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Arlen Finke

May 9, 1943 - January 9, 2024

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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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