Michael Eugene Finley, 73, of Baytown, best known as Mike, reported to the Lord himself on December 27, 2019. Mike was born on September 4, 1946 to parents J.P. and Veva Nell Finley in the Sweeney, West Columbia area of Texas. He was a graduate of Sweeney High School class of 1965.
After graduation Mike went on to write for many newspapers, some include Brazosport Facts, Bay City Tribune, Corpus Christi Caller-Times, and the Altus Times Democrat in Oklahoma. During his time at the Paper in Oklahoma, Mike was a sports reporter and spent much of his time at the local school writing about their football team. This is where he met the love of his life and the lady he’d spend the next 49 years and five months with, Judy. After three short months of dating they tied the knot and made it official. Shortly after, Mike started working for the Baytown Sun in 1971. He was a sports reporter first, then the sports editor and then became the news editor. In 1975, he and Judy became members of Cedar Bayou Grace United Methodist Church.
The Baytown Sun asked its former employees to send in memories of working for their hometown paper and this was Mike’s:
“I worked for the Baytown Sun during the years 1971 to 1981. Under the late, great Fred Hartman and Leon Brown, the highlight of my career, sports wise, was Sterling’s road to the state 4A state finals in 1972. The fire that destroyed the Baytown Sun building was something I will never forget, that plus the fact we never lost an edition because of the fire. We were leaving at 4 or 5 a.m. to go to Galveston to put out The Sun. One highlight, or lowlight, of that time was when were held at the bridge on highway 146 because of the tugboat traffic. We had great people who worked at the Sun — my brother, Jim, Wanda Orton, Johnella Boynton and Glena Pfennig. I still read the Sun every day and think about the times spent there.”
After leaving the Baytown Sun in 1981, Mike went on to work for Houston Light and Power, which is now Reliant Energy. He worked within their customer service department for 16 years until he retired. Once his granddaughters arrived he felt that his time was better spent with family and he stopped traveling to his beloved Arkansas Razorbacks sporting events and just watched from home. Mike thoroughly enjoyed going to recitals, band programs, and sporting events for his granddaughters. They brought such a joy to his life.
Mike had many friends and one of his favorite things to do was go out for the gathering of “G.O.O.T.S.” at Luby’s where the guys will get together and talk about the ups and downs of life, sports, and whatever else ol’ men talk about. He was also a past president of the Kiwanis Club of Baytown.
Mike was preceded in death by his mother, Veva Nell Lytle; father, J. P. Finley; sister, Rose Scarborough; and brother-in-law, Mike Scarborough.
He is survived by his wife, Judy Griffin Finley, daughter, Ashley Whitaker and favorite son-in-law, Richard Whitaker, Granddaughters, Carleigh, and Lauren; brother, Jim “T” Finley and wife, Margie; many nieces and nephews, and a whole slew of friends.
The family will receive friends on Thursday, January 2 from 10 to 11 AM for a visitation prior to the memorial service at 11 AM.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
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