Denise Marie Finn, 62, of Billings, died Sunday, July 13, 2014.
She was born to the late Allen and Phyllis Peterson on April 12, 1952, in Keokuk, Iowa. Denise graduated from Keokuk High School and received a BA in music education from the University of Montana. She married the late Tim Finn on July 18, 1981, and together they shared 31 wonderful years.
Denise forever brightened the lives of those she touched with an enormous and loving heart. Her affection and loyalty were not reserved solely for her human relatives and friends, but were bestowed in abundance upon her constant Bichon Frisé companions. She was a stylish lady who valued decorum, so it may come as a surprise even to those closest to her that she actually owned a pair of blue jeans. She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and served as organist and music director for many years. In fact, her love of music was the defining characteristic of a life which gave and received immense satisfaction in sharing her musical gifts with others. She found as much pleasure in teaching the nervous, unsure fingers of beginning piano students the joy of music as she did in blending her considerable talent with that of accomplished vocalists and musicians, friends with whom she had the pleasure of accompanying over a lifetime of making music. Through her music, Denise understood how people, in their various roles, should harmoniously relate to one another, how to do the right thing, how to recognize the way things ought to be and to strive for those outcomes.
She is survived by her mother, Phyllis Brown; her sister, Janice Danahy (Dan, their sons Thomas and Michael); her mother-in-law, Lilyth Finn; her stepdaughter, Kala Finn; her stepson, Bryce Finn (Jen, their daughters Morgan and Kaelyn); brother-in-law, Bradley Finn (Sheri); brother-in-law, Gary Finn (Susan, their sons Austin and Jordan); sister-in-law, Barbara Johnson (Bruce, their sons Jeremy and Scott); and numerous cousins on both her mother and father’s sides. She also adopted a very special sister from Uruguay, Ileana. She was preceded in death by her father, Allen Peterson; and husband, Tim Finn.
The family will be establishing a scholarship fund in her name to assist music students.
Memorial services will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, July 17, at First Presbyterian Church. Interment will be in Yellowstone Valley Memorial Park at a later date.
Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary is assisting with arrangements. Condolences may be made online at www.michelottisawyers.com.