Arlen Finke

arlen finke
Arlen Darryl Finke was born in Rogers, Minnesota in 1943 and died January 9, 2024 in Danville, Kentucky. He lived on the farm with his parents Florence and Lawrence until he was five years old. His family moved to Minneapolis for access to deaf education, but the farm was always in his heart and his stories. He graduated from Gallaudet University in Washington. D.C. in 1967, married his college sweetheart Rita in 1968, and earned his Masters from Adelphi University in New York. He taught at Mill Neck Manor School for the Deaf (NY) for five years before moving to teach and coach various sports at Kentucky School for the Deaf from 1973-2001. Arlen was involved in the faith community of Our Savior Lutheran Church and SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church. He was very active in both the deaf and hearing communities. He advocated for his deaf students, athletes, and anyone who needed a helping hand. He loved God and his family beyond measure. Seeing his children and family succeed was his greatest joy and pride. He leaves Rita, his wife of 55 years, his four children Cynthia Biggs (Dana), Debbie Finke (Morgan Dailey), Mark Finke (Lori), Michele Barrett (Mark) and 8 grandchildren Andrew (Gracie) and Sara Biggs; Finn Dailey; Sam and Alex Finke; and Kennedy, Addison and Knox Barrett as well as his siblings Neoda Dumke (Con) and Dale Finke (Debbie Rielley) and many nieces and nephews. A mass of Christian burial will be held at 1 pm, Wednesday, January 17, 2024 at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church.  Visitation will be 11am – 1pm prior to the service.  Celebrant will be Father Tom Coughlin.  Burial will be private.  Memorial donations are suggested to the Kentucky School for the Deaf Charitable Foundation, Inc. “Jacobs Hall Museums” Fund and Castello Dominican Missionaries, 220 Hughley Lane, Harrodsburg, KY 40330. Donations to KSD Charitable Fund can be made online by visiting this link:  

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Memories Timeline


  1. Arlen will always be the most beautiful example of love and kindness for me. He was a generous human being and I will miss that infectious smile and laugh! Thank you Arlen, rest in peace. Watch over us ♥️

  2. Michele, Sending love, thoughts, and prayers to you and your family during this tough time. Sincerely, Clint Combs

  3. I knew Arlen when I was a little girl. He was such a happy, positive soul and I remember him so frequently smiling. My brothers and I agree that “Kind” is a good, single word to describe him. May you rest in peace Arlen. Our sincere condolences- LuLu, Bill, Bob and Bruce Janohosky Minneapolis, MN

  4. Rita, I am so sorry for your great loss. He was an example of a Godly man. I will be praying for you and your family. Love Ina 🤟🙏

  5. We thank God for the years that Arlen was with us. He will be sorely missed. May God’s love comfort his beautiful family. Sending condolences and our love. Claudia and George

  6. Rita ~ Our prayers are with you and your family as you cope with such a heartbreaking loss.

  7. Rita and family: I\’m so sorry for Arlen\’s passing. He was such a nice man and neighbor when I lived on Perkins Ave. right across the street from you all. Peace be with you.

  8. Arlen was my mentor and wonderful friend in life. I have such fond memories of our friendship over the years. He was such a likeable, caring, sports-minded person and a very loving family man. He will be missed. He is in everlasting peace being with his heavenly father. Skip Bergquist

  9. I have many fond memories of you and your family. We lived about 3 blocks around the corner from each other. The first time, I went to your house, I walked for the exercise. It was dark when I was ready to leave. You were concerned about my safety and wanted to drive me home. I said, this town is safe, nothing like NY and I walked home. You learned that and started walking around the neighborhood yourself. Growing up in Minnesota, you had a lot of experience with snow. Not once but several times you and your family walked to my apartment in deep snow to help me–once taking me to school when it was closed to relieve the house parents. I enjoyed babysitting the children many times. All those times together, school and home, I never saw you get mad or say anything mad. You were a very calm when mad or angry and I always admired you for that. Now you are at peace from your dementia and can talk with your family and friends. RIP, Arlen til we meet again!

  10. Thoughts and prayers are with you Rita, and your family. Such a sweet man, and many sweet memories….Vicki

  11. I love TCM but have not watched it in over 3 years. I refuse to $30.00 a month just for TCM and the other channels I’m not interested in. I am in their “Inner Circle” and have mentioned this multiple times. Never got an answer and I’ve just given up.

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