John Finn, RIP
recently lost a long time friend, John Finn, to cancer. John was above
all things, a Christian gentleman. I was blessed to have John as a
The first time I heard of John Finn
was when I was active in Young Americans for Freedom (YAF) in about
1965. John, a proud Texas native, was living in the San Diego area and
his business card listed him as some sort of regional director of YAF. I
believe it was at that time that John was working with Ted Loeffler on a
special test project to move college students to the right by sending
them a series of conservative books. Throughout John’s life he was
always open to new ideas. Even when he reached his seventies, John was
ahead of the technology and idea curve.
probably first met John when he and his wife, Sherry, were living in the
Los Angeles area. John had started a company, INFOMAT, to market
direct mail lists and to raise money for great causes. Located on the
Palos Verdes Peninsula, INFOMAT was always on the leading edge of using
technology to raise funds for the conservative movement. Of course,
John gave me his card listing him as the President of INFOMAT.
my very favorite card of John’s said simply, “John Finn, Entrepreneur”
with his address and telephone number, of course. And indeed John Finn
was truly an American entrepreneur. John’s fertile and creative mind
led him “Edison like” to explore and dabble in a myriad of
entrepreneurial ventures. I’m sure I don’t know them all, but just a
few of what I remember include brokering radio stations, construction of
small hydro electric plants, selling gold mines, and my absolute
favorite, selling a ship of cow manure to India! Perhaps it was just
fertilizer, but I remember it as cow manure.
I would visit with John on my trips to see clients in California, he
always came to the meetings with 40 questions or ideas. It was never 39
or 41, always 40. These were challenging questions and cutting edge
ideas. Yes, some were “out there” but all were thought provoking.
always had his ear to the “railroad tracks” looking out to get on board
the next great idea. He also knew what was happening down the street
from me in Virginia before I had any inkling what was going on.
Everyone I ever met who knew John Finn liked him. He always had a smile
on his face and words of encouragement.
was not, in spite of his great inquisitive mind and tireless energy, a
businessman or entrepreneur first. His family came well before his
personal ventures and his faith in God before that. And there was
always time for working on behalf of the causes he believed in. He and
his entire family strongly believed in the right of an unborn child to
live and they were not hesitant to give their time and their treasure in
support of that noble cause. But no matter how strongly John believed
in a cause, he always supported it with that special smile on his face.
I miss that smile. And I look forward to enjoying it again when we meet in heaven.