CHIPLEY – A former Washington County Commissioner passed away on January 8, after a two-year battle with cancer.

Ronnie B. Finch, 71, who passed away in Tallahassee, was a lifelong Washington County resident who served on the Washington County Board of County Commissioners from 2000 to 2008.

His funeral was held January 14 at the First Free Will Baptist Church in Chipley.

Fellow Commissioner Donnie Ray Strickland says that Finch loved being a commissioner and did many great things for his district.

"We served together from 2004 to 2008 and Ronnie sure loved being a commissioner," said Strickland. "He got the community center built at Blue Lake that was used by people all over the county. He was a man that loved to help anyone he could."

Strickland went on to speak about Finch’s love for his family.

"He was so much fun to be around," said Strickland. "He absolutely adored his family. Ronnie was a godly man. He will be greatly missed by a lot of people."

Finch attended Wausau School and Vernon High School, where he was a proud member of the Class of 1965. He retired after 30 years with  the Florida Department of Transportation and went on to work as an engineering consultant from 1998 to 2002. He also ran a second-hand store in his retirement, Ronnie B. Goods.

He was a devoted husband, father and grandfather and passed away peacefully surrounded by Nancy, his wife of more than 48 years, and daughters Amanda and Samantha.

Finch was a passionate advocate for children, particularly those with special needs. His family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Making Light Productions, his daughter’s Tallahassee-based 501c3 nonprofit, which supports inclusion of children of all abilities in the performing arts. Donations can be made at RememberingRonnieB.com.