Alan Otto Finger, 78 of Coggon passed away on Thursday, December 23, 2021 at the Hiawatha Care Center from complications following a stroke.
Al was born on May 12, 1943 in Waterloo, the son of Otto and Margaret (Lynch) Finger. He graduated from Fayette High School (1961) and Upper Iowa University (1965). He was a proud member of his high school and university bands and the lead role in many high school musicals. Growing up, he also enjoyed time working at his family’s restaurant “Ott’s Drive-In”.
After graduation from Upper Iowa, Al accepted a teaching position at Coggon High School where he fell in love with the profession and a certain Coggon High Alumnus. On June 12, 1971, Alan was united in marriage to Kathy Short at St. John Catholic Church in Coggon. The couple made Coggon their forever home and recently celebrated 50 years of marriage.
Like his marriage, Al also enjoyed lengthy teaching and service careers. Coggon High School later became North Linn where Al served as the instrumental music teacher for over 30 years. Al dedicated many hours outside of the traditional work day directing some of the best Pep and Marching Bands in the area. He kept Lynx fans energized with favorites like “Call me Al”, “25 or 6 to 4” and “Hang on Sloopy” and led the marching band in many Memorial Day and Adventureland parades. Al also coached baseball, softball and golf throughout his career. He spent many summers as owner-operator of the Troy Mills Drive-In and painting with a crew of fellow teachers. Al was a faithful member of St. John Catholic Church where he directed the church choir and served as a cemetery trustee for Mt. Olivet Cemetery for decades. He was also a member/director of “Al Finger & the Hangnails” and the Coggon Brass and performed in the local community for years.
In retirement Al loved being outside. He loved golfing with family and friends, fishing trips to Canada, and taking care of his beautiful lawn and vegetable garden. He was an avid Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, any Iowa College, North Linn Lynx, Cadott Hornet and Springville Oriole Fan and loved to attend or livestream any event his grandchildren were involved in. He also enjoyed playing cards and word games, watching soap operas and traveling with friends and family. Al will be remembered for his quick wit and colorful jokes. He never passed up an opportunity to share a good story or make someone laugh. Even when faced with serious health issues, Al kept his sense of humor.
Survivors include his wife of 50 years, Kathy Finger of Coggon; three children, Adam (Nicki) Finger of Coggon, Amy (Steve) Roth of Cadott, WI, and Alex (Bobbie) Finger of Coggon; nine “Grands”, Marah and Brody Fisher, Conner, Josie and Cooper Roth, Blair Finger, Wyatt, Olivia, and Gabe Dlouhy; a brother-in-law, Leonard Zeller of Cresco; and a special aunt, Vera Randall of Ozark, MO.
Al was proceeded in death by his parents, his parent-in-laws, and his sister, Judy Zeller.
The family extends a special thank you to the staff at Hiawatha Care Center for their kindness, loving care and compassion.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Coggon Community Arts Council to help keep music alive in the community.
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