies RIP Yom

  3. Rachel and Rita Laplante says:

    Our deepest condolences to your family. Our love and prayers to all.
    May you find comfort in his loving memory over time.

    We will miss him – Rachel and Rita Laplante

  4. Carl Pratt says:

    Condolences from our family to yours. Tom will be greatly missed by all.

  5. David and Rebecca Sweeney says:

    Deepest sympathy and prayers. Although we never met your Dad, he must have had an amazing life with a loving family like yours around him. We are thinking of you all and you especially Timothy.

  6. Derek Hullinger says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss! Tom was wonderful to work with in our interactions with him here at Imsar. He will be missed.

  7. Neil Svendsen says:

    Condolences and prayers. Tom will be missed by all his Army Reserve comrades.

  8. Shaun Grimley says:

    Colonel Finn was the former Commander of Troop D, 5th Armored Cavalry and was one of the finest officers I have ever served with. Till we meet again on Fiddlers Green, RIP Commander.

  9. Gerry Cavallo says:

    Tom did great work for the Air Force as well in an engineering capacity. He and I spent a lot of time together traveling to Taiwan where he was instrumental in improving the islands defensive capability. Despite working for the Air Force he was clearly an Army guy and was a big influence on my son who is now a Major in the Army.

  10. Bonnie Keefe-Layden says:

    Good bless COL. Tom Finn and his family. I had the privilege to work for him as a Captain. I have continued to see him from time to time at our military reunions. He will be sorely missed.

  11. Sharon & Mike Held says:

    Our deepest condolences to Jane and the family. I was a fellow graduate with Tom at Northeastern and the ROTC program. We served together in Germany in the 3/12 Cavalry, 3rd Armored Division and lived in the same apartment building. Tom and I remained friends thru the years on Facebook. We are so sad to hear of Tom’s passing. My he rest in eternal peace.

  12. Ed and Susan Carroll says:

    Tom, you lived a life that matters for your family, your neighbors, your friends and your country. To Jane and your wonderful children, we are heartbroken. Know that you are in our prayers.

  13. michael kelley says:

    It is hard to accept the passing of our old friend, Colonel Tom Finn of the 3rd Battalion, 18th Infantry. Not very long ago (April 21) he called me and invited me to have dinner with him at Jon Ryan’s Pub in Tewksbury. We had a great chat about our time together in the 3-18th and remembered many of our army buddies. I gave him an 8X10 Framed Photo collage of photos of him on duty with our unit and he was very happy and said he would share it with his family. Tom was a fine officer and leader, but more than that, he was a good man. We will never forget his smile and good heart. Rest in peace old friend. We will miss you.

  14. Dan Pinkava says:

    Tom, Air Cav brother, we will sit at the table in Valhalla and we will tell tall tales of glory and we will keep warm a place for our brothers as the Fulda Gap is secured. May the warmth of love surround your family as they will always have you and you will speak to them in their dreams.

    To Tom’s family, I am not good at this stuff, but my words, thoughts and prayers are true. I am sorry for your loss.

    Air Cav, VR Pink

  15. Peter J. GAILIS says:

    Col Tom Finn, a special friend who over the years
    shared his thoughts with me. He will be missed.
    Rest in peace, Old Soldier !

  16. Lui Puga says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and the Finn family.

  17. Ken & Joy Walkington says:

    Col Tom Finn was a terrific friend, soldier, and outstanding Army officer. We shall sorely miss him. We served in the 187th Inf. Bde. Jane, our thoughts and especially our prayers are with you and your family. God Bless Tom and all the Finn Family.

  18. Paul A. Sapienza says:

    Sincere condolences to Our buddy Tim and the entire Finn clan from your friends and colleagues at the High School Learning Center. Tim, the stories you shared about your dad and his positive influence on you and your family tell of a rich history of service and resourcefulness: your dad forged an incredibly fruitful path in life. May he Rest In Peace as he enters his eternal reward with our Lord and savior. You and your entire family remain in my prayers and thoughts as you All move through this most difficult time of mourning. May God bless you and strengthen you all.

    Peace,

    Paul

  19. George Durocher says:

    Condolences to Jane and his family. I had the pleasure of being his CSM IN The 3rd Battalion 18th Infantry. A good friend who will missed by all a true officer and gentlemen.

