May Woodruff Fincher, age 96, was welcomed into the arms of Jesus on Sunday, September 16, 2018! Born in Grayson, Georgia on May 1, 1922 to James and Betty Ware Woodruff, May was the youngest of seven children. May grew up in the Atlanta area and attended the Nazarene Church where she gave her life to Jesus as a young lady. She met Norman Fincher through church and they married on June 26, 1943. Norman and May began their family three years later after Norman returned from his Marine service in the Philippines and the South Pacific during World War II and became employed with the Federal Aviation Agency. May and Norman had four children over the next 10 years. First came Jimmy, then Wimberly, Glenn, and Sylvia. In 1969, the family moved to Gulf Breeze, Florida when Norman was offered a transfer from Atlanta with the Federal Aviation Agency. May and Norman described Gulf Breeze as being on a permanent vacation and the kids all agreed!
May spent most of her married years raising kids and grandkids and taking care of Norman. The Fincher kids could count on going to church Sunday morning and Sunday night and Wednesday nights! We knew that wasn't negotiable. May's two girls remember sleeping in her lap while she "rolled" our hair for Sunday morning! Her children are grateful for her and Dad bringing us up to know and trust in God from the time we were small children.
When the kids reached school age, May worked part time for Christian Radio station WAVO in Atlanta and eventually for The Great Commission Gospel Association as office administrator. She loved organizing and office administration and loved serving and helping spread the word about God to many people through the ministry. Later, Mom opened our home to Bible studies when we were teenagers and was a great hostess to friends and family.
May was very social and had many friends she loved to get together with! For many years, May was active in the International Christian Women's Club and was an active volunteer to help bring other women into this great organization. She took art lessons after we moved to Gulf Breeze and was very talented! She left many beautiful oil paintings for her family to enjoy! Mom also loved to travel and was not afraid of packing the car and driving or flying to take care of new grandbabies, visit at family occasions in Atlanta or other relatives' homes or visiting with friends!
May was a loving grandma! Some of the grandkids rode the school bus home to her house for many years while their parents worked….and they loved being with her and dad! May was gracious, a great listener, and friend and counselor. The kids, the kids' friends, the nieces and nephews, and others came to her to talk and seek advice. She always had a listening ear!
The grandkids that didn't live in Gulf Breeze also looked forward every year to going to Grandma & Grandad's house & going to the beach. Mom would always be waiting at the door no matter how late they might arrive with hugs & usually some kind of home cooked treats. Birthday & Christmas gifts from Grandma were always opened first & a delight to receive.
May was a wonderful mom and the kids knew she always loved us and was there for us. Our house was usually full with us and our friends and was the house kids hung out at. Mom welcomed our friends with love, prayers, and advice. Mom also welcomed relatives and friends to our home and that included Wimberly's lifelong friend Jane (Berg) who spent more time at our house than her own and was considered our sister…and still is! Mom was the family planner and organizer of our family's annual trips to Florida to the beach that we kids remember so fondly! How she tolerated 4 kids in the backseat of a non-air-conditioned station wagon while we traveled 8 or 9 hours on our annual Florida vacation, we don't know. But somehow she made it happen and we have such great fun memories and we still love the beach!
May was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers and sisters and her husband of 65 years, Norman. May is survived by her four children and their families: Jim and Sandy Fincher, Wimberly Blackwood, Glenn and Jan Fincher and Sylvia and Bob Jarrett.
May is survived by 10 grandchildren and their families, including Jeff and Natalie Bolton, Brad and Angi Bolton, Darlene and Adrian Martinez, Micah Fincher, Ashley and Steven Wells, Chris and Erin Jarrett, Matt and Lauren Jarrett, Will and Mae Fincher, Aimee and Kraig Snyder, and Hailey and James Krushas.
May was also blessed to have sixteen (16) Great Grandchildren from ages 2 months to 25, including Sarah Bolton, Brooklyn Bolton, Autumn Bolton, Cassidy Bolton, Natalie Bolton, Kylie Forehand, Faith Forehand, Brooke Forehand, Reese Forehand, Sam Wells, Maddox Fincher, Cressida Gurule, Gage Chavez, Abby Jarrett, Marcella Krushas, and Jackson Jarrett.
Our Mom was loved by many - her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, many friends including life-long friends from her elementary school days. She has lived a long, wonderful life impacting many with her faith, her counsel, her spunkiness, and even her style! She will be greatly missed by us all!
Our family wants to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for many wonderful nurses and patient care assistants who cared for our mom, fondly referred to as "May May," during the 9 ½ years she resided at The Blake (Beacon) in Gulf Breeze, FL. Mom and our family appreciated the love, affection, and care you gave her!
Visitation will begin at 11:00 AM on Saturday, September 22, 2018 at Rose Lawn Funeral Home, 2942 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, FL. The funeral service will follow at 12:00 noon. A graveside burial ceremony will take place at Barrancas National Cemetery the following week with immediate family attending.
Mom loved flowers, but in lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to Liberty Church Gulf Breeze, 6006 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, Florida, or to a charity of your choice.