...dedicated to remembering the life of Anne Volk Finn

please share with us any stories or memories you have of Anne

Supremely Special
First of all let me say that I love all of the Finns. Jocelyn & I met in Junior High and were friends for many years. I still consider her a friend, even though we haven't been in touch. I loved this family most deeply and didn't keep in touch I am sorry to say. Anne and Howard were such special people, smart, funny, kind, sympathetic, empathetic, civic minded and they passed all of their wonderful traits to their girls. They were so different from my family and so easy to be around. I loved being at their home and always felt welcome. As someone else mentioned--Anne made everyone feel special and I was no exception. I saw her walking a couple of years before she passed--I had to go up Shadow Island Drive on business and she looked just the same. What a wonderful person who made the world such a nicer place. I love you Anne!
-Linda Moss De Vita
Ann Finn - Warm, wise, and wonde
She made Shadow Island a special neighborhood. Even when we moved away, she reached out to us with her friendship and good counsel. We are certain, wherever her spirit may be - in our hearts, in our memories, on the Shadow Hills she walked up and down - Ann is there making things a little better, a little livelier, a little sweeter. With love, Jacqueline DesLauriers Tom and Kitty Jenssen
-Jacqueline DesLauriers
Such an Inspiration
We met Anne only a few times, but will always remember the way she lit up a room--so vibrant, big smile, truly radiating warmth that drew us near. And she was curious and open, asking "How did you two meet?" She sincerely wanted to know about people. The next time we would see her, she picked right up where we left our last conversation--she truly cared. When we think of people that we can learn from, we think of Anne. Love, Sandy and Sol Saks
-Sandy & Sol Saks
Unconditional Anne
It didn't matter where I we met, at a Hillview Board of Directors meeting, at a Jazz Society event, at a Board not Bored dinner, at a Holiday event, at a Hillview dedication, Anne was my number one fan every time, with so much love and pride in her smile, warm clasp and twinkle in her eyes...she never declined in life, and now that she has made her transition to be where my dad and Dr. Jimi meet her...she will never decline again. I love you Anne, thank you for loving me and my daughters unconditionally.
-Dr. Marissa Pei
An Amazing Lady
I adored Anne Finn! Her stamina and energy never ceased to amaze me. When I lived in LA, I remember joining her for a few walks up her big hill as others have mentioned, I remember dipping my toes in her icy pool as she got in without a problem and about 7 years ago when she made it from Sunland to Martha's Vineyard for our wedding by train, bus, boat and taxi, I was amazed by her endurance and so incredibly honored by her presence. She always made me feel like I was an extra special human being and just being around her was such a joy and privilege. I went to see her last October and forgot to take a photo with her but I have one from our wedding that I look at all the time. Our youngest son's middle name is Finn and just knowing that he was named after her (and Howard) will keep her memory alive with me forever.
-Ellen Dudley
Where it counts, she counted!
message Anne's husband, Howard, was my wife Sandra's first cousin. I got to know them in the mid-60's when Sandra and I were living in San Francisco and followed Bonnie home from Berkeley to Los Angeles on a number of occasions. In Sunland, we were always guests at the Finn residence on Shadow Island Drive, and that's where I began to appreciate everything that amazing couple had to offer. When you conversed with Anne, you quickly began to realize what was important in life and what was more or less insignificant. Her theme, perhaps never verbalized as "don't sweat the small stuff," but put into action long before that phrase gained popularity, was that there was endless work to be done on behalf of the community and those within it who were disadvantaged or suddenly in need of a helping hand. For Anne, there was always a challenge to be answered, a friend to be supported, a job to get done right. Everything else, the normal and often trivial concerns of day-to-day life that unnecessarily weigh most of us down, she simply ignored or set aside until the more important issues were given their due. Did she ever speak a whole sentence without a laugh in her voice? Not when I was around. Was there ever a time in the company of others that a smile was absent from her eyes? Not that I witnessed. Was she ever without the energy to swim her laps, walk the hills around her home or invite friends and family to try her newfangled recipes, eaten on that marvelous chalk-marked slate table? Never! And wasn't that the same energy that pushed her to volunteer for yet another council, committee or commission, or listen patiently to what was troubling you and then find the right words of encouragement to offer the hope you needed? Yes, it was! As we celebrate her 94 years on this planet, we realize that Anne never lacked the energy to live a full life while teaching so many of us to understand what a full life was really all about.
