Cover photo for Spencer William "Bill" Finney, Jr.'s Obituary
Spencer William "Bill" Finney, Jr. Profile Photo
1931 Spencer 2020

Spencer William "Bill" Finney, Jr.

January 20, 1931 — September 3, 2020

Spencer William “Bill” Finney, Jr., age 89, of Topeka, KS, passed away on Thursday, September 3, 2020 at Oakley Place in Topeka where he resided since early this year. Prior to moving to Oakley Place, he had lived at the home of his daughter and son-in-law, Mary and Doc since 2001.

He was born to Spencer William Finney, Sr. and E. Louise (Short) Finney on January 20, 1931 in Chanute, KS.  
Spencer was a 1949 graduate of Topeka High School. He then attended Washburn University and served in the Kansas National Guard and proudly recounted his efforts during the Topeka flood of 1951. He had worked for the Santa Fe Railroad for many years, retiring in 1988 as a clerk in the General Manager’s Office.

Spencer was an avid sports enthusiast and devout fan of the New York Yankees, University of Kansas Basketball team, and the Kansas City Chiefs. Spencer loved fishing and spending time on the houseboat that he and his wife owned at Lake Perry. He enjoyed watching the Lawrence Welk Show every Saturday evening. For many years, Spencer could be found hanging out and drinking Dr. Pepper at Gage Bowl, Larry’s Shortstop, and Petro Deli. Spencer enjoyed watching people and visiting with customers while making many friends through the years.

On July 24, 1957, Spencer married Joan Marie McInroy in Topeka, KS. Joan was elected in 1974 as the first female State Treasurer and served in that position for 16 years. Joan was then elected the first female and first Roman Catholic governor of Kansas, serving from 1991 to 1995. Her election made Spencer the first, First Gentleman of Kansas, something he was very proud of and happy to talk about. Together, they shared 44 years of marriage before Joan’s passing on July 28, 2001.  

Survivors include one son, Richard Finney of Topeka; two daughters, ”Sally” Timm (Leonard) of Homosassa, FL and Mary Holladay (Doc) of Topeka; six grandchildren, April Shults (Kyle), Caitlin Holladay, Randy Holladay (Whitney), Shirley Kantola (Joe), Sherry Smith (John), and Jasen Holladay (Brenda); as well as six great-grandchildren and many extended family members and friends. 

Cremation has taken place. A private family graveside service will be held at a later date at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Topeka, where Spencer will be laid to rest next to his wife.  

The family request no flowers and kindly suggests memorial contributions can be made to KTWU Public Television, 1700 SW College Ave., Topeka, KS 66621, and/or Helping Hands Humane Society, 5720 SW 21st St., Topeka, KS 66604. Contributions can be mailed or left with the funeral home.  

To share a memory or to leave condolences, please visit Spencer’s memorial webpage at  

Arrangements entrusted to Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home, 800 SW 6th Ave., Topeka, KS 66603.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Spencer William "Bill" Finney, Jr., please visit our flower store.


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