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Retired Army Sergeant Harold Theon Finklea, age 69, departed this life on Wednesday,January 25, 2023, after a brief illness.
A Memorial Service will be held Saturday, February 4, 2023, 2pm at S&L Funeral Home in Cheraw, SC. Internment with full military honors will follow at Smithville AME Zion Church Cemetery in Chesterfield, SC.
Harold was born July 29, 1953 in Cornwall, New York to Gus Finklea, Sr. and Dorenza (McQueen) Finklea. He married Roberta Rowie, the love of his life on March 22, 1984, a union that lastedover 20 years. They raised three sons, Damon, Audreaus and Terence.
He graduated from James I. O’Neill High School, Highland Falls, New York, in 1972, where he excelled in track and field, receiving numerous accolades, and Varsity football, earning the “Most Improved Player” award in his Senior Year. After high school, he attended college in St. George,Utah, on a track and field scholarship, for two years before returning to Highland Falls, New York.
In 1974, Harold enlisted in the U.S. Army, as an Indirect Fire Infantryman and Personnel Specialist. He completed two overseas tours in Germany and one in South Korea, as well as stateside assignments, at Ft. Hood, TX (twice); the U.S. Military Academy, West Point and deployed to Ft. Drum in NY; Ft. Stewart, GA; Schofield Barracks, HI; Ft. Knox, KY; Ft. Benning, GA and Ft. Richardson, AK, where he retired in 1994, after 20 years of service. His military awards include two Army Commendation Medals, three Army Achievement Medals, six Good Conduct Medals, four Overseas Service Ribbons, the Army Service Ribbon and he earned the
Army’s Air Assault Badge and Expert Marksmanship Badge for Mortars.
After transitioning from the U.S. Army, he and the family moved to Columbus, Georgia, where he worked at PCI Aerospace Aviation for seven years. He served in his local community as a memberof the Gospel Light Baptist Church, where he received Christ as his Savior and Lord.
Harold enjoyed playing tennis, football, basketball and softball and watching sports of all kinds. He was a fan of the Minnesota Vikings Football team, Milwaukee Bucks Basketball team and theNew York Yankees in baseball.
Harold was an inspiration and encouragement to many with his impeccable character, humility and humor. He was a kind, big-hearted person who would give the “shirt off his back” to help anyone. His positive spirit and graciousness infected everyone who had the blessing of knowing and meeting him.
He will be greatly missed and leaves to cherish his memories, sons Damon (Rowie), Audreaus and Terence Finklea and grandson, Dartavis; brothers Donald (Coretha), Ronald (Pam), Arnold (Patricia), Anthony (Kathleen) and Gus, Jr. (Michelle); numerous nieces and nephews, as well as many other relatives, Terry Thornton (his care nurse for 17 years) and friends. Harold was predeceased by his wife, Roberta, parents Gus Finklea, Sr. and Dorenza Finklea and his mother-in-law, Jennie Lou Gary.