Cover photo for Roy Gene Finley's Obituary
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1948 Roy 2020

Roy Gene Finley

November 10, 1948 — April 18, 2020

Roy Gene Finley, of Claude, passed away peacefully on April 18, 2020, with family by his side. The good Lord blessed us with the love of this Godly man for 71 years, and now we find the strength to let him go. We take comfort knowing he has taken flight to his eternal, heavenly home, and is no longer fighting his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Due to COVID-19, a private graveside service will be held in the Claude Cemetery. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home, 4100 South Georgia.

Roy was born in Pampa, Texas, on November 10th, 1948, to James Henry Finley, Sr. and Elizabeth Barrett Finley. He lived in and near Claude, Texas, and attended Claude schools playing basketball in high school, graduating in 1967.  He attended Wayland Baptist College for two years and West Texas State College another year, then returned to his life as a farmer/rancher.  Roy received his pilot’s license at the age of 16 and flew his own plane for a number of years.

Roy was a vibrant and charismatic personality, who never met a stranger.  He was highly intelligent and curious, knowledgeable about a great many things, and was a truly unique entrepreneur. He was a conservationist, avid sportsman, patriot, and did not believe in idle hands. Besides his farming/ranching operation, he sold CB radios, satellite dishes, was a fur buyer and trapper, bought and sold guns, knives, watches, jewelry, animal skulls, etc. at gun shows, and was involved in several multilevel marketing companies and won many trips to U.S. cities, Canada, Hawaii, and Mexico, plus a Caribbean cruise.  As a fur buyer, he skinned thousands of animals by the case or tube skinning method and prepared them for market.  In the mid 1980’s, Roy produced a “best seller” video called “THE TWO MINUTE COYOTE” and actually skinned a coyote in two minutes on film, using the method he had developed, selling the video to wholesalers and retail customers across the U. S.  He manufactured and sold “Little Buddie” predator calls to wholesalers and retail customers.  Roy also sewed “mountain man” fur hats and sold them nationwide.  Roy was a general contractor for several years, and then he became a licensed professional home inspector in 2003 inspecting home and commercial buildings and pursued that business through 2013. He also sold crop insurance for a time. In his retirement years he returned to a favorite pastime of “rock hounding” he exhibited, bought, and sold his rocks, etc. at many gem and mineral shows. Roy cut and polished stones, did metal work and made jewelry. Roy was a member of the Golden Spread Gem, Mineral and Treasure Society and was a life member of the Pioneer Gun Collectors Association.  Roy had been a past president and board member of both organizations. He was also a member of the Texas State Rifle Association, and was an endowment member of the NRA.  Roy had also been an EMT in the early 1980’s, a school board member, and a licensed farm chemical applicator. His friends often referred to him as “the renaissance man”.

Roy was a hunter and fisherman.  Among his treasured memories were a trip to Zimbabwe, Africa, in 1993, where he killed a leopard in a thrilling encounter, and a fishing trip to Petersburg, Alaska.

In 1981, he married the love of his life, Wanda Bourn Whitley, and they joined their children into a wonderful blended family. Roy was devoted to his family and shared his passions with them including fishing and hunting with his sons and grandchildren, and his affection for rocks and gems. He cherished spending time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren and being a member of and attending church at First Baptist in Amarillo.

Roy was preceded in death by his parents and a grandson, Bradley Gilbert.

Roy is survived by his wife, Wanda; daughters Zee Finley of Albuquerque, NM; and Joy Whitley Gilbert and husband, Kirk, of Claude; sons Lance Finley and wife, Robbie, of Gatesville, TX, Troy Finley and wife, Carrie, of Amarillo; Chuck Finley and wife, Theresa, of Trenton, TX; and Jamey Whitley and wife, Branda, of Claude; grandchildren Jeff Gilbert, Chris Gilbert and his wife, Kaylyn, Isaiah Lindsey, Thomas Finley, Micah Lindsey, Lauren Finley, Timothy Finley, Maci Finley, Catherine Finley, Graycen Whitley, Ryan Finley, Alyssa Whitley, Seth Wayne Finley, Seth Archer Finley, JohnPaul Finley; a great-granddaughter, Kyler Gilbert,  and a great-grandson, Grant Gilbert; a brother, Jim Finley and his wife, Pat; a sister, Lois Finley, and several nieces, nephews, cousins, and wonderful friends.

The family would like to thank the staffs at Brookdale Sleepy Hollow and Kindred Hospice for their loving care of Roy during the last months of his life.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Amarillo First Baptist Church Missions at 1208 S. Tyler Street,  Amarillo, TX, 79101; High Plains Children’s Home, P. O. Box 7448, Amarillo, TX, 79114; or The West Texas Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, 5410 Bell Street, Suite #411, Amarillo, TX 79109.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Roy Gene Finley, please visit our flower store.

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