It is with great sorrow that the family announce the passing of Claire Finnen, with his wife and granddaughter by his side, early in the morning of February 24, 2009.
Claire was born, raised and educated in Winnipeg, MB. Claire was predeceased by his parents, brother Lloyd Finnen, sister Merril Brown. To cherish his memory, he leaves his wife, Margaret, of 60 years (Salmon Arm, BC), daughter Mary McMillan (Airdrie, AB), granddaughters Kimberly McMillan (Calgary, AB), Tanya and fiancé Paul Duschene, and great grandson, Aiden.
Claire was a natural athlete. He was a goal tender from the age of six, played junior hockey for Esquire Red Wings, was drafted by Detroit, and sent to their farm team, Minneapolis Millers. Upon returning to Winnipeg he contracted polio, which ended his professional hockey career, but not his desire to excel in sports. He became Chief Ski Instructor, a member of the Canadian Ski Patrol, and took medals and trophies in all disciplines of skiing. In the summer he excelled in tennis, golf and was racing shells at the Winnipeg Canoe Club.
Working in the oil industry, Claire and family were transferred from Winnipeg to Southern Ontario, then to head office-Toronto, then to the new refinery in Bowden, Alberta. Living in Innisfail, Alberta, they made lifetime friends who are extended family. Claire was elected to Innisfail town council, and became deputy mayor before their move to British Columbia. Taking early retirement from Shell Canada at age 54, Claire and Margaret moved to their new home in Cedar Heights, British Columbia, and then moved into Salmon Arm after 18 years in Cedar Heights. The happy couple spent 15 winters at Lake Havasu, Arizona where they made lifelong friends.
The family would like to express their sincere appreciation to the staff of the Shuswap Lake General Hospital who not only provided excellent care for Claire, but also so much care and kindness to Margaret and granddaughter Kimberly, who were by Claire’s side 24 hours a day, right to the end.
Also a special thank you to Dr. John Wood for so many years of excellent care.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Shuswap Lake General Hospital Building Fund would be appreciated.
A service was held on Saturday, February 28th at 2:00 p.m. at Bowers Funeral Chapel.
Funeral arrangements were in the care of Bowers Funeral Home, Salmon Arm.