William Finley

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Born: April 19, 1941

Died: May 05, 2011

Services: Our Lady Help of Christian's RC Church Tuesday, May 10,2011 10:00AM

Visitation: Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home Sunday,May 8,2011 & Monday,May9,2011 2-4 & 7-9PM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Former Staten Islander William Finley, 70, of Neptune, N.J., a popular pub owner and avid sportsman, died Thursday at the Jersey Shore Medical Center, also Neptune.

A Brooklyn native, he was brought to Tottenville as a toddler and relocated to Neptune in 1996.

Mr. Finley was a graduate of Tottenville High School.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1960 to 1964, stationed mostly in Germany, and was a member of the Army’s boxing team.

Mr. Finley attended the former Staten Island Community College after completing his military service.

He owned The Four E’s Bar and Grill in Tottenville for 20 years.

“He didn’t have two nickels to rub together, and built it with friendship and favors,” said his daughter, Eileen Woll.

Mr. Finley sold the bar and opened Finley’s Pub & Eatery in Neptune. He later returned to Tottenville, almost four years ago, and established B & E’s Neighborhood Pub on Main Street.

As a child, Mr. Finley was a roller-skating champion and won “all kinds of medals,” said Mrs. Woll. Rheumatic fever, which confined him to bed for a year, forced him to leave the sport.

He was an avid horseman and participated in many rodeos on Staten Island with V.O., his famous horse.

“He had his own stable in the back yard on Yetman Avenue before the roads were paved,” Mrs. Woll said. He also enjoyed golf and motor-boating.

Mr. Finley coached the S.I. Plainsmen football team, and basketball at Mt. Loretto. He served as captain of the Richmond County Sheriff’s Mounted Posse “back in the day,” his family noted.

“He was an all-around great guy, very generous, and was there for everybody, always,” said Mrs. Woll. “He was a real patriot, too, and took great pride in the American flag — he always had them hanging in all his establishments.”

Surviving, in addition to his daughter Eileen, are his wife of 36 years, the former Eileen Mellor; a daughter, Ellen Finley; three sons, Edward Bockowski and Ryan Keith and Shawn Finley; a sister, Barbara Pellikan; 10 grandchildren; and one great-grandchild.

The funeral will be Tuesday from the Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home, Tottenville, with a mass at 10 a.m. in Our Lady Help of Christians R.C. Church, Tottenville. Arrangements include cremation.

Cemetery: Rosehill Crematory (Map)

Location: Bedell-Pizzo Funeral Home (Map)

Church: Our Lady Help of Christians R.C.Church (Map)