Wilfrid (Bill) Bertrand Finuf was born at home on March 13, 1924, youngest son of Oliver and Katherine Finuf of Flush, KS.
Bill accomplished much in his life from growing up on a farm in rural Kansas, to becoming an aviation cadet and flying reconnaissance missions in the South Pacific during World War II. Shortly after returning from his wartime service, Bill married Geraldine F. Selero of Manhattan, KS on September 14, 1945. They had two children, son Jerry and later, daughter Katherine. Bill attended Kansas State University earning a degree in Mechanical Engineering. He went to work in the aerospace industry with Boeing in Wichita, KS. He later transferred to Boeing in Renton, WA where he worked on advanced materials projects for the Boeing supersonic transport. After a downturn at Boeing in the late 60’s, Bill continued his aerospace career with the McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company in St. Louis, MO. Bill’s work in advanced materials resulted in significant contributions to modern fighter and attack aircraft. His projects included the composite wing and empennage assemblies on the Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier, the all-composite speed brake on the Air Force’s F-15 Eagle, and later as a project engineer on McDonnell’s YF-23 stealth fighter project. Many of the fruits of his career in aerospace still fly today in aircraft defending our nation.
Bill’s wife Geraldine died in May of 2000. Not long after Geraldine’s death Bill met and married Frances Swarburg, from Austin, TX and moved with her to San Antonio. He made many friends, was a founding member of the Shrine of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina Catholic Church, and lived in San Antonio until he died on September 22, 2015 at the age of 91. His death followed a very long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Bill was always quick to laugh and had a marvelously inquisitive spirit.
He is survived by his daughter, Katherine, and her husband, Bill Blanchette, and his son, Jerry and his wife, Teresa. As well as Frances’ daughter, Mary, and her husband, John Nelson, and son, Stephen and his wife, Tracy. Bill had four grandchildren, Andrew, Candace, Matthew, and Tony. Plus seven step grandchildren: Tylene, Darien, James, Aaron, Milly, John Edward, and Margie; as well as eleven great-grandchildren: Cooper, Dexter, Nora, Brianna, Hailey, Jack, Jacob, Levi, Luke, Roland, and Travis; and one great-great-grandson Trevon.
He is preceded in death by his mother and father, his sisters, Ruth McCullough and Mary Sutter, his brothers Sylvester, George, Bernard, and Edward, and his previous wives Geraldine and Frances.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the San Antonio Food Bank www.safoodbank.org.
Funeral Mass will be Thursday, October 1, 2015, at 10:00 AM at the Shrine of St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina Catholic Church, 3843 Bulverde Parkway. Interment will be at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis, MO.
2015 CEP Start Dates
Sept.13- Middle School (6:30-8:15)
Sept. 13- High School Youth Group (6:30-8:30)
Sept. 15- FIF/RCIC (6:00-7:15)
Sept. 16- Elementary, K-5 (4:30 or 6:00 session)
Sept. 15/17- Confirmation (7:00-8:30) First Class & Parent Meeting