Archive 2008 - 2019

The Quiet Man of Holliston

by Anne Oldfield Lewis

“The Quiet Man” of Holliston

 Raymond F. Finn was a humble man with a huge giving heart. He was born into the Finn clan in 1936. Uncle Ray loved his family, his home town, and his garage. He rarely ever ventured far from Holliston, except for family gatherings. He did make the long trek to Maine and Vermont for family weddings and parties.

When he threw a party it involved every family member and about half the town showing up for the fun. Uncle Ray seemed to know everyone in Holliston, and always had a smile. He was my godfather and my hero in many ways.

At a very early age he started working in the family business, Finn Bros. For the past 6 decades he prepared the resting place for so many people that have passed away in local cemeteries. He did this with the utmost respect and dignity taught by his “Pop” Finn. A grave is a person’s final resting spot, he said, and it is important to the family of the deceased it be prepared with attention and respect.

When it came to excavator work he was the best in the area. He could balance an egg on his backhoe bucket. He worked for the Holliston Water Department for many decades also doing the excavation for water main breaks. Whether it was the hottest day of summer or the coldest day of winter, he was there for the town. Working at the crack of dawn to middle of the night, he was there until the job was finished.

He loved all animals great and small. Often when my cousins, his 5 girls, would bring home stray animals, they came to live at the Summer St. house. He always had a dog with him in the truck. I loved to hear all the tales of when his neighbor Doc Walton would have him drive to the farm calls in the middle of the night, since the Doc was new to town, and Ray knew every inch of Holliston.

A humble man that loved John Wayne and his Irish Heritage always.

Anne Lewis

Comments (14)

I came to know Ray jr.when his Dad, Ray sr. sent him and "Cookie" Coolidge to dig the cellar hole for our house in 1957. I remember how all of them took time with a young kid to explain the process and in the following years, whether doing oil delivery or filling the family car at the gas station across from the Dairy, always took time to say hi. Always a true gentleman. I always remember himeven now, as that young cool guy who dug out my cellar

Marty Stein | 2016-06-30 09:06:10

I haven't lived in town since 89. Got to get to know him well at the gas station in the early 70s. Once was a friend all of them where for life Ray Jr was humble never wanted any Crédit for those he helped. His humor was a bit sarcastic but had a double meaning he will be missed I was a lucky young man to have his friendship even just a short time RIP...Stephen Miller

Stephen miller | 2016-06-26 02:17:25

A wonderful and deserving tribute to a quiet and special man. The Finn family is part of the fabric of Holliston. I remember Ray in high school. I can see him now walking down the hall with a book nestled at his side prepared for the next class. A little bashful maybe, but I also recall, he was a cutie. In Oct. 2015, I believe my dad's grave site (Ed Hamlet) was one of the last Ray prepared at Lake Grove Cemetery. He was getting tired and understandably so. His life-long hard work was coming to an end. Rest in peace will be missed. and will always be an icon in the town you loved.

Shirley (Hamlet) Chipman | 2016-06-24 08:10:23

RIP Ray Finn, a wonderful and loving father and husband. What a lovely tribute, Anne.

Jeanne Murphy | 2016-06-24 03:34:24

Treasured memories of the times I spent with my Father and Ray.

Joe Hilliard | 2016-06-23 19:55:19

A wonderful man and a huge part of Holliston for many years. He was always there when you needed him. He will be missed.

Paul Guidi | 2016-06-23 12:02:47

What a lovely tribute for a decent, well-loved man.

Joan Hager | 2016-06-23 12:01:09

I worked with Ray for twenty some years on the water dept. and when you needed him he was always there and NEVER complained about anything he was a super guy and Im priveledged to call him my friend and fellow worker.R.I.P.Ray you can rest now.

Dick Chartrand | 2016-06-23 11:48:36

What a nice tribute. Ray was a wonderful guy who had a good word and a smile for everyone. He will be missed by his large, loving family, especially Maria. Thankfully, he has left behind many, many memories for each of them to share. Farewell kind man. I'm quite sure you and Mike are talking politics in Heaven right now.

Norma Kittredge | 2016-06-23 09:21:24

Thank you, Anne for sharing this article with us all, Anne, celebrating your Uncle and Godfather's life. My Grandparents and parents knew and liked him well.

Angela Bray | 2016-06-23 08:34:37

Wonderfully said! Uncle Ray had kindness to offer to all!

Cheryl Finn | 2016-06-23 06:39:45

God rest his soul. Many of us may not have lived at home in Holliston for decades but we haven't forgotten the Finn name.

Karen Chellquist | 2016-06-23 05:10:50

A Great tribute to a great man.

George Snow | 2016-06-23 04:22:17

What a lovely tribute to a fine man, a caring citizen of Holliston and a tribute to his community.

Jackie Dellicker | 2016-06-23 03:56:42