R. Terrell Finney

Age: 66
Born: December 01, 1953
Died: January 23, 2020

Obituary

R. Terrell Finney, Jr.

R. Terrell Finney, Jr., devoted husband of Dr. Susan N. Finney, loving father of Blake Finney (Alice Tang) and Sarah Finney (Sean Peters), cherished grandfather of Ronin and Hollis Finney, and beloved son of the late Audrey and Robert (Bob) Finney, passed away on January 23, 2020 at the age of 66. Friends and family are invited to a public visitation on Saturday, February 1, 2020 from 9 – 11 a.m. at Spring Grove Funeral Homes, 4389 Spring Grove Avenue (45223). A celebration of life will be held immediately thereafter at 11 a.m.  Inurnment will take place in the cremation woodlands at Spring Grove Cemetery at a later date. 

Finney was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham, Alabama, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Drama and Speech in 1975. He then earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing from Boston University in 1978. While there, he was fortunate to study with such notable American directors as Alan Schneider and Zelda Fichandler. Additional training saw him spend two summers at the Royal National Theatre Studio in London, where his instructors included legendary voice and speech specialists Patsy Rodenburg and Cecily Berry and actors Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen, among others. He was a member of the Actors’ Equity Association throughout his theatrical career. 

Finney was a faculty member at his alma mater, Birmingham-Southern College, from 1978 until moving to Cincinnati in 1984. He then began teaching at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts and at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. He was soon named head of the Division of Opera, Musical Theatre, Drama and Arts Administration at CCM, a post he held for over 20 years. In addition to his administrative work, he taught voice and speech for students in the musical theatre and drama departments and directed productions for each. He was also Artistic Director of the Showboat Majestic and produced many seasons of CCM’s acclaimed Hot Summer Nights series. In 2010, he was named Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of Graduate Studies, a position he held until his retirement in 2016. 

At the national level, Finney was the immediate Past President of the National Association of Schools of Theatre and continued to serve on its Board of Directors until his death. He was also a board member of the University/Resident Theatre Association and an advisor to the American High School Theatre Festival. He was in great demand as a consultant and worked with college and university theatre programs across the U.S. Locally, he was a loyal member of The Literary Club of Cincinnati. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be directed to Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati.

Visitation

Location: Spring Grove Funeral Homes
Date: Saturday, February 01, 2020
Time: 9:00 - 11:00 a.m.

Memorial Service

Location: Spring Grove Funeral Homes
Date: Saturday, February 01, 2020
Time: 11:00 a.m.

R. Terrell Finney

Age: 66
Born: December 01, 1953
Died: January 23, 2020
  • Donna Grummich
    Relationship: CCM Mus Th ‘76

    My heart goes out to the family. What a difference Terrell’s life made in the lives of so many at CCM.

  • Tammy Honesty
    Relationship: CCM guest artist and

    My heart is heavy with the loss of Terrell. He was an amazing guiding force for OMDA. I appreciated his leadership and friendship.

  • Chuck Hatcher
    Relationship: Former faculty in De

    Terrell was The Head of OMDA and the one who hired me. It was a pleasure to work with him and he was always there when a junior faculty needed help or advice. What a gift he was to CCM students and faculty.

  • Alan Yaffe
    Relationship: Colleague

    My condolences to Susan and the family. A true gentleman has passed our way. We will all miss him.

  • Matthew Benjamin
    Relationship: Former Student and C

    What a truly wonderful person. Terrell was always approachable and genuinely interested in ALL of the OMDA students (how he remembered all those names boggles the mind). A quick story: In 1993 or so, I took a bunch of my college students to a theatre conference in Birmingham, AL. I had allowed one of my students (who didn't have a penny to his name) to use the other bed in my hotel room. He had not mentioned that he had sleep apnea and that his snores could cause turbulence that would knock airplanes out of the sky miles away, I went completely sleepless for a night. I ran into Terrell at the conference the next day. After I mentioned my wall-rattling student, Terrell immediately offered me the couch in his hotel suite, and wound not take no for an answer. I happily abandoned my student and bunked with Terrell for a couple of nights. That was Terrell. Thanks, Terrell, for being a great role model to many of us who followed your footsteps into academe. My love and thoughts a

  • Lee Byron
    Relationship: Colleague with NAST

    To Terrell's family - Terrell is the person I strived to be. He was funny, thoughtful, articulate, and he loved his family. Terrell made the world a better place. What a great person....

  • Joanna Mitro
    Relationship: Neighbor & Colleague

    I knew Terrell through Wyoming schools (Sarah was a classmate of my children) and worked with him at UC, in our capacity as associate deans of our respective colleges. He was a very accomplished and respected man as well as thoroughly nice, even modest. I regret he did not get the long and happy retirement he so deserved! It was a pleasure to know and to work with him. My heart-felt condolences to his family.

  • Emily Newby Correll
    Relationship: fellow Birmingham-So

    Terrell's talent was obvious in college. He wrote, acted in, and directed plays that I still remember over 40 years later. He was also a fun person to know. He and Susie were a good couple.

  • Gary Ellis
    Relationship: childhood friend

    Terrell and I attended the same schools from elementary through high school. I counted him as my best friend in elementary school, spending lots of Saturday afternoons at his home on Watson Circle, a place he affectionally called Finney's Folly. Our interests took us in slightly different directions beginning in Junior High but we remained good friends. He was always gracious to include me in his theatre projects at the Montgomery Little Theatre and the Maxwell Playhouse--not in acting, but rather as comic relief in the set construction process. I treasured my time with Terrell and his parents. It saddens me to learn of his death but I am ever grateful for his life and will treasure his memory. Susan, please know that I will hold you and your family in my prayers. May God bless you.

  • Steven J Cahn
    Relationship: Colleague

    When Terrell first served as the CCM's academic dean, I had the good fortune to serve with him as Director of Graduate Studies. Day in and day out, during a stressful time of administrative transition, I learned from Terrell's example how to contend with the unpredictable. I enjoyed his collegiality and admired his skill as a director. May his memory continue to be a blessing to his family, friends and colleagues.

R. Terrell Finney

R. Terrell Finney

Age: 66
Born: December 01, 1953
Died: January 23, 2020