Penwell Turner Funeral Home - Shelby, Ohio

James P. Finnegan

James P. Finnegan, age 80, of Shelby, died suddenly late Saturday evening, November 28, 2020 at OhioHealth Riverside Methodist Hospital after a brief and unexpected illness.

Jim was born on September 8, 1940 in Shelby to the late Howard “Pat” and Agnes (Stine) Finnegan. He was a graduate of Shelby High School and served in the Ohio Air National Guard. Jim was known to many by his construction company, James P. Finnegan Construction, Inc., which he started in 1963. He continued to run the company with his partners and dear friends, Tom Metzger and Paul Schroeder, up until last week always saying, “retirement wasn’t for him.”

Jim was a lifelong and devoted member of Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, Bethlehem, Shelby Settlement. He was a proud, honest, and humble man, giving anonymously to many charities. Jim was an avid fan of the Cleveland Indians, where he had season tickets and donated them to others often, and also enjoyed rooting for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Jim was a highly intelligent man, having many books, and loved reading about history, especially the Civil War.

Jim, a bachelor his entire life, was preceded in death by his parents; siblings and in-laws: Jane (Hubert) Metzger, Mary (John) Gaynor, Rick Finnegan, and Dan Kuhns. Jim is survived by his sister: Bridget Kuhns; sister-in-law: Janice Finnegan; and numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives, and friends.

A funeral mass will be held on Thursday, December 3, 2020 at 3:00 pm at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, 5742 State Route 61, Shelby. Guests attending are asked to park on the east side of the church to allow for the ease of school dismissal on the west side of the church. Msgr. Dennis Metzger and Fr. Jeff Smith will concelebrate and burial will follow in church cemetery. Jim’s funeral will be live streamed on the Sacred Heart of Jesus, Bethlehem, Ohio Facebook page. Memorials may be made to Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church.

Appropriate ways to express sympathy for those unable to attend may be done by leaving an online condolence at or by leaving a comment on Jim’s obituary on the funeral home’s Facebook page,

Memories & Condolence

  1. Ken young says:

    Just a sad time to hear of the passing of Mag. Jim was a true longtime friend and always would take time to chat when I’d stop over at his office. We would discuss the fate of the Indians and how the Twins could never beat the Yankees in the playoffs. Jim gave me my first real job many years ago with his construction company, but never told Him I nearly fell off a roofing job due to my inexperience and youth! Jim was always fair,willing to teach and truly a humble Man. R.I.P
    My friend…Go Irish. Ken Young

  2. Judy Gaynor Campbell says:

    It’s truly hard to believe Uncle Jim is gone! Last time we spoke, it was about the Cleveland Indian’s (of course, we’re rabid fans!). We talked about how much he enjoyed the gatherings of our humongous family. He once told me that the noise of our family “get togethers” didn’t bother him much but that my family WAS the loudest! Thus the coined “The Loud Family”. LOL. Uncle Jim had a good memory too. I went to a family reunion and he helped me find a few ancestors I was researching and how they were connected to my family. Well, I have so much more to say but for now, I will just say, “Gooo Tribe”. “Go Fighting Irish”! RIP Uncle Jim. Tell my Mom and Dad hi for me. Much love.
    ~ Judy

  3. Eli Hershberger says:

    Sad day …. Jim will be missed got to know Jim in the early 80’s when he bought Backhoes and crawlers from me and continued as I moved into selling rebar and concrete supplies. We chatted about many things from baseball to politics and business …. He was always grateful for any ideas good or bad. He had called me on Friday to set up to meet on Tuesday to talk about a project .. so I attempted to phone to confirm a time. A time that will never come …… I will miss his phone calls and our conversations

  4. Pat Heydinger says:

    Was so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. In my many business dealings, I have never met a more honest, humble and caring man. His word was his bond and you could always trust what Jim said and did. I also thoroughly enjoyed talking the Tribe with him, and met up with him several times at “the club” at Progressive Field. The world just lost a gentleman and honest man. Rest In Peace Jim.

  5. Janet Gaynor Handshaw says:

    I was sad to learn Uncle Jim passed away. He was a quiet man, but with a great sense of humor. I always give him credit for helping me land my first professional job out of college. While interviewing for a position as a construction news reporter with Dodge Reports, I asked to see one of the reports to better understand their content. Out of all the thousands of reports, the man interviewing me pulled Uncle Jim’s winning bid for the Mansfield Airport. When I read the report, I remarked on the coincidence of his pulling a report that mentioned my uncle’s construction company. That opened the door for more causal conversation that led to a job offer! Thank you Uncle Jim; may you rest in peace!

  6. Bob Niese says:

    Jim and I go back a long ways. We,with his brother Rick, ran around together through our youthful years. We sure had a lot of great times! I also worked with him at his company. I will miss you my good and loyal friend!

  7. Brian Williams says:

    Jim was always a good and honest man.
    He will be missed

  8. Jason Payne says:

    So sad to hear of Jim’s passing. Blessed to have had the opportunity to work with Jim on many projects over the years. Always appreciated his honesty and quality work from the crew. Enjoyed talking horse racing with him. He will be sorely missed.

  9. Ross Kuhns says:

    This is from my mom, Bridget Finnegan Kuhns, Jim’s younger sister. She is in Taiwan currently but will be able to see the funeral via the video, but with no further adieu…

    Jim was famous for his stupid jokes, so I decided to write one about him. Here goes:

    So Jim knocks at St Peter’s gate and announces, “I’m here! You called for me!”.

    St. Peter (who looks just like he does in the pictures), replies, “Whoa, Doggie, now who exactly are you?”

    Jim announces loudly and proudly, “I am James Paul Finnegan from Heart of Jesus Church, Shelby Settlement, Bethlehem Ohio.”

    St.Peter is somewhat taken aback and explains, “You can’t just say, ‘I’m here.Open the gates’.” (The gates were indeed pearly) “I need to know
    why you think you deserve to enter these gates.”

    Jim thinks a bit and answers, “Well I’ve been a good Catholic all my life, treated my siblings reasonably well, took care of my aging parents, and generally walked the straight and narrow.”

    Still not convinced, St. Peter says, “What about those wild angstful years?”

    Jim admits, “Okay, okay, so I smoked, drank, and found salvation in girls. Big deal. If I knew at age 18 what I know now at age 80, we wouldn’t be having this conversation.”

    St.Peter looks deeply at his supplicant. Finally he says, sotto voice, “l just have one word.” St. Peter paused dramatically, then exclaimed “EUCHRE!”

    They’re waiting for you Jim!! Now get the hello up there and take a seat.


  10. Roger McKenzie says:

    Jim and I were close friends for 40 years. We traveled a lot together from the Horse races in Kentucky to the Concrete Convention in Las Vegas. He was a good man and friend.

  11. Dave Metzger says:

    “Unc” and I were close. He loved to stop MG Energy and chat. I swear he had special ninja shoes. I would look up from my desk and there he was in my doorway. He always and a story or two, normally we would commiserate about construction projects.

    Then we would either go to the Tribe or the Browns. Then he would pop up and say:” Gotta go, your not getting any work done and neither am I.”

    I’ll miss you, Unc, and “Oh my, Omar”!

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