Obituary: Bess Finch

November 4, 2016
By Marcy Shortuse

Bess card Version 1 B and WBess Finch, recent resident of Boca Grande, passed away on September 29, 2016, at her summer home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
She was born LewEllyn “Bess” Lundeen in Atlanta on February 25, 1929. She spent an active, varied, and artistic life in the Greater Atlanta Area until Fall 2014 when she relocated to Boca Grande. In her new community, as always and everywhere, Bess readily made friends who enriched and fulfilled her life.
Many will remember her as volunteer for the Happy Hearts and 2015 Community Dog Show winner in the Rescue group with her companion Fifi, and nightly participant in Boca Grande sunset-watching.
She enjoyed a long career as a dancer and dance teacher, and then as an aerobics and water aerobics instructor well into her 80s. She was much admired for her grace and beauty on stage, and her kindness and humor with students. Bess was also an expert gardener and an avid reader and learner. Her father was a dog breeder and judge, and she grew up with a menagerie of animal friends. She was a lifelong advocate for animals.
She was married to Atlanta architect Bill Finch for 52 years, until his death in 2003, and had two daughters who she enthusiastically supported in all their endeavors.
She is survived by her daughters and their spouses, Anne Finch-Nehring and John
Nehring of Milwaukee WI and Boca Grande Fl, LewEllyn and Christopher Hallett of
Fayetteville AR, her grandchildren Rebecca and Lily Hallett, Katie Nehring Mathis and Jobie Nehring, and her cherished animal companions Fifi and Fred.
She was predeceased by her husband, Bill Finch, and companion, Jimmy Lee Parkerson.
She will be greatly missed by all those who knew her in the many locations she loved so well.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in her name to Angels Among Us Pet Rescue ( or Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust (, or a charity of choice.