Gerald Finch has been a community activist all his life. Originally from Chicago, Gerald came to Kansas at the invitation of his aunt in Parsons to attend junior college.
After college, Gerald went to work as a railroad switchman in the Parsons Yards, a career that spanned 33 years. He married Eugenia Rose, and they had four children, Allen, Doris, Jane and Carol.
He and Eugenia also sponsored a foreign exchange student, Ayako Suzuki. She has stayed in close contact ever since, even asking Gerald to give her away at her wedding. "I guess I can say I'm like another dad to her," Gerald grins.
Although busy with his family and his career, Gerald took time to be involved in the community. He served the Boy Scout program in various capacities for 50 years.
For 10 years he was involved in Meals on Wheels, coordinating the drivers, meals and making sure 80 to 100 meals a day five days a week arrived at their intended destination.
He was active in the Red Cross blood program, chairing the blood drive for 12 years, taught 55 Alive safe driving courses, and served as chairman of the board, committee member and Sunday School teacher at Wesley United Methodist Church in Parsons his entire life.
A grateful community honored Gerald for his lifetime of service. In 1976, Labette Community College honored him with its Cardinal Citation Award.
Gerald moved to Via Christi Village in Pittsburg in March of 2005. He is enjoying his new lifestyle, and has hosted computer classes at the village, sharing his talents with others. He also enjoys stamp collecting and reading.