Dorothy Irene Dufficy Finger, of Williamsburg, Virginia, passed away peacefully on October 26, 2023. She is preceded in death by her parents, her brother, two sisters, and her husband, John Finger.
Dorothy was born on January 30, 1934 in Mt. Vernon, New York. Faith, family, and a healthy dose of patriotism formed her life. Dorothy grew up in a large, hard-working, close-knit Irish Catholic family. Her parents and eldest sister emigrated from Ireland to America in search of a better life. Stories of “back home” instilled in Dorothy a love for her homeland, but also an appreciation for the possibilities that America provided. An avid nonfiction reader, Dorothy loved discussing and debating politics! In her later years, she lit a small Christmas tree daily because, in her own words, “everyday was Christmas in America.”
Dorothy graduated from Davis High School in Mount Vernon, New York in 1953. While at a high school football game, Dorothy met the true love of her life, John Finger. They married in 1956 and enjoyed 65 years together. After John’s stint in the Air Force, they moved to Berwyn, Pennsylvania before ultimately settling down in Williamsburg, Virginia. Along the way, they raised two sons and one daughter and instilled in them the same foundational values – a love of family, faith, and America.
While raising a family, Dorothy also worked outside of the home. True to her immigrant roots, she was a hard worker. Her lifelong dream was to be a movie star! Dorothy appeared on television in the CBN soap opera “Another Life” and in commercials. She also modeled (print and live) in New York City, Philadelphia, and the Tidewater area for the following designers: Diane von Furstenburg, Bill Blass, and Oleg Cassini. She also loved to participate in community theater productions. Her children have fond memories of cheering her on in “Hello Dolly,” “The Music Man,” and “Carousel.”
Along the way, Dorothy also worked as a sales clerk for Patricia Wing, Ltd., and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation in The Craft House.
Later on in life, Dorothy combined another passion – antiquing – with work. She started out small – doing antique shows up and down the East Coast. Then in 1987, she opened a shop in Williamsburg with John and his sister called The Three Antiques. The trio relished “the hunt” and specialized in early American antiques, mechanical toys, and French Quimper pottery.
Dorothy was left-handed and was a true lefty through and through! Her creative and imaginative side came out in her recreational pursuits. She loved to cook, draw, garden, write, and do crewel needlepoint. Dorothy’s lasagne and lemon meringue pie were legendary. She also enjoyed being a member of the Queen’s Lake Garden Club and her favorite plant was the pachysandra! Dorothy was also known for writing funny poems and verses. In her spare time, she worked on and eventually finished her ultimate crewel masterpiece – a queen-size bedspread and canopy panels for her poster bed.
Dorothy was blessed with an indomitable spirit. She was a fighter and battled back at whatever life threw at her. Her faith sustained her – she was our prayer warrior.
Dorothy is survived by her children: Kevin (Victoria) Finger of North Topsail Beach, North Carolina; Craig (Mary Ann Devine) Finger of Stow, Ohio; and Elizabeth (Steve) Willen of Charlotte, North Carolina. Dorothy is also lovingly remembered by her seven grandchildren: Brianna (Tyler) Haywood of Los Angeles, California; John Finger of Orlando, Florida; Patrick Finger of Columbus, Ohio; Brenna and Caitlin Willen of Charlotte, North Carolina; Jack Willen (Elizabeth Charles Burgess) of Boston, Massachusetts; and Maeve Willen of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Her grandchildren will especially remember with fondness all of the cruises and trips that Dorothy and John generously treated them to over the years. Dorothy is also survived by two sisters, Patricia Peabody and Helen DeRoma, of Connecticut, and many nieces and nephews.
A funeral mass and private burial service will be held at a later date at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Hawthorne, New York. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Condolences can be sent to Elizabeth Willen at 2114 Cumberland Avenue, Charlotte, North Carolina 28203. The family would like to thank the loving and caring staff at Verena, Hospice, Elite Elder Care, and Bucktrout Funeral Home.