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June E. Finney, former co-owner of a fabric shop, dies

June E. Finney taught at the Bryn Mawr School, co-owned Ruxton Fabrics Ltd. and was a portraitist.
June E. Finney taught at the Bryn Mawr School, co-owned Ruxton Fabrics Ltd. and was a portraitist.

June E. Finney, a former private school educator who later became co-owner of a Ruxton fabric shop, died Friday at Gilchrist Center Towson of complications from a stroke. The Blakehurst Retirement Community resident was 93.

The former June Howard Eager, daughter of Auville Eager, a Robert Garrett & Sons investment banker, and his wife, Clara Morlay Eager, was born in Baltimore and raised on Charlesmeade Road in North Baltimore.

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She was the granddaughter of Bishop John Gardner Murray, who in 1925 became the first elected presiding bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church of the United States.

After she graduated in 1945 from the Bryn Mawr School, she earned a bachelor’s degree in 1949 from Sweet Briar College, and that year married Dr. William H.M. Finney, a neurosurgeon.

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From 1949 to 1955, she taught at the Bryn Mawr School while her husband was in medical school at Johns Hopkins and doing his surgical residency at Union Memorial Hospital. The couple moved to Durham, North Carolina, where Dr. Finney completed his training in neurosurgery at Duke University Hospital.

While living in Durham, Mrs. Finney was director of Christian education at St. Joseph’s Episcopal Church and was a tutor at Durham Academy. In 1960, the couple returned to Baltimore, and in 1970 she developed and organized the Union Memorial Hospital Auxiliary Board, and served as its president.

She and her husband resided in her childhood home just north of Homeland where they raised their four children.

In 1970, she became a co-owner of Ruxton Fabrics Ltd., a Baltimore-based couturier fabric shop, where she worked for a decade. From 1980 to 1990, she studied at the Mitchell School under Polly Mitchell, a noted Ruxton portraitist, and became an accomplished artist in her own right.

Mrs. Finney was a lifetime communicant of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer where she had served on the vestry, stewardship committee and search committee and was involved with spiritual growth groups. She was treasurer of the Friends of the Cathedral Gardens, a Diocesan Committee responsible for maintaining the gardens.

She was a former president of the Bryn Mawr Alumnae Association.

In 1968, she and her husband built a second home on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten on a cliff overlooking the ocean, and became close friends with jazz musician Benny Goodman, who would stay with them when he was performing in Baltimore.

In 1993, she and her husband became pioneering residents at Blakehurst. Dr. Finney died in 2003.

In addition to painting in watercolors and portraiture, Mrs. Finney was an avid gardener and enjoyed bird-watching, especially hummingbirds and hawks, family members said.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, plans for a celebration of life service are incomplete.

Mrs. Finney is survived by three sons, Daniel Gross Finney of Cross Keys, James McDonnell Finney of Upperco and Angus Eager Finney of Hunt Valley; a daughter, Lee Finney Bleser of Glyndon; eight grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

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