371 Hooker Avenue | Poughkeepsie, New York | 12603
Obituary of Elizabeth B. Finn
It is with much sadness that we announce Elizabeth Belle Bohlinger Finn passed away peacefully in her
sleep on May 5, 2023 at the age of 103.
Whether you knew her as Elizabeth, Sally, Lizzie, Liz, Peggy, Peg, Mom, or Nana, her story is as unique as
her nicknames, and her journey these past almost 104 years was as amazing as she was.
Elizabeth, the 2nd child of Ellsworth Bay Bohlinger, Sr. and Martha Luesing Bohlinger, was born on Ann
Street in Newburgh, NY on July 11, 1919. The Great War, World War 1, had just ended a few weeks
before with the Treaty of Versailles being signed on June 28, 1919, and while this small family with a
strong German heritage knew their lives would be changing, never in their wildest dreams did they
imagine just how big those changes would be.
The family continued to grow, and eventually moved to Sand Dock Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie.
The family took roots in the hamlet of Rudco, and it was there, that the Bohlinger Clan of 9 boys and 8
girls grew up. “Ma” and “Pop” not only raised their children to be patriotic citizens, but also instilled a
strong work ethic in this talented family. Bar none, with no real formal training, this amazing family was
inherently artistic and highly skilled in a variety of trades. When asked how they could build houses,
draw, paint, sew, and tackle electrical or plumbing projects, just to name a few things, the answer was
always the same. No matter who you asked, he or she would just shrug and say, “I don’t know, I just
know.” As descendants of these amazing people, we have been blessed that these talents have been
passed down and continue to be passed down from generation to generation.
A good education was important to the Bohlinger Family, and transportation was not available, so the
Bohlinger kids walked from Sand Dock Road to Martha Lawrence School on Spackenkill Road every day
of the school year. They were taught by Martha Lawrence herself, and quickly filled up the 2 room
schoolhouse until they all graduated. In the summers, they would swim in the Hudson River, fish
wherever the fishing was good, and help out with the chores.
With 17 kids, you can be sure there was always something that needed to be done. Elizabeth’s older
sister passed at the age of 10, and Elizabeth became “the oldest”. As such, her primary job was to look
after the younger ones, feed them, change them, bath them, help them with their homework, and as
she often said, “keep them quiet and out of trouble”. After her parents passed, she was respected and
recognized as the Matriarch of this close-knit family.
With World War II starting in 1939, it was necessary for Elizabeth to join the workforce full time, and she
took a job in a fruit canning factory that was located on the site where IBM Poughkeepsie currently sits.
It was also during this time that she met Jack Finn who she married, and together they had 4 children,
10 grandchildren and several great grandchildren. They were also called Aunt Peg and Uncle Jack by 50
nieces and nephews.
Elizabeth worked in a variety of fields after her marriage, which included being a stay-at-home Mom,
and working for St Peter’s Parish managing their convent, cooking in the rectory, working in the church,
and substitute teaching in the school. She proudly served on the committee that laid the foundation and
started Our Lady of Lourdes High School. Eventually, she went to work at the former Hudson River State
Hospital where she worked in the School of Nursing, and as a Ward Attendant until she retired in 1982.
While Elizabeth was very successful in the workforce, most people will tell you she missed her calling,
because her real talent and skill set was in sewing, tailoring, and clothing design. Her work was
impeccable wining her many awards and blue ribbons at the Dutchess County Fair. She also restored
dolls for well-known doll museums, and her knitting and crocheting was at the master level. She honed
her natural skills and exceled in all areas of art, as well as a variety of crafts. She enjoyed the time she
spent crafting, building, repairing things, or playing card with her sisters and brothers. Playing practical
jokes was a family norm, and her absolute favorite times were the impromptu visits when several of the
siblings would show up unexpectedly, and just sit around the kitchen table talking and laughing – loudly!
Elizabeth was never one to turn down an invitation to a party, and loved her weekend nights out with
her friends, brothers, sisters, and in-laws. You could always find her out on the dance floor, and she did
not mind having an occasional cocktail or two. Every event, no matter how small was an excuse to have
a party, and she truly believed in the more the merrier. Elizabeth insisted there was always enough food
and drink for everyone, and all you had to do was make the portions smaller, water down the drinks,
and add some bread to make sure everyone had their share and felt welcomed. You couldn’t enter her
home without being offered a cup of coffee.