-Bob Weintraub
The Staid Swinger
message About 6 years ago the Finns came to Boston to attend Ellen's wedding. While we were on Martha's Vineyard preparing for the festivities, the Finn clan stayed in our house in Newton. Although there were bedrooms for everyone, Anne chose to sleep on a sofa in the den which led to what I think of giving as an enhanced reputation among the Brazilian community. A few weeks after the wedding a Brazilian woman was cleaning the house and she discovered, tucked deep into the pillows of the sofa in the den, a sexy black bra. She handed it to me with an all knowing smile that suggested we were really swingers having wild parties, and not as we appear...dull,staid New Englanders . After a phone call to Bonnie, we learned it was indeed Anne's missing bra. Wow! Finally being known as a swinger! Thanks Anne! When I tried to explain the real reason for the black bra they looked at me like I was making a futile attempt to redeem myself. Oh well.
-Sandra Weintraub
Past memories of Anne
message The last time I remember seeing Anne was in 1969. Melinda was one of my dearest friends in high school. I used to stay overnight at their wonderful home with Melinda and our other friend Vicky. Anne and Howard were the nicest, most understanding people I had ever met. I used to wish my dad could be more like Howard. Both he and Anne were so kind to me. I did see Melinda last year, but I never did see Anne and Howard again. I think I missed out by not keeping in touch with them. I went away to college and my parents moved out of Sunland and we lost contact. After reading all these wonderful memorials I think what a shame to have not known them as an adult. I do remember one Summer they invited Vicky and I to come stay with them for a few days at a beach house they rented in Santa Monica. It one of the best little vacations I ever had. What a wonderful family. My love to Melinda, Bonnie and Jocelyn. Tina
-Tina Bowman, Bosworth
The Visits
message How many times we visited, it's hard to say. We are the Boston cousin contingent, flying west when we could, the Finn's flying east when they could, and somehow we came to know each other. Anne was always a warm and caring hostess whenever we descended upon them. She had a wonderful sense of humor, raised three daughters who share her loving nature and quick repartee. We sensed it was time to visit this January and again we enjoyed Anne's unique take on preparing food, such as her 'fried' coffee and luscious pancakes. But, we were saddened to see her appearing so frail. We remember her daily dips in the icy pool,her daily walks up the hill, and plans for at least 16 activities for each day. How she managed to have that joi de vivre into her 90's is nothing short of amazing. She knew that was what life was all about. May her passion for living become a part of all of our memories and our lives.
-Sandra Weintraub
What a Great Lady
The first time I met Anne Finn was in 1955 when we moved in to the house at the bottom of Shadow Island Drive. I remember Bonnie and Jocelyn coming to the door and being the first to welcome us to the new neighborhood and meeting Anne and Howard shortly thereafter at their home. I remember Anne (and Howard) as always welcoming anytime we were at the house, swimming in their pool as kids or just "hanging out" at the Finn's. The last time I saw her was when my brother Mike and I were moving my Mom out of her house in 2002, and at that time we saw her walking up the hill on one of her regular workouts. We exchanged "hellos", inquired of each others families and wished each other well. Little did I know at the time that would be the last time I would ever see her. She will be greatly missed and will always be someone for whom I have the utmost respect and the fondest of memories. She was a a true class act in a time when that is very hard to find.! God be with you 'till we all meet again Anne!
