Thomas Charles Finneran, Colonel, US Army (Retired), of Newberry, died Saturday, August 25, 2018. Tom was born in Columbus, OH, a son of the late Francis and Catherine Lawler Finneran. During the depression his family relocated to South Bend, IN. He was dedicated to his family, country and church and was the epitome of the Greatest Generation.
Drafted into the Army in January 1942, Tom attended OCS and was commission a 2 nd Lieutenant in the Field Artillery. During World War II he served in Africa and fought in the Italian Campaign, where he received a battlefield promotion to Captain. He then was offered and accepted a commission in the regular Army. During his 30 year career, he served in Germany, England, Japan and Korea. He received his civilian education from the Universities of Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Florida, where he completed his degree while serving as the Senior ROTC Instructor. He graduated from the Command and General Staff School, British Army Staff College, The National Defense College, and the Senior Officer Atomic Course. He also completed Glider training with the 11 th Airborne Division. He completed his career with an assignment as Military Attaché to the Court of St. James in London, England. Upon retirement, he taught Junior ROTC at Airport High School in West Columbia, SC. Throughout his career he received numerous medals and commendations, to include the Bronze Star and two Legion of Merits.
He was proud to have served as Commander of the Battery B, 64 th Field Artillery Battalion, 25 th Infantry Division. He then was the Commander of the 22 nd Field Artillery Battalion, 4 th Armored Division. His next commission was as the Artillery Defense Commander, Hercules Missiles, 56 th Artillery Brigade. Other assignments included Personnel Planning at the Pentagon, Intelligence Planning for US Army Europe, Secretary for the Joint Staff for United Nations Command Korea.
He loved traveling with his family especially throughout the British Isles and Europe. He also was very athletic and loved squash, handball and beating his daughter in tennis and his son in golf, although he would let them win occasionally.
He was very active at St. Mark Catholic Church. He was a member of the Parish Council and Cemetery Committee, President of the Finance Council, Chairman of the Building Committee, and active as a Lector, Eucharistic Minister and Usher.
He is survived by a son, Thomas “Mike” Finneran of Orangeburg, a daughter Carmel “Carm” Finneran of Leesville, a sister Margaret Finneran Wagner, a brother Michael F. Finneran and numerous nieces and nephews. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his childhood sweetheart and wife of 72 years, Gertrude Duck Finneran and brothers Patrick, Raymond, John and sister Eileen.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 am Wednesday, August 29, 2018, at St. Mark Catholic Church. The family will receive friends following the service at the church.
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