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07/13/2023 04:16 PM

John Arthur Finkeldey

John Arthur Finkeldey, 79, passed away June 20 peacefully at his home in Old Saybrook in his favorite chair overlooking the gardens he loved tending with his wife, Marsha, by his side. John was born in Deep River to Arthur John Finkeldey (deceased), a wooden boat designer and builder, and Elizabeth Drakeford Finkeldey (deceased), a homemaker and passionate gardener. He always said his passion for being on the water started in a picnic basket sailing with his parents and older sister Ann Finkeldey Rose (deceased). His skill as a master carpenter came from working alongside his father building the Finkeldey Launch as well as restoring a Manchester sailboat that washed up on a beach in Old Saybrook. He loved remembering his father towing it up the Connecticut River to their boat shop, with John bailing the water out to keep it afloat. Having built his first boat as a teenager, he went on to have a very successful career as partner in both Greenfield Mill and Installations in Wood in Fairfield County, specializing in architectural trim as well as building a roundhouse. His woodworking skills can be seen in every corner of the home he and Marsha renovated together. In later years, he and Marsha also loved restoring the gardens his mother had started, especially the raspberry patch that keeps on producing.

John leaves behind children, Paul (Bonnie) Finkeldey, Laura (Maggie) Finkeldey and Alan Finkeldey. He also leaves behind what he called his bonus family, Dana Chadwick and Dyan (John) Konicek, as well as grandchildren, Alexis and PJ Finkeldey, Ashley, James and Alison Chadwick, and Quin and Miles Konicek.

After John met Marsha at the Shoreline Sailing Club and had their wedding in front of very surprised guests at their Halloween party, they went on to buy SV Wind Runner together. John was happiest whenever he was at the helm of Wind Runner, but he also loved keeping the teak shipshape and Bristol fashion. As members of Baldwin Yacht Club and Shennecossett Yacht Club, they enjoyed cruising Long Island Sound to City Island, New York, and Down East to Coastal Maine, making lifelong friends along the way. Whether it be Newport, Block Island, Cuttyhunk, Oak Bluffs, Boothbay, or their home port of Mystic, John was the go-to guy to help another sailor carrying every tool you could think of and the knowledge to go along with them.

A memorial service and celebration of John’s life will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 26, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 56 Great Hammock Road, Old Saybrook, with a reception immediately following. John was uncomfortable wearing anything other than t-shirts, jeans, and his favorite dock shoes, so he would love us to dress casually as well in his honor. Consider donations to St Paul Lutheran Church or a pet rescue group of your choice. John’s memories of beloved pets always brought a smile to his face.

Fair winds and following seas, dearest John, Love Marsha.