Edward "Bud" Finley

edward finley

June 24, 1947 ~ April 16, 2023

Born in: Cresent City, California
Resided in: Fremont, California

Edward Raymond Finley, or to those who knew him, “Bud” and “Fin”, was born June 24, 1947, in Crescent City, CA to Raymond and Nadine Finley. He was preceded in death by his parents and leaves behind many cousins (wives) including Mike Finley (Myrna), Pat Finley (Bonnie), Rick Finley (Ginger), John Kemp (Leslie), and Ruth Long and many more relatives and special friends too numerous to mention. There are also so many students who were family to him and made him proud every day.

Buddy (his childhood nickname) attended local grammar school and graduated from Del Norte High in the class of 1965 where he excelled in football and track. In high school he could be found working in his father’s Glass Shop on weekends and summers. He graduated from Humboldt State University in 1970, shortly thereafter earning his teaching credential.  Bud began his career in 1971 at Mission San Jose High School in Fremont CA as a teacher in the Industrial Arts Department. In the early part of his career, Bud also coached freshman football.

Bud’s commitment and dedication to his woodworking craft earned the program the nickname “the Wood Butchers.”  There was no limit to what his students could achieve – if they could dream it – he would support it. Projects included everything from violins to a complete horse drawn carriage. Bud spent many hours, nights, and weekends making sure the kids finished their projects on time for the county and state fairs, enlisting parents and personal friends to help. Former students would even come back to help with the final push. Through these efforts, his students excelled with many earning awards from the Alameda County Fair and the State Fair in Sacramento. For 19 years in a row, his students took home State Championships for the best project in the state with Bud earning the Golden Bear award (awarded to the teacher of the student who wins best project). People to this day talk about the awesome display at the Young California Building. His love and devotion to the craft of woodworking and mentorship changed the lives of many, inspiring them to believe in themselves and giving them the courage to create the seemingly impossible. The outpouring at his retirement party in 2007 was testament of how much he was appreciated. After retirement he continued to sub which kept him close to his colleagues.

Not long into retirement, Barbara Bergquist became a big part of his life. Bud and Barbara became reacquainted when they both attended their high school reunion up north. For the past 13 years the two were well traveled and developed a love for cruises – trips included excursions to Alaska, New York, Canada, Baltic Sea, Panama Canal, Caribbean, Australia-New Zealand and a river boat cruise up the Rhine. This post retirement romance meant he also had time for baseball games, football and trips to his beloved Gasquet home.

Summers both before and after retirement found Bud enjoying the lake life at Shasta on the family houseboat, whether skiing or finding the closest party. And speaking of parties, Bud loved the Elks Lodges in Fremont and Crescent City. Often times he could be found behind the bar mixing up a batch of his famous Ramos fizz and Bloody Mary’s.

Everyone that knew him, knew his love of cars, from early on when he and his dad built the MG, to the orange 240Z he sported in his early teaching days. Throughout the years he owned and enjoyed a number of his favorite cars, not to mention the newest and latest truck, finishing up with the Austin Healey, the 1934 Ford Tudor Sedan, and his brand-new GMC pickup. And last but not least, we can’t forget his Street Glide motorcycle and the many runs he went on.

Bud loved life to the fullest and truly loved his friends and family. He was an honest straight forward man with a zest for life. Bud left this earth on April 16, 2023 for the great woodshop in the sky. He was and will forever be, the FIN.

A celebration of Bud’s life will be held on Monday, May 1, 2023, at 1:00 PM at the Fremont Elks Lodge located at 38991 Farwell Dr, Fremont, CA 94536. The Family requests that all who attend be decked out in your Harley and/or Hot Rod Shirts or anything Tommy Bahama to honor Bud.


Celebration of Life: May 1, 2023 1:00 pm

Room: Main Room

Fremont Elks Lodge
38991 Farwell Dr
Fremont, CA 94536

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  1. CandleEveryone may have called you Bud but I always called you Grumpy…..and you loved it! You were a very special man and I always loved your honest & upfront personality……you were never one to mince words that’s for sure! That just made you more endearing to me! May you now rest in peace, guide us from above & and haunt my sister for as you called it “ruining that car with those ugly rims’ I will truly miss your candor & friendship. Your Elk family is going to miss you terribly 😔


  2. You were one of a kind. I used to love going out to breakfast with you and the “guys”. Thank you for being a friend to so many.

    Charlie and Sandy Marotta

  3. Bud you will be missed. You were a good friend and I always enjoyed our conversation at the Elks and the conversations over the back fence and at the Hardware store.You are one of a kind and one of the good guys!

