Joseph A. Finley

Born: 08/17/1949 Passed:

Joseph A. Finley age 72 passed away August 31, 2021.  Joe graduated from Central Hower High School in 1967.  Enlisted in the United States Navy from 1967 – 1971.  He served two tours in Vietnam on the USS Oriskany (The Mighty “O” and the last of the wooden flight decks), reached the rank of E-4/Petty Officer Third Class, and was honorably discharged.  He graduated from the University of Akron and molded minds as a history and English teacher for several schools within the Akron Public School System.  Joe stepped up and was voted in as the Union Rep for Goodyear Middle School for several years, later he ran for Ward II Councilman and was voted in for 2 consecutive terms.  He loved the city and its local politics so much; he became a mayoral candidate to further his vision for Akron and to greater serve the city and community that he loved.

He was remembered most for his love of family – politics – the civil war – JFK – Abraham Lincoln – Don McLean – Cat Stevens – Sweet Baby James, his warm smile, quick witty humor, innocent fun nicknames (jive turkey, blood, you right…you ugly but you right) and respect for all those he came across…but, mostly the numerous sacrifices he made for his wife and children.  His former students would love to call out his name in public, so anxious to share their memories of him as their teacher.  Joe was also very proud of his 38 years of sobriety…we his immediate family were only too happy and awestruck as the direct recipients of the wonders of its results and his dedication to such an incredible program.

Joe is survived by his beautiful loving wife of 49 years, Alexis; 9 children, Joseph Jonathan, Melissa (Adam), Danny (Kate), Kathy (Shawn), Moira, Andrew (Katherine), Karl, Bobby (Cassie), and Eva; grandchildren, Gavin, 16 and Chloe, 14 (their mother Erica), Naila 11 and Max 10, Graham 8, Simon 6, Isla 4, Emerson 4, and Harlow 1;  siblings, Jim, Dave, Jan (Tom Maxwell), Patrick (Christine), and Kenny; brother-in-law, Tom;  and sister/brother-in-law, Paula (Ron) Stuecher.

Joe is preceded by parents Robert J. and Mary M.; father/mother-in-law, Karl and Mary Angeloff; sister-in-law, Maureen Finley; and brother/sister-in-law, Alexander (Judy) Angeloff.

Please respect our family’s request for privacy while we deal with these heavy burdens…all services will be kept private.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Alcoholics Anonymous (AA).  Condolences and special memories can be shared with the family online at

“All the times that I cried,

Keeping all the things I knew inside

It’s hard, but it’s harder to ignore it

If they were right, I’d agree, but it’s them they know not me

Now there’s a way and I know that I have to go away

I know I have to go.”  – Cat Stevens


19 Tributes to Joseph A. Finley

  1. Elizabeth Raines says:

    My dear Finleys,

    I remember the first time I met your dad. I think it was Sept. 2000. We were at a mtg at the American Friends Service Committee, the local social justice arm of the Quaker community in Akron. Oh my gosh, we all so excited and motivated! We were strategizing about how to get campaign finance reform on the ballot. We wanted to democratize the voting process in municipal elections.

    I introduced myself to your dad and immediately recognized his surname to be Irish. My 100% Irish great-grandma who lived to be 103 always taught me to respect a fellow Irishman, and I told your dad that! We both cracked up.

    It was the start of a beautiful friendship.

    I loved him. I respected him. I will miss him. I am so sad.

    Liz Raines

  2. Tiffiny Underhile (Butler) says:

    Mr. Finley was my teacher at Goodyear Middle School. He was more than a teacher. He had passion for his content, cared about his students, and left a lasting impression on me. I will never forget his kindness. I am so sorry for your loss.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Very sorry for this tremendous loss to the Finley family. Mr. Finley was one of my favorite teachers I had in school and always brought the fun into learning. I’ll never forget him saying “ahhh that’s hogwash, poppykash and bulldorky”. I remember seeing him at the church behind my house campaigning on Election Day and I told him he had my vote and he said you better vote for me lol. My prayers and thoughts are with the family. RIP Mr Finley.

  4. Curtis Thompson says:

    I almost forgot, another memory along with the hogwash and bulldorky was that I recently found my Ohio Report I did for his class in 7th grade and read through it. That also brought back a lot of great memories of his class and how he made it fun in class. Again my condolences for the loss to the Finley family.

  5. Jeff Swift says:

    I’ll miss you ole friend.
    Rest In Peace Joe.

  6. Nicole shook says:

    He was a great teacher

  7. Barbara "Etter" Collins says:

    My heartfelt love, prayers, and sympathy to Joe’s family and friends. He was as dynamic in life as he will be with our Heavenky Father. 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏

  8. BARBARA Stillwell says:

    So sorry for your loss…. Jonathan, Melissa and Kathy….. my prayers are with you! Alexis…. im praying for your peace.

    Prayers to the family
    Barbie Stillwell

  9. Monique Miller says:

    He will truly be missed best history teacher I ever had, just a all around great guy.

  10. Jason Hochman, Marie Pimperl & Trey Dominguez says:

    To the Finley Family:
    We wish to extend our heartfelt condolences. Our sympathies, thoughts, and prayers are with you.
    Many hugs from your Florida family.

  11. Brenda St Clair says:

    Dearest Joe, we know you are not with the rival Hower Buckaneers nor with the future Central Hower Eagles. Those who know and love you know you are with your fellow CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL WILDCATS! And what a glorious pep rally reunion that must be! To my upper classman friend, my councilman, mayoral candidate and political friend, I miss you! God Speed! Until we meet again, keep the reunions in Heaven going!

  12. Brenda St Clair says:

    Dearest Joe, Those who know and love you know you’re not a rival Hower Buckaneer nor a future Central Hower Eagle. We know you’re with your fellow CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL WILDCATS! And what a glorious pep rally reunion that must be! To my upper classman friend, councilman, mayoral candidate and political friend, I miss you! Until we meet again, keep the reunions in Heaven going! My condolences to his family and friends.

  13. Brenda St Clair says:

    Condolences to the family and friends of Joe, a CENTRAL HIGH WILDCAT!

  14. Sharon Aumont says:

    Dear Finley family, I was a colleague of your dad’s at Goodyear MIddle school and he was one of my favorite people there. He always had a smile and a funny story to share. He loved his family and spoke of you all with such pride. I remember him telling me a funny story once of when he was little and there were so many kids in his family that he got left behind at a gas station during a road trip and he just waited till they figured out he was missing! Anyway, he was a wonderful man and I hope that your loving memories of him will help bring you comfort. As we say in my Serbian culture – “May his memory be eternal”

  15. Vinny Diorio says:

    Alexis, please accept my condolences. I am so very, very sorry for your loss.

Share a Memory