On August 25, 2023, William “Schoolboy” Nelson Finley, Jr. departed this earthly life and entered life everlasting surrounded by family in Kingwood, Texas.
William was born March 21, 1928, in Vandiver, Alabama to the late William N. Finley, Sr. and the late Lula Mae Harris Finley. He was the seventh of nine children born to this union.
William confessed hope in Christ at an early age and joined the Yellow Bank Baptist Church in Vandiver, Alabama. After moving to Muscle Shoals, Alabama William united with the Mt. Olievia Missionary Baptist Church. For over 60 years, he was a faithful member where he served as Sunday school superintendent for 19 years, served as church treasurer for over 50 years, member of the Deacon Board, as Trustee member, Senior Choir and male chorus. He was also the church Musician for over 60 years.
William graduated from the Shelby County Training School in 1946. He completed his studies in Carpentry at Tuskegee Institute in March of 1949. After completing his studies, he served his country in the United States Army from 1950 to 1952 in support of the Korean conflict. Following his Honorable Discharge from the Army, he returned to Alabama where he was employed by Reynolds Metal Company for 45 years.
On October 3, 1954, William married Emma Lee Fort. They were married for 65 years preceding Emma’s passing in 2019.
William was also preceded in death by his father, William N. Finley, Sr., mother, Lula Mae Harris Finley, three sisters, Hazel, Maybell and Dazarine Finley, five brothers, Emmett, Charles, Chester, Lawrence and Moses “Percel” Finley.
William was very active in his community with the United Way and volunteered helping other neighbors, family, and friends. He worked as a poll worker for local elections and helped many in the community with filling taxes.
He was a devoted member of Ivy Leaf Lodge #460 serving as secretary for over 50 years, an avid gardener, played softball on a local team, and loved photography.
Memories of his life will be cherished by his sons, Kerry (Tonya) Finley, Tallahassee, Florida and William (Donna) Finley III, Tallahassee, Florida; daughter, Regina (Erroll) Hines, Kingwood, Texas; sister-in-laws, Dorothy Malone, Tuscumbia, Alabama and Hattie Finley, Tuscumbia, Alabama; brother-in-laws, Joseph (Concettia) Fort, Muscle Shoals, Alabama, Willie Fort, Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Willie Hodges, Lynwood, Illinois; six grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and a host of relatives, friends, and his Mt. Olievia Church family.