George A. Finnerty III passed away October 1, 2020. He was born in Youngstown December 26, 1947, the eldest child of George A. Finnerty Jr. and Sue Strother Finnerty, both of 1947 whom preceded him in death. George was a graduate of Cardinal Mooney High School and Youngstown State University where he was active in the Phi Kappa Si Fraternity. He was the very first of a long line of Finnertys to attend Mooney spanning two generations. He would go on to serve thirty four plus years in the City of Youngstown Health Department where he was responsible for Sanitation and Recycling. He was the person called by countless Youngstown mayors and council members to address outbreaks of mosquitos, pigeons and other rodents. He oversaw programs for ridding Youngstown freeways and byways of litter. In 1988, he planned, executed and hosted a statewide conference on recycling which attracted environmentally conscious state officeholders like former Attorney General Tony Celebrezze and representatives of Ohio EPA. The conference was his brainchild and a smashing success. In the mid-1980s, he lent his unusual and varied expertise to the City of Columbus Health Department before his permanent return to his beloved Youngstown.
George was a devout Catholic who served forty years as an usher at St. Dominic’s 6:00am Sunday Mass. Before his health failed, George led an exceedingly active life. He had been a member of the Mooney track team. He served two decades as commissioner and scribe for the Youngstown Slo-Pitch Softball League. He played in double headers nearly every Sunday and published the results in a popular weekly newsletter distributed throughout the league. George was also an avid and devoted fan of auto racing, preferring the NASCAR circuit to Indy car. His love of and interest in cars also manifested itself through his propensity for building model cars. It also accounts for why his side job was at Boardman Hobby Shop where he pushed model kits onto other enthusiasts. At one point in his life’s journey he was believed to have built some four thousand model cars and fire trucks down to the last detail. This interest impelled him to attend countless model car trade shows in cities across the Midwest where he was able to display his handiwork. Somewhere in there he also fit in a membership in the Ashtabula Lighthouse Society.
But make no mistake, his proudest association, besides family and vocation, was his annual work at the world’s greatest county fair, the “Canfield Fair.” It was through a chance introduction to longtime Fair Board member C. Gilbert “Gibby” James that George was presented with an opportunity to play a critical role in setting up and taking down the Fair each late summer at the direction of Mr. James. Dating to the 1968 Canfield Fair, George worked with a remarkable crew of devoted people to ensure the success and popularity of exhibits at venues such as Pioneer Village, the Medical Building and on prior occasions the Floral and Fine Arts Building. Each year George conserved vacation hours in order that he could take off the requisite time to work the Fair through 2014 when his health began to fail him. It may be said that George set his watch by the annual fair where, in candor, he was believed to enjoy the platform it afforded him barking out orders at the numerous family members, relatives and neighbors under his supervision. Bottom line, he loved his association with the Canfield Fair and it was a sad day when his health issues impeded his participation.
In addition to his parents noted above, George was preceded in death by sisters Anne Finnerty James in 2011 and Lucile in 1958. He is survived by his many siblings including Mary Sue Finnerty (Ron Annas) of New York; Beverly Finnerty (Ed Goetz) of Columbus; Jim Finnerty of Youngstown; Landon Finnerty of New York; Greg Finnerty (Lori) of Dublin; and Jeanne Finnerty of New York. Besides his siblings, George is survived by his favorite niece Claire Annas Keaveney, of New York and nephews Will Nagel (Angel Aguilar), Jesse Annas, Shane Annas (Haelinn Seu) all from New York, and Miles Yetter from St. Louis. George also thanked the heavens for two great nieces, Nassia Curtis and Nova Sue Keaveney and great nephew Axel Vaughan Annas, all from New York. Throughout his illness, George was fortunate to receive the constant support and from the world’s greatest brother in law, Carl James, whose acts of kindness were too numerous to tally. Thanks to Carl James, George never missed a holiday with family. Further, he was blessed and grateful for the support, care and friendship of Finnerty Family Friend Chris Fitzpatrick, who was his biggest advocate. Finally, George also had expressed his good fortunate for the care and treatment he received from the outstanding staff at Briarfield Manor in Austintown.
A Mass of Christian burial was held Monday October 5, 2020 at Saint Patrick Church in Youngstown, celebrated by Rev. Kevin Peters, interment was at Calvary Cemetery.
With the Covid-19 virus still raging, the family is planning a memorial service for George at a future date.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Fox Funeral Home 4700 Market St. Boardman, Ohio 44512.
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