Tribute to our recently deceased Rotarian John Finamore.
 
George Carlin, American comedian and humorist said:

“I am always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize that I am
listening to it.”
 
Usually I like to begin a eulogy with some profound quote. In the case of John Finamore this is what immediately came to mind. I am sure you will recognize this.
 
(Charlie Chaplin composed the music, inspired by Puccini’s Tosca. John Turner and Geoffrey Parsons added the lyrics and title in 1954.)
 
Smile
Smile though your heart is aching
Smile even though it's breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you'll get by
If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You'll see the sun come shining through for you
Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That's the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what's the use of crying?
You'll find that life is still worthwhile
If you just smile
 
John was gregarious, always with a smile, with a firm handshake, a slap on the back, a booming hello. He always wanted to bring some cheerfulness into the lives of others.
 
John K. Finamore a lifelong resident of Winchester joined Rotary in 1981 with the classification Construction Engineer.
 
He served as President in 1988-1989 and received a Paul Harris Fellow in 1991.
 
He was charming, good humored and had a tremendous enthusiasm for Rotary and for service to his fellow man. John was a gentleman, a professional and an extraordinary Rotarian. He acted with integrity and high ethical standards in his personal and professional life; vis a vis “The Four Way Test”:
 
Of the things we think, say or do
Is it the TRUTH?
Is it FAIR to all concerned?
Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS?
Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?
 
He dealt fairly with others and treated them and their chosen fields with respect.
 
He knew that Rotary is built on “Friendship”; the individual is what counts not the station in life. He never doubted that the reality of Rotary is found in you and me. John felt that it matters not who you are but what you are. He knew that active friendships are the pulse of Rotary.
 
John believed in the responsibility of all Rotarians to carry out its mandate. To accomplish goals we must work not as individuals but as a unified group with a common purpose. The bottom line for John was always what is best for Rotary and the community we serve.
 
He was a man of ideas and he nudged others to join him in making our club the best it could be. When nudging didn’t work he insisted others join him. His insistence though was masked in subtle suggestions that made you feel like it was your intent all along. He was convincing and had conviction. John was also a listener, never hesitating to ask for help or input from others. John knew the advantages of delegating. He was optimistic but never let his optimism overshadow the greater good.
 
There are only a handful of people who come into our world, and touch our lives in a dramatic fashion. John Finamore was one of those individuals. Probably the best example that I can give is that of our major fund raiser the “Golf Tournament” I think few would argue that if it wasn’t for John’s early work on that endeavor there would be no tournament today. He knew that replacing the “Barn & Auction” as the primary source of income would be a formidable if not daunting task. There were a few missteps in finding the right replacement along the way. Then John along with a few others put in place the blueprint for a successful Golf Tournament. With his creative capacity he formed a plan; made a commitment; asked for cooperation; and inspired the membership with his confidence. John took responsibility; he was accountable; he persevered and at the end of the day he delivered the goods. He was willing to take a chance even though it can be humbling at times to follow that path.
 
John believed that in whatever community Rotary exists it is imperative for it to be a compelling force. He strove to make a difference in someone’s life. What is more compelling?
 
Excerpt from Fahrenheit 451
By Ray Bradbury
 
“Everyone must leave something behind when he dies, my grandfather said.
A child or a book or a painting or a house or a wall built or a pair of shoes made.
Or a garden planted.
Something your hand touched some way so your soul has somewhere to go when
you die,
And when people look at that tree or that flower you planted, you’re there.
It doesn’t matter what you do, he said,
So long as you change something from the way it was before you touched it into
Something that’s like you after you take your hands away.”
 
John’s imprint will remain for eternity. Farewell fellow Rotarian rest in peace.