Mrs. Patricia L. Finch was born June 19, 1934 in Carmi, Illinois. The daughter of Helen (Curtis) and Fred McGuire, Pat had two siblings, Martha Sumner (Donnie) of Nashville, TN and Michael Mcguire of Newburgh, IN. She is survived by her loving son John Martin of New Harmony, IN and her brother Michael Mcguire. She was “Mimi” to 4 grandchildren, Mara L (Martin) Clouser of Marietta, GA & Johnathan Daniel Martin of Navarre Beach, FL. and also Shaddai Moore of Sarasota, FL, as well as her great grandchildren, Kaden, Robby & Amelia Spiess and Johnathan Daniel Martin II. Pat also leaves behind many cousins, nieces and nephews whom she loved greatly.
Patricia passed from this life at the Linda E White Hospice in Evansville IN on Saturday at 5:22 pm, as this was her desire. She was also blessed by all the excellent staff involved in her care at Ferrell Hospital in Eldorado. Even during her stay, she prayed for the nurses and appreciated their kindness. She was preceded in death by her precious & dear parents, her beloved sister, Martha, whom she adored, & the greatest love of her life, husband Edwin B Finch.
From childhood, Patricia could be heard singing most everywhere she went. Her remarkable talent was recognized at a young age. By the age of 8, she was singing publicly. At 13, she was singing regularly for church services & revivals. At the time, it was still common practice for a funeral wake to be held in the home, and Patricia sang for many such services. Patricia’s talent garnered attention far and wide. She won
many vocal competitions & received countless invitations to travel and sing. Always mindful of of the love of her savior Jesus, the invitations for revivals, crusades and camp meetings came first. Even in her youth, her heart was to share the good news of the gospel and win the lost. Her vocal gift soon fell upon the ears of the famous opera singer Marjorie Lawrence. Pat studied privately with Lawrence & received exclusive invitations as her prized pupil. Scholarships led Pat to nurture her soprano gift. Her studies with Lawrence yielded participation in many operas, but Pat’s favorite was Madame Butterfly. Pat loved singing in local and regional musicals & choirs in Carmi as well as the tri-state & throughout the midwest. In the 1970s she also performed at the Southern Baptist Convention in Miami with Dr Billy Graham. The seasonal production of The Messiah was always one of her favorites.
Even with all the accolades and attention, invitations to join an opera, or pursue a professional career as a soprano, her love for winning people to Jesus was strong. She realized early on that singing evangelistically was her highest calling. Pat sang for weddings & funerals too numerous to count throughout White County & Southern Illinois. It was here that Pat found her joy & purpose.
In her youth, she married Reverend Sam G. Martin. That loving union yielded her son, John Martin, of whom she was very proud. For 11 years,Pat led a musical worship team called “Judah” at Crossroads Bible Church (The Roads) in Norris City. The group was filled with vocal & instrumental talent. The members became her friends & she was a mentor and example to all. Ever the teacher and filled with encouraging & wise words, she loved the group as well as the congregation. She valued the presence of God & the power of the Holy Spirit in every song. Above all else, this was her highest calling & life’s work.
Within her well-lived life filled with love was her sweetheart, Edwin B Finch. They were married on February 14, 1983. he got his own head start to heaven on May 18, 2005. Together they ministered in music as well as bible teaching. Their mutual love for their heavenly father guided them toward evangelistic and missionary endeavors as well as the arts, historical preservation, community outreach & generosity. The love of God shed abroad in their hearts made them shining examples of running the race and finishing well as Timothy discussed in Pat’s favorite book, the Bible.
Family was greatly valued. Patricia treasured times in the kitchen & around the table. Always full of hospitality & great recipes, Pat could be found cooking or setting a beautiful table for those she loved the most. Filling her home with family & friends & food was a joy. She was always eager to gather everyone around the table, breaking bread & enjoying the blessings of life. Later in life, Patricia found a special and sweet friendship in her marriage to Rev. Billy Barber. Together for 16 years they were terrific companions, and he preceded her in death in December of 2022.
Pat loved going to church. She was in fellowship with believers at New Beginning Church of God, near where she was born in north Carmi. She had great affection for the people who were pastored & loved by Rev. Kenneth Rager and his wife Rita. Pat loved sending cards to her family & friends. Her thoughtful notes were filled with encouragement, and always had a fitting chapter & verse. Her easily recognized beautiful handwriting could have been a font. These sweet notes were a treasure to all who received them.
Visitation will be at the Campbell Funeral Home in Carmi from 5 to 7 pm on Tuesday June 20th, 2023. The funeral will be at Campbell Funeral Home on Wednesday June 21st, 2023 at 11:00 with Steve Duncan officiating. Burial will follow at Maple Ridge cemetery where her body will rest next to husband Edwin B Finch. Graveside interment will be delivered by Steve Duncan and Rev Kenneth Rager. Pallbearers are David Dortsch, David Hoskins, Randall Busler, Joe Zieren, Keith Jones and Wade Carty. Pat’s honorary pallbearers include Rick Gill, David Marshall, David Hoskins, and David Everett, and Ted Dismang. In leui of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Pat's memory to New Beginning Church of God and will be accepted at Campbell Funeral Home, 609 W. Main St., Carmi, IL 62821
Today Mrs. Patricia L Finch is rejoicing with her savior Jesus Christ. Her lifelong pursuit was heaven & she wanted to bring everyone with her. This was her legacy & heart’s desire, that everyone would come to a saving knowledge of Jesus & join her in eternity.