Fred N. Finn

Fred N. Finn, 99, of Monticello, passed away Saturday, March 18, 2023, at the Piatt County Nursing Home, Monticello.

Fred was born Oct. 20, 1923, in Long Beach, Cal., to Fred L. Finn and Jane (Lawler) Finn. On Aug. 6, 1949, he married Ruth Savage, who survives him. Fred and Ruth enjoyed more than 73 years together in a loving and supportive marriage, which he treasured. Along with Ruth, Fred is survived by his daughter, Laurie (Leonard) Rumery, of Monticello, his son, Neal Finn, his grandson, Jackson Finn, both of Fayetteville, NC, and his granddaughter, Anne Rumery (Drew Whiting), of Oshkosh, WI. He leaves his family and many good friends, near and far, to treasure his memory.

Fred grew up in Yuma, AZ, where he excelled at tennis, winning many championships in singles and doubles throughout his high school, collegiate and military years. He attended the University of Arizona and the University of New Mexico, where he received his BS in civil engineering. Fred went on to receive his MS from the University of California at Berkeley. He was in the ROTC in college where he served in the last horse cavalry battalion before being transferred to the Navy. Fred was very proud of being a Navy SeaBee during WWII, during which he was stationed on Okinawa. He went on to spend his career in pavement design, encompassing the birth of the Interstate Highway System and later specializing in pavement design for unusual climates, which took him to Saudi Arabia and Brazil where he worked on landing strip pavement design for major international airports and later contributed to the design of the road along the Alaska Pipeline. He was known and respected nationally and internationally as the “father” of pavement management systems. Among his many accolades and awards, perhaps the culminating one was his induction into the National Academy of Engineering, a peer recognition of the highest degree.

Fred was humble and caring, wanting only the best for his family and the world around him. After relocating from California to Monticello, he dove into his retirement by helping to establish Habitat For Humanity in Piatt County; working with Faith In Action; serving the Monticello United Methodist Church in many capacities; serving on the Tatman Foundation Board and working on the development of a Senior Center. All of these activities and more resulted in his being awarded “Citizen Of The Year - 2002” for Monticello. Fred was embarrassed by accolades, preferring to serve quietly and behind the scenes. He was granted a long stay on this earth and he made the most of it. We should all be inspired to live our lives demonstrating his caring for family, respect for his fellow travelers and his desire for peace in the world.

A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, April 1, at 2 p.m. at the Monticello United Methodist Church, 2020 E. Washington St, Monticello. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Piatt County Ecumenical Food Pantry, 2020 E. Washington St, Monticello, IL 61856; the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) or Habitat For Humanity of Piatt County, P.O. Box 611, Monticello, IL 61856.

Condolences may be sent to the family at