Return to Class of 1954

Robert Keith “Shag” Finarty age 76, of Knoxville passed away peacefully at his home in Knoxville on Monday, March 18, 2013. Shag was born on September 7, 1936, in Des Moines, Iowa to Robert H. “Bus” and Ruby Cletus (Seaman) Finarty. He was raised on the family farm and graduated from Knoxville High School. After high school Shag attended and graduated from auto mechanics school in Kansas City.

Shag was drafted into the United States Army. He served his country as a cryptologist with the signal corps in Europe until he broke his leg. During his recovery, he met Judy Kaye Petty, a nurse in training.

A year and a half later, on October 14, 1962, at the Emanuel Lutheran Church in Adair, Iowa, Robert and Judy were united in marriage. They were blessed with 50 years of marriage before Shag’s passing and five children: Shari, Julie, Aimee, Mark, and Michael.

Shag was a farmer all of his life. He was raised on a farm as a child and he raised his family on a farm outside of Knoxville. In recent years he had rented the farm and moved into Knoxville.

He also worked for the Grand Theater in high school, running the movie projector, and later after his school and military service, he worked for the Marion County Produce, owned and operated the Sears Store, and later drove a truck for Shinn Trucking.

Shag was a very talented person. He enjoyed working on engines all his life and he had the ability to fix almost anything broken around the farm or home.

He also enjoyed traveling, auctions, weekly coffee time with family, and was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church.

Shag is survived by his wife of 50 years Judy Finarty; their five children: Shari (Don) Rose, Julie (Dave) Smith, Aimee (Mark) Swanson, Mark (Val) Finarty, and Michael (Liz) Finarty; and nine grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother John Finarty.

He was preceded in death by his parents: “Bus” and Ruby (d. Aug 11, 1999 – Age 89).

Per Shag’s request, he has been cremated and no services are planned.

A memorial in Shag’s memory has been established at the Trinity Lutheran Church of Knoxville.
Condolences may be sent to The Winfield Funeral Home of Knoxville is assisting Shag’s family with arrangements.