Lynda Finch Obituary (1947 – 2020)

January 5, 1947 – December 24, 2020

Lynda Sue Finch, Age 73 was born on January 5th, 1947 in Kansas City Missouri. She spent many of her younger years growing up in Lexington Kentucky. In middle school she moved with her family to Delano California. Lynda became a world traveler early on as she spent the summer of 65 as an exchange student with families of Norwegian Rotarians. The trip took her by plane to New York and then by boat, on the Italian Liner S.S. Castel Selice, across the Atlantic to London, England and Hamburg, Germany. Lynda was an exceptionally cute girl and was known for her legs. In a Delano Highschool Paper article, dated December 20, 1963 and titled “Campus Query Reveals Qualities Students Look For in “Perfect” Boy or Girl”, one boy stated his perfect girl would have “legs like Lynda Witherspoon.”

In high school Lynda was the head Cheerleader for the Delano Tigers. This allowed her to attend many high school games. In 1965 a North High School Star point guard Tom Finch was pushed into the Delano Tiger Cheerleader seats. That is where Tom and Lynda first set eyes on each other and to this day legend has it “the candle was lit.”

It would be another year before Tom and Lynda would formally meet in a class at Bakersfield College. And well, the rest is history.

Tom and Lynda Finch would be married in Las Vegas Nevada on July 5th, 1966. Although they would live in other places from time to time they would always come back to their hometown in Bakersfield, California. Their first child Jeff Finch was born on February 3rd, 1967. Followed by their second son Mike Finch on November 22nd, 1968 and their third son Brad Finch on April 28th, 1973.

Lynda was passionate about her family. She dedicated her entire life to her husband Tom and raising their three boys. She was a cub scout den mother. On July 28th, 1977 an article in “The Rustler”, a King City newspaper, described a young boy who saved his younger sister from burning by rolling her on the ground. When asked how he knew to do that the boy stated, “he had been taught this in Boy Scouts by Mrs. Tom Finch, his Scout Leader.”

Lynda and Tom enjoyed coaching their boys in AYSO soccer. With some seasons coaching up to three different age groups. The weekdays were filled with soccer practice and weekends with soccer tournaments. Lynda always made orange slices for halftime break and spectacular team banners. Lynda enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the soccer lifestyle. In 1980 Lynda moved with her family to Yuba City California. The soccer lifestyle continued but also found the introduction of motocross to the Finch family. Lynda loved the active motocross lifestyle and cherished every moment with her family. In addition, Lynda traveled extensively and loved the RV lifestyle. Lynda could be found at various California motocross tracks enjoying race day activities and bon fire nights with her family. Life was not always perfect for Lynda, in 1982 her and Tom lost their youngest son Brad in an unfortunate ATV accident. This was obviously hard for Lynda.

In true Lynda fashion she persevered and focused more on her family determined not to let this event define her life. In 1984 Lynda retuned to Bakersfield with her family and reoccupied their longstanding family home. Lynda continued to support both boys in their sports and motocross through high school and beyond. She also worked in the Bakersfield College Admissions office for several years.

In 1990 Lynda became a grandmother to Justin Finch. Again in 1991 and 1997 two more grandchildren, Jordan and Julianne Finch, entered her life. Lynda enjoyed every moment she got with her grandchildren. She was always ready to babysit, shuttle them to and from school, attend a sporting event or birthday, or continue her love of traveling with family. And she did!

Lynda also took time with her husband Tom to travel extensively. Often popping back to Vegas to renew their wedding vows. Being retired at 50 allowed them to enjoy a lifestyle unlike any other. They traveled all over the United States.

During this period Lynda became fascinated and ultimately passionate about genealogy. Over the next couple of decades Lynda immersed herself in genealogy. Over time she would author, in coordination with others, several books such as “My Ozark Family”, “Our Missouri Family”, Kern County California “Mexican Settlement” Series Volumes I through VI and Civil War Veterans “The Last Call” and “Keep Green the Memory”, just to name a few.

