Barney Dean Finley

Born: Mon., Apr. 1, 1957
Died: Fri., Aug. 30, 2019


8:00 PM to 11:00 AM, Sat., Aug. 31, 2019
Location: Foster Funeral Home & Crematory

12:00 PM to 11:30 PM, Sun., Sep. 01, 2019
Location: Elmo Cultural Hall

Funeral Service

11:00 AM Mon., Sep. 02, 2019
Location: Elmo Cultural Hall

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On August 30, 2019 creator decided to bring one of the best home.  On April 1, 1957 Barney Dean Finley was born in St. Ignatius, Montana to Susan Hewankorn Blixt. He was a proud member of Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation.  He always said he was proud to be KTUNAX Aq=smaknik’ and a Dayton Creek Kootenai.

Growing up he learned about life and traditional ways from his Kapapa Jerome. He looked up to his brothers and considered them his heroes. He cared about his cultural and spiritual ways. He was a keeper of his native language. He was a wonderful role model to the community because he cared so much about the people. He strongly believed in getting an education and graduated with three college degrees. He received two Associates degrees and one Bachelor’s degree. He had an AA in Native American Studies & an AA in Elementary Education. He furthered his education through a program with Western Montana College to obtain his BA in Elementary Education. He became Student of the Year one year with a GPA of 3.73

Some of his favourite things to do were hunting, fishing, canoeing, making cedar baskets, beading and being a proud father. He loved and cherished his children with all his heart and soul.  He enjoyed playing basketball with them, and reading them stories. He would do many activities with them. The thing he enjoyed the most in life was playing his favorite game – stickgame.  He taught his kids and loved traveling as a family to various stickgame tournaments and pow-wows.

He was a teacher for 22 years at Two Eagle River School. Teaching was his passion and he inspired many students. He had a big heart and always wanted to help people. His students were a big part of life, he even gave nicknames to some of them. Later in life, he became a residential counselor at kicking Horse Job Corps. In his life he overcame so many hardships that made him such a strong man and father. He loved his family above everything. His family was his world. He would always say tell your loved ones you love them because life is precious, and so he always made sure to tell his loved ones he loved them.

Barney is survived by his brother Vernon Finley (Elaine, Jerome, & Olivia); his daughters Susan Finley (Jack & Douglas), Barbara Finley (Dean, Hamen, & Teeney), Jennifer Morigeau, and Alisha Ortlandt; his sons Jason Finley (Amanda, Ila, & Jameson), Calvin Ortlandt and Matt Howard; his sisters Naida Lefthand and Sonia Chippewa; his in laws Pierre Malatare, Paul Malatare, Harriet Malatare, & Carolyn MadPlume; his grandchildren, and many nieces, nephews; and the mother of his children Dianna Andrews (Robert).

Visitation for family & friends will begin at 8 pm Saturday at Foster Funeral Home in St. Ignatius. His wake will begin at noon on Sunday, Sept. 1 at KCC Hall in Elmo.  His rosary will follow at 8 pm.  Service will be at 11 am on Monday, Sept. 2 with burial at Dayton Cemetery.

Pallbearers are Jack Hearn, Leonard Burke, henry Christie, Pierre Malatare, Paul Malatare and Brad Eneas. Crossbearer is Bean Furukawa and honorary bearers are all of his Two Eagle; KHJS and Stickgame families.

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