USS H. B. WILSON DDG-7   Westpac 1968 (page 1)

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Obituary          6th Commander of the Henry B. Wilson (DDG-7)
23 August 2014

Eugene Irving Finke was born on January 28, 1927 to Lillian Miriam and Harry Finke in Brooklyn, New York. He retired as a United States Navy Captain in 1979 after a long career in the Armed Forces where he served with honor and distinction. Captain Finke, (ret.) commanded the USS Henry B. Wilson, (DDG-7) in combat during the Vietnam War. He commanded an advance tactical support base in Vietnam. He also served as commander of Destroyer Squadron Fifteen. Captain Finke was Chief of Staff of the Defense Communications Agency. Eugene Finke graduated from the Naval Postgraduate School, the Naval War College and the Royal College of Defense Studies. He was a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics College. As a Captain of the U.S. Navy, Dr. Finke commanded a guided missile destroyer on combat and a destroyer squadron. After retiring from the Navy in 1979, Eugene Finke moved to El Paso, Texas, where he began a new and distinguished career as a civic leader, an academician and an elected official. He was elected as Representative to the City Council of El Paso in 1989 and served for three terms including Mayor Pro-tem. Subsequently, he was appointed as a Commissioner to the El Paso County Sheriff's Department Civil Service Commission and served in several committees and commissions for the City of El Paso. Dr. Finke served on the Board of Trustees of the El Paso Independent School District and the School Board of Trustees of the State of Texas. His academic achievements, among others, include receiving a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary in Government, History, Psychology, and Counseling and Educational Psychology from New Mexico State University. He received a Master's degree in International Relations and Public Administration from George Washington University and a Master's degree from the University of Texas at El Paso. Dr. Finke earned his Baccalaureate degree at Dartmouth College. He was lead Faculty/ Area Chair for Communications and General Studies and an Advanced Certified Facilitator at the El Paso Campus for the University of Phoenix and was Campus College Chair for the College of Humanities. He served as a professor at the University of Texas in El Paso and the El Paso Community College. He was an outstanding leader in civic and community affairs in the El Paso region. He gave his time, his knowledge and talents to make El Paso a better place for future generations and set high standards and goals for himself, his friends and his students. Among many honors and awards, Gene received the Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit with Combat Distinguishing Device and Bronze Star Medal with Combat Distinguishing Device. He received the City of El Paso Conquistador Award and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Civic Award and was a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society. Eugene Finke is survived by his wife, Constance Finke, his sister Lois Spiegel and her husband Bert, and his daughter Kathy and her husband Howard Brodsky. He also survived by step-son Harvey Sharp and grandsons Benjamin (Tracy) Brodsky, Jacob (Erin) Brodsky, David and Peter and seven great-grandchildren. Pallbearers will be Kevin Quinn, Nestor Valencia, Harry Sharp, Stanley Marcus, David Pinela, Bert Spiegel, Howard Brodsky and, George Leeser.

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