Lynda and Tom would travel to missions, churches and cemeteries throughout the US enjoying the sights, but more importantly, pouring through birth certificates, census data, and any other sources of information that might tell the story of a particular individual or group. Lynda worked tirelessly supporting and educating researchers, scholars, institutions, organizations, and families in their quest to “dig up the past.”

Lynda was a Board member of the Kern County Genealogical Society and held the position of Vice President for six years. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and Daughters of Union Veterans of the Civil War Ida Saxton McKinley Tent 93 in Bakersfield. Lynda was a driving force in identifying and marking the graves of Civil War soldiers buried in Kern County and at the Historic Union Cemetery. Based on this effort, and the two Civil War Veterans books, Lynda was awarded the Dr. Mary Edwards Walker medal by the Sons of Union Veterans in “recognition of outstanding, sustained and conspicuous service” to that organization for leadership in the restoration and protection of the graves and historic cannon monument.

Lynda could be found at the Beale Library in the morning giving presentations on Buffalo Soldiers during African American History Month or providing information to a doctorate student working on their thesis. Lynda had become a subject matter expert in her field. After the Golden State Killer was identified through ancestry DNA Lynda was contacted by the local news to give her opinion on the technology. To her every person who has ever lived had a story to tell. And if the information was out there, she wanted to find it and tell it.

In 2019 and 2020 two great grandchildren, Talia and Jace Finch, entered her life. This was another wonderful moment in Lynda’s life, she loved family. Although passionate about genealogy family was always Lynda’s first passion.

For those who knew Lynda we hope this paragraph will help fill in the blanks because it’s too difficult to capture her entire life in a few paragraphs. Lynda was a dedicated positive contributor to life. Lynda often took to arts and crafts to show her appreciation and love to family and friends. Her most recent creation were face masks for 2020. When you went to a holiday party it was always the little things that made each event that much more special. The Department 56 village lit up on her mantel, the sleigh bells hanging from the door, nativity scene on top of a stand, tablecloth with singing angels, mistletoe doylies on each arm rest, Christmas tree beaming with color, that perfect gift for each person and the dinner recipe neatly printed out by the oven. This was Lynda. She did this in everything she did, even slicing up the oranges as a half time snack for the soccer team. Lynda passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in her home Christmas Eve night. Lynda and Tom were married for fifty-four wonderful years. In her last week Lynda was having the time of her life. She had prepared the house for a wonderful Christmas Holiday party. During this week several family members stopped by to check in and see when the festivities would begin. This included both her sons and spouses, grandsons and spouses, granddaughter, great grandson and great granddaughter. Before she went to bed Christmas Eve night she had prepared as much food as possible and printed a recipe for Chili Relleno Casserole and set it next to the oven. The last word on her recipe simply said “YUM!” This was a wife, mother, grandmother and great grandmothers last gift to her family. Our family is happy to report that on Christmas day we enjoyed that last meal she had so kindly prepared for us the night before. Lynda would have wanted it that way.

You will be so deeply missed. We love you.

Surviving Relatives: Husband – Tom Finch, Son’s – Jeff Finch, wife Joan Finch, Mike Finch, wife Tracy Finch, Sister – Donna Witherspoon/ Kelly Grandson’s – Justin Finch, wife Tara Finch, Jordan Finch, Wife Emily Finch, Granddaughter – Julianne Finch, Great Granddaughter – Talia Finch, Great Grandson – Jace Finch, Niece’s – Meri Kelly/ Lynn, Terri Kelly/ Graves, Nephew – Kevin Kelly.

Preceded by: Father – Earl Chester Witherspoon, Mother – Mary Bernice Witherspoon, Son – Thomas Bradley Finch, Brother – Robert Lenard Witherspoon, Sister-in-Law – Cheri Vandermark.

Services: January 14, 2021 at 12:30 pm. Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mortuary, 9101 Kern Canyon Road, Bakersfield, CA 93306. Online Information:

Published in Bakersfield Californian on Jan. 7, 2021.

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