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Friday, June 3, 2016

Autumn P. Finlan, of 1500 Portland Ave., Rochester, NY

Autumn P. Finlan
Autumn P. Finlan

Autumn P. Finlan, of 1500 Portland Ave., Rochester, NY, passed away Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at St. Ann's Community in Rochester.

Born May 29, 1936, in Bradford, she was a daughter of the late Guy E. and Vilo (Patterson) Finlan, Sr.

Miss Finlan was a dedicated teacher. She was admired and honored for her love for literature and enthusiasm for English grammar, her commitment to fairness and excellence, and her loyalty and devotion to her students and colleagues.

She was a graduate of Bradford High School and a graduate of St. Bonaventure University where she studied philosophy and English and received a Bachelor of Arts in English in 1959. She began her teaching career at Falconer Central School in Falconer NY, remaining there for two years before receiving a graduate assistantship to study literature at Syracuse University. She later did graduate study in English at the University of Rochester.

In 1964 she joined the Greece Central School District, teaching English at Greece Olympia High School and advising its drama club. She later taught at Greece Athena and Greece Arcadia High School at several levels including Honors English. She was several times nominated by students and colleagues to "Who's Who Among American Teachers" and "Who's Who in American Education." She was twice named Teacher of the Year at Arcadia, receiving the University of Rochester's Excellence in Teaching Award both in 1985 and 1994. In a letter to the editor signed by several students, she was described as "One of the finest Teachers we have ever seen at Greece Olympia."

Several of her students pursued careers in teaching, writing and literature. A published poet, Jill E. Stevens, offered the following comments: "Through her own passion for literature, combined with her vast knowledge and her dedication to teaching, Autumn Finlan guided and inspired young writers like me. I will forever be grateful to her for her guidance and her loving friendship."

She was an annual supporter of the Stratford Ontario Shakespeare Festival and of the Rochester Arts and Lectures Series, a supporter of Metro Justice, and a member of the National Education Association and New York State Retired Teachers Association.

She is survived by two sisters, Betty Reninger of Jacksonville, FL, and Linda (Arden) Downey of Sherman, NY , several loved nieces, nephews and cousins, special friends and cousins, Tony and Anne Patterson Dodge of Webster, NY and many dear friends, among whom are several former students and their families.

She was preceded in death by three brothers, Guy E. Finlan, Jr., David M. Finlan and Kenneth G. Finlan, five sisters, Wynona Finlan, Bai Adamson, Cecelia Pruch, Hazel Drummond and Darlene Kleiderlein.

Family will be receiving friends on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm in the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes, Inc, 33 South Ave. Friends are also invited to attend funeral and committal services on Wednesday, June 8, 2016 at 11:00am in the First Presbyterian Church with the Rev. Thomas Pierotti, officiating. Burial will be in Oak Hill Cemetery.

Memorials if desired may be made to the Bradford Public Library, 65 West Washington Street, Bradford, PA 16701 or the Greece Central School District, 750 Maiden Lane, Rochester, NY 14615 or any organizations supporting the Literary Arts.

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of the Hollenbeck-Cahill Funeral Homes Inc.

Online condolences may be made at

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