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Old 05-29-2010, 04:20 PM   #38
AmigoKumeyaay
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“I know this sounds corny, but on December 7, I was just doing my duty and what I had been trained and paid to do since I was 17 years old,” he said in his 1984 San Diego Union interview.

Finn left the Navy as a lieutenant in 1947 after 21 years of active duty, and in 1956 he and his wife, Alice, settled in Live Oak Springs on a 90-acre ranch. He had a salvage business and spent a few years raising cattle, but in his later years he spent much of his time traveling to Medal of Honor conventions and other military events.

John William Finn was born July 27, 1909, in Los Angeles and enlisted in the Navy in 1926. Finn and his wife, who died in 1998, raised a son and several nephews and took in several children from the Campo Indian Reservation during their years in East County.

“He helped our people survive when our world was in turmoil and going through a changing process,” said Monique LaChappa, Campo tribal chairwoman. One of her uncles was among those helped by the Finns. “Some of the older elders would tell about how (the Finns) would feed our people. He was part of our survival. He understood us — not that he felt sorry for us, but he understood us.”

Finn is survived by a son, Joseph, of Lakeside; and several nieces and nephews.

A public viewing will be held from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at El Cajon-Lakeside-Santee Mortuary and Cremation Service in El Cajon. A public service will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the mortuary, 684 Mollison Ave. Private burial will follow, conducted by the Campo Indian Tribal Council and with full military honors. Per Finn’s wishes, it will be at the Campo Reservation cemetery, where his wife is buried.

The family suggests donations in memory of John Finn to the Association of Aviation Ordnancemen.
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