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Gregory Lee Finch

July 14, 1955 June 18, 2019
Gregory Lee Finch
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Obituary for Gregory Lee Finch

Gregory Lee Finch

It took four types of cancer to win the last battle but Greg waged a most determined war against the disease from his first cancer diagnosis of Hodgkins Lymphoma at age 20. His fight ended on June 18, 2019 at his home in Walla Walla at age 63 after developing duodenal adenocarcinoma.

Born in The Dalles, Oregon on July 14 1955 Greg moved to Walla Walla at age 2 with parents Nolan and LeeNore (Blize) Finch. He graduated from Walla Walla High School in 1973. Greg was the first in his extended family to attend college and was a proud alumnus of WSU.

He began his career in Walla Walla real estate and development at Lloyds Real Estate before opening “Greg Finch Properties” followed by the Windermere/Walla Walla offices in 1994. Greg had a passion for finding functionally obsolete old buildings and giving them new purpose. He was especially proud to be an early adopter of Downtown Walla Walla revitalization projects including the planting of street trees and sidewalk improvements. His most extensive historic restoration and renovation was his Mill Creek Road wheat farm property which, through his vision and extraordinary effort was repurposed to the guest lodging, wine-making, event space & vineyards now known as “Abeja Winery & Inn.

Greg met Vanessa Dietrich at a pre-function to a Jimmy Buffet concert in the summer of 1992, thus setting up a life spent seeking fun adventures and working hard together. They married on March 12, 1994 at their Mill Creek Road home. When the opportunity came to retire early, Greg and Vanessa relocated to Shelter Bay (La Conner, WA) to allow them better access to a boating lifestyle and happily floated around Puget Sound and the Salish Sea on a succession of vessels. They also found a few more real estate projects, built 3 homes in La Conner and renovated 3 condos in Maui where they began spending winters starting in 2007.

Greg’s philosophy of “Live each day as if it’s the BEST day” was formed through the trials of cancer and surgery and he faced those challenges with grit and humor. He made the most of every opportunity to celebrate friendships, preferably with good food & wine, and believed in staying curious, staying connected and in never passing up the opportunity to say “I love you.”

Greg was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Vanessa, aunt Roberta Collingwood, uncles Ralph Finch, Richard Finch, Danny Finch and many beloved cousins. Memorial services will be held in Walla Walla and Shelter Bay at a later time. Remembrance contributions may be made to Walla Walla Community Hospice or Seattle Cancer Care Alliance in care of Mountain View- Colonial DeWitt Cremations & Funeral Services, 1551 The Dalles Military Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362

Contact Vanessa for Service Information.

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