fb pixel

Log In


Reset Password

Richard Finch

"The world has become less..."

Respected Palo Alto educator, husband, father, grandfather, good friend, and consummate “Renaissance Man,” Richard Finch, passed away November 15, 2015 at the age of 90 in Medford, Ore. 

Richard was born in Fresno, Calif. and grew up in the Central Valley graduating from Delano High School in 1943. He enlisted in the Naval Reserve to join the war effort and after honorable discharge, moved to Palo Alto to attend Stanford University, where he became a competitive fencer.

He earned a bachelors degree in Spanish. Afterward he married his childhood sweetheart from Tulare, Marjean Nygren. They first lived in Palo Alto where Richard continued his studies at Stanford and earned a masters degree in education. He taught Spanish and French at Tulare Union High School but returned to Palo Alto where he taught Spanish for 23 years at Cubberley High School. He finished his teaching career, spanning over 30 years, at Gunn High School, following the closure of Cubberley in 1979.  Richard was widowed in 1994 and married Helen Allen in 1996. He lost her to cancer in 1999.

A lifelong lover of foreign language, art, poetry, international cooking, gardening and music, Richard studied Arabic, Japanese, Portuguese, recorder, classical guitar, highland bagpipe, and became an accomplished water colorist.

Richard is survived by his brother and “buddy,” Barden Finch; his younger siblings, David and Judy; his four children, Bruce, Paul, Alison, and Hilary; his granddaughter, Julia; his friend and partner in the Argentine tango, Eiko Michi; and a loving extended family. A special thanks goes to the fantastic caregivers at the Rogue Valley Manor.

In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the Santa Clara Valley Watercolor Society, the Rogue Valley Symphony or The Poetry Foundation.