-Steve Latauska
Anne Was Tough
My Wife Elora and I have only lived on Annes Street for 7 years in one of her husbands built homes. My wife and I would usually take our dog RED for a walk down the street and up Shadow Way and back and we would pretty much be worn out and out or breath getting back to out house. If you know our street, it is very very steep. Well, we would often see Anne walking up and down and up and down our street and up Shadow Way and we would always wave to Anne as she stroled by. She never looked out of breath and when we stopped our car to say hi as she stoled, we would exchange hellos and Anne never seemed to be out of breath. In fact she just continued up the hill as part of her daily routine. I will try to continue her tradition of walking Annes hill as a tribute to her perserverance and zest for life. God bless Anne and her family
-Ed Dorini
I'm 59 years old, and I have known Anne all my life. Anne was my uncle Nate's sister and so we would see the Finn's at all the big family get togethers. Even as a little kid, I always thought of Anne and Howard as exceptionally warm, loving and generous people. Part of my own extended family. I last saw Anne a couple of years ago at yet another family gathering. She still had that glint in her eye. What a lovely person she was...
-Paul Segal
Anne in July 09 with sister, daughters, 2 grandchildren, niece, nephew and great-niece
-Melinda Finn
July 2009 with family
Remembering Anne
It’s so easy to picture Anne’s face usually with a smile, wide and genuine, or perhaps just the corners turned up as she listened intently, curious, eager to hear what was being said. I hear her voice and her easy laugh always welcoming, happy to see me, or whoever she was greeting. Even when she put on a sympathetic countenance, hearing some tale of woe, underneath, the smile was there, the optimism that all would be well. One of my earliest memories of her is in her kitchen, nearly fifty years ago, serving up spaghetti for her family, spooning the red sauce over broccoli for herself, so pleased with her own cleverness. “Isn’t that a good idea?” Seems like I heard that phrase from her quite a few times, a sign of her open mind and open heart, so big and generous. I remember her on the beach in Catalina pulling her arms into her caftan and changing into her bathing suit as her daughters rolled their eyes at one another and tried to pretend it wasn’t happening. And at the age of eighty-seven climbing all the way down into our gulch and all the way back out again, a feat that left me breathless at not yet sixty. I see her on the river in the kayak, or later that evening as she told the story of meeting Howard, a girl’s delight shining from her eyes. I can only imagine how many lives, how many hearts she touched with her friendships, her service to various groups and causes. I am so lucky that one of those hearts is mine, so lucky that she was the mother of my best friend.
-Anna Hines
On the Gualala River, 2003
Death and Life
Anne couldn't get over the idea that it was our grandson, the mighty Cole Massie, that her friend Dennis McCarthy had written a column about. That's your grandson - the one with CP who won a yellow belt in karate, while learning the art in his wheelchair? And didn't she kvell at Cole's other gifts - his prodigious memory, his musical skills, his writing talent? And whenever we spoke it was how is he doing, what's his latest interest and isn't it a shame I can't see him more often? And I can't help it, when I think of this wonderful woman, I remember two of the strongest paragraphs I've ever come across relating to mortality - the ineluctability and the hope. I've copied them out for other occasions; I set them down for you here to help with grieving. From "The Human Stain" by Philip Roth: [He has attended a rehearsal at Tanglewood in Boston] As the audience filed back in, I began, cartoonishly, to envisage the fatal malady that, without anyone’s recognizing it, was working away inside us, within each and every one of us: to visualize the blood vessels occluding under the baseball caps, the malignancies growing beneath the permed white hair, the organs misfiring, atrophying, shutting down, the hundreds of billions of murderous cells surreptitiously marching this entire audience toward the improbable disaster ahead. I couldn’t stop myself. The stupendous decimation that is death sweeping us all away. Orchestra, audience, conductor, technicians, swallows, wrens – think of the numbers for Tanglewood alone just between now and the year 4000. Then multiply that times everything. The ceaseless perishing. What an idea! What maniac conceived it? And yet what