In Memory

William Finlaw

I was just notified that we have lost another classmate:

Rev. Dr. William Whiticar Draper Finlaw III

William (Bill) Draper Finlaw was born to Janet King Finlaw and William Whiticar Finlaw, Jr. on May 16th, 1955 in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He died on February 23rd, 2019 in Lincoln.

Bill is survived by his wife Melissa Finlaw Draper and his son Luke Finlaw-Draper. Bill is also survived by his sisters: Susan Finlaw-Dusseault (David), Katherine Finlaw-Heitz (Jason), and Amanda Tucker (Chris); Brothers: Arthur Finlaw (Melody), Robert Finlaw (Tiime), James Finlaw (Wendy); and Stepmother: Kay Finlaw. Nephews and Nieces: Jamin (Tiffany) Finlaw, Jullian (Juli) Finlaw, Roshan Finlaw, Ethan Dusseault, Dylan Dusseault, Levon Finlaw, Helen Heitz, and CJ Tucker. Bill was preceded in death by his parents Janet Finlaw and William Finlaw, Jr , and his nephew, Miles Finlaw.

Bill obtained his BS in Philosophy from the University of West Florida, his MDiv from Pacific School of Religion, and his Ph.D. in English from UNL.

He was a United Methodist minister who served at: St James UMC, Cheney and Palmyra UMC. He was the University Minister at Nebraska Wesleyan from 1994 – 2006. During his time at Nebraska Wesleyan, Bill was one of the originators of the Global Service Learning Program and taught classes in religion. In 2002 he was awarded the Chaplain of the Year Award from the United Methodist Education Foundation. Bill was also the recipient of the White Award (2002) and the Roy G. Story Award (2006) from Nebraska Wesleyan.

Bill was known for his caring and deep connection with students, his passion for travel and introducing students to a deeper and larger world. Bill’s wit and wisdom, his deep respect in the ways that he interacted with absolutely everyone, and his gentle and genuine kindness reflected his commitment to peace and justice.

Bill loved good music, read everything he could get his hands on, and enjoyed good movies. He was a loving and dedicated brother, spouse and father.

Memorials: Northeast UCC, Parkinson’s Foundation, and Bread for the World.

Bill’s Memorial Service is on Thursday, February 28th, 2019 at 11 am at First United Methodist Church – 2723 N 50th Street, Lincoln, NE. Luncheon following.


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05/11/19 12:37 PM #1    

Carl Roberts (Roberts)

What a shame.  The passing of a good freind, man,father, husband and a moral leader.  This one is a shock and its pain will linger..  It is comforting to know he is whole now and is watching over each of us.  My sympathies go out to all who knew him and cared about him.

05/11/19 01:41 PM #2    

Jim Tatum

Thank you Anne for posting this. Thank you for getting much more than what I passed along to you; his obituary.

Bill, Bob Ahern and myself and Allen Sears from class of '74, over the years gathered a few times at the beach for what Bill jokingly referred to as our Big Chill weekends. Scott Colemere would come by and we all just ate, drank a little and enjoyed each other's company. The last one was around '01. We then all got too busy with adult life to continue.

I was at UWF with Bill from 75 to 77. Many stories, many memories of Bill-isms. Bill was one of the original coffee lovers that I ever new. Bill loved coffee before loving coffee was fashionable. Loved movies as the obit said. I recall all of us going to a Woody Allen movie marathon; something like four of them in a row. He loved it. He was very fond of "Love and Death" I watched it again recently and it brought back memories.

Thanks to Bob Ahern who made the effort to stay in touch over the years with Bill (and all of us). He visited with him in hospice care weeks prior to his passing and called giving updates on his condition. He notified me of Bill's passing the day it happened.

I could go on, lots of memories and funny stories much like all of us have with folks we new at Bay and the years after. Such is life. Make your peace and be sure to love your family and friends.

05/11/19 06:26 PM #3    

Jan Dowling (Turner)

So sorry to hear of the passing of our classmate and your good friend, he will be missed. 

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