During her lifetime, Elizabeth experienced tremendous changes, and lived through several significant
world events. Women were granted the right to vote, Prohibition was enacted – and repealed, World
War II had her husband, and almost all her brothers enlist and fight on foreign soil. In 1919, the average
number of hours worked per week was 45.6 with workers earning an average of 56.1 cents per hour.
The average weekly income was $25.61. Stamps cost 2 cents, and bread cost 9 cents. The US population
was 104.5 million, or one third of what it is today. Life expectancy in the US was 53 for males and 56 for
females. Pop Tarts were created, pepperoni was first referenced in print, dial telephones were
introduced, and the pogo stick was patented. Movies were silent and people began to enjoy new-
fangled inventions like zippers and toasters. The word Teenager did not exist, and only about 20% of
15–18-year-olds attended high school with only 9% graduating.
In 1919 the White Sox threw the World Series intentionally letting the Cincinnati Reds win, Oregon was
the first state to tax gasoline at 1 cent, and the first transatlantic flight was flown across the Atlantic
from Long Island to England. People walked everywhere, very few owned cars and diets based on lard
and chicken were common.
It was during Elizabeth’s lifetime that phones became common place, computers were invented,
televisions found their way into our homes and car ownership was a given. Going to college became the
norm, flying common place, and TV dinners replaced good old home cooking.
Her family is honored to have been part of this amazing lady’s life, and will miss her quick wit, as well as
her “telling it like it is”, her ever present smile, and infectious laugh.
Elizabeth was predeceased by her husband, John Francis Finn Sr, granddaughter Hazel Finn, father-in-
law George Finn, mother-in-law Margaret Ferriter Finn, sister-in-law Helen Finn Traver (Vincent),
brothers-in-law George Finn (Anne) and Robert Finn, and son-in-law Joseph Michael Tamney.
She was also predeceased by her father, Ellsworth Bay Bohlinger Sr, mother, Martha M Luesing
Bohlinger, brothers and sisters-in-law George Ellsworth Bohlinger (Vera), Ellsworth Bay Bohlinger
(Anne), Albert Sylvester Bohlinger (June), Joseph Bay Bohlinger (Snookie), Peter Michael Bohlinger (Dot),
Harold Henry Bohlinger (Marjorie), Robert James Bohlinger, James Edward Bohlinger (Carol), Henry
Franklin Bohlinger (Jeanine), sisters Liliane Mae Bohlinger, Dorothy M Bohlinger Buckner (Henry), Rose
Amelia Bohlinger Grubb (Bill), Caroline Victoria Bohlinger Ladzinski (Edward), Frances Roosevelt
Bohlinger Junge, and Eleanor Irene Bohlinger Doughty (Raymond), brother-in-law William Ousterhoudt,
and several nieces and nephews.
She is survived by her sister Helen Bohlinger Ousterhoudt, children George Joseph Finn Sr, John Frances
Finn Jr, Patricia Finn Polak, and Mary Finn Tamney, her grandchildren Jason Tamney, Kyleen Tamney,
George Finn, Deborah Finn, Anne Finn, Karen Finn, Jeffry Finn, Christian Finn, and Darlene Finn, and her
great grandchildren Patrick Finn, Michael Finn, Alex Vitarius, Megan Vitarius, and Maisie Mobley. She is
also survived by her sister-in-law Wanda Bohlinger, brother-in-law Al Jung, and several nieces and
At her request, Elizabeth was cremated, and no wake will be held. She was, however, looking forward to
celebrating her 104 th birthday with a gathering of friends and family, and we will be honoring that wish
on her birthday, July 11 th, 2023. A small service to be held at the Rural Cemetery Chapel in the
Mausoleum at 11am. We ask that you join together and celebrate her amazing life immediately after. Further
details will be provided closer to the date.
If you wish to send an on-line condolence, please visit www.doylefuneralhome.com