a lovely day it is today, a gift of a day, a perfect day lacking nothing in a Massachusetts vacation spot that is itself as harmless and pretty as any on earth. Then Bronfman appears. Bronfman the brontosaur! Mr. Fortissimo! Enter Bronfman to play Prokofiev at such a pace and with such bravado as to knock my morbidity clear out of the ring. He is conspicuously massive through the upper torso, a force of nature camouflaged in a sweatshirt, somebody who has strolled into the Music Shed out of a circus where he is the strongman and who takes on the piano as a ridiculous challenge to the gargantuan strength he revels in. Yefim Bronfman looks less like the person who is going to play the piano than like the guy who should be moving it. I had never before seen anybody go at a piano like this sturdy little barrel of an unshaven Russian Jew. When he’s finished, I thought, they’ll have to throw the thing out. He crushes it. He doesn’t let that piano conceal a thing. Whatever’s in there is going to come out, and come out with its hands in the air. And when it does, everything there out in the open, the last of the last pulsation, he himself gets up and goes, leaving behind him our redemption. With a jaunty wave, he is suddenly gone, and though he takes all his fire off with him like no less a force than Prometheus, our own lives now seem inextinguishable. Nobody is dying, nobody – not if Bronfman has anything to say about it! Love to all from those who share your hearts, Peg, Paul and our Cole
-Paul & Peggy Wayne
Peggy, Cole, Paul
Anne was always the person I called for the up coming election or any information on a political person. Dear Anne and I worked for many candidates and some even won. Anne will be missed by the community; she was a dear and wonderful friend.
-Joe Eiben
Anne Finn was an extraordinary woman. She was kind, warm, charming, beautiful, intelligent, witty, and downright hilarious. She raised three amazing daughters. She contributed to her community. She liked good vodka. I will cherish the memories I have of Anne as a child (the thrill of swimming in her cool pool) and as an adult (being welcomed home so warmly, so many times, from Finland with dinners at Jocelyn's like the one pictured). I will also be eternally grateful to Anne for all she did to help and support my mother. They both will live on forever in our hearts and memories.
-Natasha Seeley
Dinner Party at Jocelyn's April
Anne was a dear and darling woman, a "hostess with the mostess" who could, as of just a few months ago, whip up a mean chicken salad and great conversation. Anne will most certainly be missed.
-Heidi Paul
It was 55 years ago and I was ten years old, and had just moved to California. It was a lonesome time for me and everything was so different from what I had known. Anne came to the house and took me to her house to meet her daughters, and Howard, and watch Wizard of Oz on television. I loved her from that day forward, and her wonderful daughters too. The Finns were the first people I ever knew that had the freedom to live "in the trees" and listen to classical music all the time. Their home was a haven of peace and love. Life changed, we moved away, but Anne was always a rock, larger than life, anchoring that corner of the world. We'll miss not having her there, and treasure the time she was.
-Laine Wightman
What a great woman Anne was...so full of life! My family and I enjoyed seeing her in the local 4th of July parade every year. Just last July we were all calling out her name and waving as she was escorted down the parade route. I will miss her. Thank you Jocelyn and Demian for introducing me to such a a wonderful lady! Jarrod Parra
-Jarrod Parra
Howard and Anne Finn
This is one of my favorite pictures of my parents. I know it was taken before WW II. He grew his beard during the war and never shaved it off. My sisters and I never actually saw him without it.
-Jocelyn Finn
Howard and Anne Finn
A Remarkable Person
Anne always made a point to make me feel great about myself. Even towards the end, when she was in so much pain, she said to me, "we all believe in you", and wanted to know what was going on in my life. She really cared about others and you felt that when you talked to her
-Eric Marchuk
Family Photo around 1915
Anne with her siblings about 91 years ago. Can you find Anne as a 4 year old?
-Jocelyn Finn
Anne with siblings circa 1915
hats off
I take all my hats off to her!
-Marlene Bowman
over 50 years of admiration
Mrs Finn had a way of making us all feel very special. From the time I met her when I was 12, until the last time a couple of months ago when she told me "you've come a long way!"
-Marlene Bowman