  4. Bud you will be missed by so many, a special friend…Two Cherry Gary and Mrs. Two Cherry,
    Gary & Lois Clark

  5. 4X4 FIN
    ZX4 FIN
    One of the best human’s I’ve had the pleasure of knowing on this planet. The impact and memories you gave in my life will be felt and remembered with massive amounts of gratitude.
    Chris “SWALLER” Swallow
    Wood Butcher, 84-88

  6. CandleI have had the pleasure of knowing Bud for over 50 years. In that time we have shared many great times. As a teacher, he was a true “Professional “, a motivator, an inspiration to many, and above all totally committed to providing positive experiences to each of his students. As a friend he was always there for anyone that needed help or just a good time. As the saying goes “he will be greatly missed, but never forgotten”. RIP my friend!

  7. You will be missed! The best teacher/mentor a kid could have! You were a true one of a kind. Thank you for all the guidance you gave me and ever other kid who passed through your doors. Wood Butchers for life, 86-90

  8. The Fin and I became friends in 1980 when coaching brought me to MSJ & I soon learned of Bud’s fabulous Woodworking program. Bud’s outgoing personality and generosity was something you could always count on.
    What I’m reading now from his former students says it best I think. I will miss you my friend.

  9. I delivered your newspaper (Argus) when i first encountered your unique wonderful personality It was about 4 years later when i was a freshman at mission (grad class 85)i realized that crazy customer was also a coach and teacher. You were kind and tipped me my first 20 dollar tip! Even if it took me 2 months to finally catch you at home to collect. You explained it was your busy FAIR season and paid up for months to come. I eventually saw from many of my friends what beautiful things you helped to create. You were a true artist.coach and teacher. Schools today need more like you. Rip Coach in that glorious woodshop up above

  10. What can I say, Bud…you were my favorite teacher in highschool. There are too many memories I could share on here from the four years I took your class. I can’t even begin to thank you for all of them. A lot of funny moments and serious moments that made your class so memorable. You were the most incredible person in regards to being able to reach me when I was so young. You knew I was kind of a piece of work but you welcomed it with laughs and jokes. The first day in your class of my freshman year you were doing roll call and you called me “Mayberry” which stuck the entire 4 years and to this day.
    Wood shop was my first class of the day every year for four years and I will never forget watching the second tower fall on live television in your classroom. I remember watching your reaction to that and it has stuck with me to this day. You were one of the greatest. Thank you for all the time you gave us kids growing up. We owe you the world for it. RIP Mr. Finley. Love you, man!

  11. CandleCoach I’ll never forget the look on your face when I walked into the class… not a girl…. thanks for the amazing 4 years of wood projects… and finishing my cedar chest out when I shipped out for boot camp! You were awesome and heaven got a heck of a wood butcher!
    Cheeks 78-82

  12. I had woodshop in my freshman year 86-87. All of my projects are still with me today. You taught me how to take pride in what I do. To do it right, or, well, just do it right! Who knew it was a lesson for every aspect of life, not just woodshop. Thank you for carving me into who I am today. You will be missed, remembered, and appreciated. Knowing you, as you pass through those pearly gates, you’ll stop and rebuild them even better!!! Take care Bud, miss you.

  13. The best – always the best…thank you for everything you gave to students, friends, and family.

  14. CandleFormer student, 2005-2007. Mr. Finley was, in many ways, an inspiration. And though I wasn’t the most mature kid entering his class, his passion and drive lit a spark in me that I carry with me to this day. He inspired me to put every ounce of passion into every project I make, and always strive to do better.

    An odd little memory, but I still remember quite clearly the day I suffered a woodshop accident – he dropped everything to make sure I was okay, before scolding the kids who were horsing around. Never before did I feel so cared for and stood up for by a teacher. I still think very fondly of him, and it saddens me to hear that he has passed.

    Rest in peace, Mr. Finley.

  15. CandleIn 2003-2007, your class was a turning point for my son. I will always be thankful for your positive influence in his life when he struggled to get through the academics of high school. Woodshop was the highlight of his day at school and I had never before seen him work so long and hard to complete a project. We still use 3 of the 4 amazing and beautiful wood projects every day that he completed under your guidance: a rocking chair, executive desk and trundle table that’s 10 feet long! It was wonderful to realize that my son was one of the many students that greatly benefitted from your efforts and dedication!

    I can proudly say that your inspiration helped my son in the years that followed in the California National Guard and the US Army where he is currently a doctor!

  16. I just found out. I would definitely have come. It’s been 20+ years and I still have the tshirts. Godspeed Fin.

    Pam McCulloch Sander

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