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Life Story / Obituary
There is no greater love than that of a mother, and for those who knew Mollie McFinton best, it was evident her family brought her the greatest joy. Fun-loving and easygoing, Mollie enjoyed life through the family she adored, her love for travel, and the many things that occupied her time. A loving wife, dedicated mother, doting grandmother, sister, and friend, Mollie was always there for those she loved, and truly gave her all at every opportunity. Deeply missed, she will be remembered fondly.
The year 1940 introduced many new forms of entertainment for all to enjoy. The sounds of Glenn Miller and Bing Crosby filled the airwaves along with jazz, while some of the best movies, including Gone With the Wind made their debut. With World War II well underway overseas, America’s involvement was inevitable, and the first peacetime draft was put into place. It allowed the U.S. to gear up for impending war which fueled the economy after years of repression during the Great Depression. Amidst these ever changing times in Battle Creek, Michigan, there was nothing more joyous to celebrate in the lives of Joseph and Fannie (Bush) Lancaster than the July 4, 1940 birth of their little girl, Mollie.
The youngest of three children, young Mollie joined her two older, twin sisters, Connie and Bonnie in their family home. Having been raised in the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo area, Mollie enjoyed a childhood typical of her generation. She attended the local schools, and their two black labs, Jumper and then Gus “Gussie”, were never far behind Mollie. With her outgoing ways, Mollie enjoyed the friendships of many. She went on to graduate from high school and soon landed a position working for Michigan Bell Telephone.
A blind date forever changed the course of Mollie’s life when she met Landis “Mac” McFinton. A handsome, dark haired young man who was attending Western Michigan University School of Business, the two were a match made in heaven. They began dating, and after falling deeply in love, the couple was happily married on July 11, 1964 at the First Baptist Church of Battle Creek. They planned on visiting Boston on the east coast for their honeymoon, but when they stopped at Cape Cod on their way there, Mollie couldn’t help but love it there. They never made it to Boston, and went on to spend the entire week of their honeymoon enjoying the Cape and all it had to offer, including Mollie’s first time trying lobster.
As a couple, Mollie and Mac settled in the Kalamazoo area while he completed his degree. After Mac graduated in 1965, they made their way to New York where he found work there. Before long, they added the love of children into their lives with the birth of their first child, Patrick. Returning to the Midwest, they packed up and moved to Lancaster, Ohio when Mac took a position with Anchor Hocking Glass. Soon a second son filled their hearts when Andy was born, followed by their precious daughter, Kellie. As a family they spent time in Menominee Falls, Wisconsin before returning to Kalamazoo, Michigan when Mac took a job with National Waterlift.
Mollie made a good home for Mac and the kids. She took an active role in the lives of her children with their many school and sporting activities. With love and understanding, Mollie raised her children knowing they could always count on her. Throughout their lives she was there for them, and loved them unconditionally. Numerous family memories were shared and created over the years enjoying a trip to Hilton Head, South Carolina and at Amelia Island, Florida. There they graciously hosted many family gatherings with extended family which made for great times, too.
When her children were older, Mollie began working outside the home. For over 25 years she worked for the John Schlukebir State Farm Insurance Agency, and fully supported Mac when he decided to open his own company, McFinton and Associates in 1985. Together, Mollie and Mac shared their love of golf and travel. They enjoyed traveling to destinations such as Hawaii, Barbados, Aruba, and several other places in the Caribbean. The outdoors and the fresh open spaces offered them much, and together they avidly followed their favorite teams, Western Michigan University, Michigan State University, and the University of Michigan.
Mollie was an avid reader and besides her enjoyment of golf, she also liked bowling. While at home, she could often be found tending to her gardens, and taking in her enjoyment of cooking. Mollie was an incredible cook and delighted her family with many family favorites. Everything her son Patrick knows about cooking he learned from Mollie. There was nothing more that Mollie loved most than having her entire family over for Thanksgiving each year. Of course, the July 4th holiday was always a special time celebrating Independence Day and Mollie’s birthday.
With her keen sense of humor and outgoing nature, Mollie loved pulling pranks. One year for April Fools she placed green olive slices on her children’s peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and what a surprise when they began eating lunch at school that day! When she was 50 plus years old, she called each of her kids and told them she was pregnant, (what a joke!) and one time she called her son, Patrick and told him his Dad had crashed his new 1970 Land Rover! Although these were all in jest, Mollie could be stern when she needed to be, like the time she somehow managed to get the kid’s skateboards back from the WMU campus police after they had gotten into trouble, and boy did she give them an earful!
When Mollie’s beloved Mac died in November of 2012, it was indeed a trying time for Mollie and that of her family. As always, Mollie remained by her children’s side despite her own grief, and with the support of one another, they each made it through. As the years went by, Mollie enjoyed time spent with her children and grandchildren whom she loved dearly.
Family was by far Mollie McFinton’s greatest joy. She loved much, enjoyed life to the fullest, and laughed often. She was blessed with the friendships of many who were delighted to call Mollie a special friend. Gone but never to be forgotten are the memories Mollie leaves behind which will continue to be treasured by all who knew and loved her.
Mollie McFinton, age 75, died Saturday, August 22, 2015 at her home. Along with her husband, Landis “Mac” McFinton, she was preceded in death by her twin sisters, Connie and Bonnie. Surviving are her three children: Patrick (Alli) McFinton, Andrew (Jennifer) McFinton and Kellie (Tobias) Bridges; six grandchildren: Madison, Ian and Cameron Bridges, Sean and Charlie McFinton, and Lucy McFinton; a sister-in-law, Sharon (Tom) Hodgson; many nieces and nephews. Services will be held Saturday, August 29, 2015, 4:00 PM at the Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler–Kalamazoo; 6080 Stadium Drive (375-2900) followed by a reception in the Life Story Center. Please visit Mollie’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo of her and sign her online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan or to the West Michigan Cancer Center.