  20. Chris Kristian says:

    We were very sorry to learn of the passing of COL Tom Finn. I served as a company commander for him when Tom commanded 3rd Battalion 18th Infantry Regiment. He was a tremendous leader, mentor, and a man of principle. He was passionate and he always talked enthusiastically about his family. He had a quick wit! He will be missed, but we will carry on the memory of him. God bless the Finn Family.
    Chris

  21. Joan M Goodwin says:

    Oh Jane,
    I am so sorry to hear of Tom’s passing . sending love and prayers .
    hugs.
    Joan and Rich Goodwin

  22. Lou and Joan says:

    We will miss Tom forever. From Budingen to Boston. We had a wonderful week in Conway and Lou had a great walk with Tom. We went to the Mount Washington Lodge and the RR among other wonderful memories. Tom mentored me in Germany and I miss him terribly. He was a great and loyal friend.

  23. Robert Macaraeg says:

    Sir, it was an honor serving under you. You taught me a lot that came in handy down range. My condolences to your family. A true patriot, fine husband and gentleman. Rest in peace and Vanguards!

  24. James Owens says:

    My condolences to COL Finn’s family. So very sorry for your loss. It was truly an honor serving for so many years in the 3/18th under his command. He led with fairness, honesty, and integrity. He served his Country well and will be missed by all. Rest In Peace, Sir…
    James

  25. Henry A. Stolarz says:

    My deepest sympathies to COL Finn’s family. He was a great man and a great soldier. It was an honor and a pleasure to serve under him in 3/18th Infantry for my first AGR tour. I always looked forward to seeing him at the reunions over the past several years. I will miss him.

  26. Lou says:

    “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
    George S. Patton
    PEACE

  27. Jerry Driscoll says:

    Mrs. Finn, Katie, Matt, Tim, Pat, and the entire Finn family,

    I am sorry to learn of Tom’s passing. My deepest condolences to you all.

    Jerry

  28. John Nordmann says:

    My deepest sympathies to COL Finn’s family. I enjoyed working with Tom a couple of years ago on an Air Force project.

  29. Maureen DeMango says:

    Katie, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. He sounds like an incredible man. Know that I am thinking of you and sending hugs??

  30. Charles OBrien says:

    I’m truly sorry to hear about the loss of your Dad , my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family Matt
    I will say a Rosary in his name.
    GOD BLESS

  31. walter littlefield says:

    Worked with Tom at Polaroid. To say he was the best is an understatement. There are few men who can measure up to Tom. It was a pleasure and an honor to have known him. My sincere condolences to the Finn family. He will be sorely missed.

  32. Kathy Tracey-Waple says:

    I remember Tom working with him at Norwood Polaroid, such a great, kind, funny man
    Such sad news to hear of his passing, thoughts and prayers to the Finn family

  33. James Jeffrey says:

    Tom you were unique, the best of what we wanted to be. Jim

  34. Jim McGourin says:

    Halfway down the trail to Hell,
    In a shady meadow green
    Are the Souls of all dead troopers camped,
    Near a good old-time canteen.
    And this eternal resting place
    Is known as Fiddlers’ Green.

    Tom, you arrived first, but I look foward to joining you someday at Fiddlers’ Green Canteen for a brew or two and lots of blarney. You are greatly missed.
    Jim

  35. Art Tompkins says:

    Prayers go out for all concerned for the loss of their loved one Col. Thomas F. Finn Jr. R.I.P.!

  36. Calvin Strange says:

    To the family of Colonel Finn today I share your sorrow the world has lost a good man, my heart and prayers are with you in your time of mourning, To Colonel as you walk the hallowed halls in Valhalla with our fallen brothers rest easy I will see you there when my time on earth is complete….

  37. James Fink says:

    Rest in Peace Trooper. I didn’t know 2Lt (Col.) Finn, but I have much respect for those who came before me. I was stationed with Alpha Troop 3rd Squadron, 12th Cavalry six years after Tom left. I’m sure some of the Standards we maintained were Set by 2Lt Finn as his name was still batted around six years after he left.
    So Sir, when you get to that special place reserved just for us Cavalry Troopers halfway down the road to hell, just empty your canteen and enter Fiddler’s Green. SALUTE

  38. Michael says:

    Am so sorry for this loss to your family. I too was in Alpha Troop, 3/12 Cav and I served with my good friend James Fink. Our great unit was built on the sweat and sacrifice set by those that came before us. The Colonel was among that group. My prayers of peace and soothing of your tragic loss are already wafting their way to the heavens.

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