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Deacon John Matt Finnin

Memorial for Deacon John Matt Finnin

Born in Austin, Texas on Mar. 25, 1932
Departed on Apr. 30, 2011 and resided in Austin, TX.
Service: Friday, May 6, 2011
10:00 am
Cemetery: Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery
Please click on the links above for locations, times, maps, and directions.


John Matt Finnin was the tenth child born March 25, 1932 to James and Grace Underwood Finnin.

He attended the Austin public schools, Peoples Business College and Austin Community College. He joined the Lincoln Baptist Church and was a faithful member.

John Finnin was married to Minnie Jo Taylor-Finnin. To this union one daughter was born. He later married Lillie Mae Harris.

Matt loved his church family and was proud he had the opportunity to travel to Seguin with Sister Mattie Harris to notify Reverend Evans he had been called to pastor the New Lincoln Missionary Baptist Church. He was an ordained Deacon, choir member (early on), church van driver, Sunday School Teacher/Superintendent and was active with the Brotherhood. Not only was he active in his church, but he worked in the St. John District serving as the District Brotherhood President and was instrumental in organizing the City Wide Brotherhood Association. He was the St. John District Sunday School Teacher and Brotherhood Teacher as well. He was often called to speak on various programs. He was a motivational speaker. He studied and was an avid reader.

Matt retired from the U. S. Army after serving 20 years. He achieved the rank of MSGT. He was in the 82nd Airborne unit having had approximately 20 jumps. He received the National Defense Medal, Good Conduct Medal and the Korean SVC Medal. He was a Purple Heart Veteran. After retirement, he joined the National Guard retiring with a high rank. Of note, he worked with the VFW serving as Post Commander #8906. He worked with the Laborers Union. After his military career, he worked for the Austin Independent School District as a bus driver and Faulkner Construction Company. When riding throughout the city, he pointed out various buildings he helped build.

Matt had a gentle spirit. He was caring and giving. Whatever he could do to help, he did it. He provided transportation for his family and friends, mentored the youth by teaching them the Word of God. He provided financial assistance for many students attending college.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers: twins Harvey and Horace Finnen; sisters: Lucille Elder, Margarite Tasby, Beulah Williams and Myrle Inez Booth.

Matt loved fishing and had many stories to tell not only about fishing, but about life in general. He loved family gatherings and reunions. He served as president of the Cottonwood Juneteenth Celebration.

Matt leaves to cherish precious memories: daughters Brenda A. Wilson and Carolyn (Jay) Johnson; sisters, Ella Mae Price, Mary Martin, Madeline (Arthur) Davis; brothers, Everette Finnin and Marvin Finnin; sister-in-law, Emma Finnen. He is survived by three grandchildren and four great grandchildren; a special granddaughter, Mrs. Tiffany Walker; a host of nieces, nephews and extended family and friends.

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