Dunlap, Tennessee's Only Locally Owned News Source
menu hide menu
Prominent community leader Bill Finley dead at 81

Billy Ray Finley, 1936-2018.

Oct. 7, 2018 – Billy Ray Finley of Dunlap died Saturday, Oct. 6, at Erlanger North Hospital, following a brief illness.

Finley was a well-known community leader in Dunlap and Sequatchie County.

He was born Oct. 15, 1936, on the Finley family farm along Big Brush Creek, just outside the Dunlap city limits, where he and his wife of 50 years lived to this day.

Finley went to Sequatchie County High School, where he was active in sports and graduated at the head of his class. In 1958 he was drafted into the U.S. Army and was sent to work with a technical escort unit in Maryland.

After being discharged from the Army, Finley earned a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from Tennessee Tech. He went to work for General Electric for one year, and then Combustion Engineering in Chattanooga, where he worked for 20 years designing controls for fossil fuel plants.

When he left there, he was employed at the sewer plant for the city of Dunlap, working his way up to supervisor before retiring after 16 years there.

Finley and his wife Sammye have always been active in community affairs, especially in serving as officers and in volunteer positions with the Sequatchie County Fair.

Known for his abundant garden, Finley won many ribbons at the fair for his beautiful vegetables.

The son of Jack and Lucille Finley, Bill Finley is survived by his wife Sammye, sons Hugh and Charles, a daughter-in-law, a sister, five grandchildren, and a great-grandchild. Finley was 81 years old.

Funeral service is scheduled for 1 p.m. CDT Monday, Oct. 8, at Ewton Funeral Home in Dunlap, with interment to follow at Rankin Cemetery.