OBITUARY: Richard Vernard Fineout, Feb. 19, 1929 – Nov. 8, 2017

Richard Vernard Fineout was born the second of two boys to Edith and Harvey Fineout in Lansing, Michigan.

He attended Lansing public schools, then enrolled at Michigan State University.

Two years into college, he married Elsie Graham, his high school sweetheart, and they began a family.

He attended MSU part-time for 9 years as an English major, with minors in mathematics, German literature and language, physical science, and social science.

He worked at the post office, as a cab driver and at the local Oldsmobile plant during his college years.

He learned clarinet and piano while young and had a lifelong love of music – notably jazz.

Like many of his generation, Dick was a man of few words and Elsie was the spokesperson for the couple.

However, there was never any doubt they spoke as one in matters of family, work and play, and view of the world.

He eventually secured his Bachelor of Science degree and a teaching certificate.

He and Elsie moved their young family with three children, Graham, Guy and Elise, to Boyne City in northern Michigan, where he had been recruited to teach junior high and high school English and math.

He taught for 6 years and Matthew and Peter joined the family during this period.

He attended Illinois Institute of Technology in the summer of 1962 on a National Science Foundation Scholarship in math and discovered computers.

In 1964 he quit teaching and joined the management team at a local factory making airplane instrumentation devices – using his new skills in IBM computer languages.

He worked there for 15 years, during which Amy joined the family as the last and youngest child.

During this period Dick and Elsie became lifelong members of the American Civil Liberties Union.

Looking for a bit of adventure, in 1979 Dick and Elsie moved with Elise, Matthew, Peter and Amy to Seattle, following Guy who had moved to the big city the year before.

Dick worked a couple of programmer jobs before landing a permanent job in Port Angeles, Washington, where he was hired by Clallam County to computerize their data and payroll systems.

He retired in 1994 and spent 10 years in retirement before the gray, cold and damp winters of the Pacific Northwest proved to be too much for him.

Dick and Elsie moved to Florida in 2004 to join Graham and Linda, who had been enjoying the sun and warmth for many years.

The heat, humidity and hurricanes also proved to be unpleasant and Dick and Elsie returned north to Boyne City in 2008, where Graham, Elise and Peter had also returned with their families.

Elsie died at home in 2016 following a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s.

Dick remained healthy until 2015, when he sustained a “sports injury” – breaking his hip playing basketball with his great-grandson.

That same year he was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

He endured one round of cancer treatment before deciding he would take his chances with the cancer because the treatment seemed worse than the alternative.

He enjoyed 2 more wonderful years with family and friends.

He died peacefully at home with children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren surrounding him.

His love of family, language and music will be greatly missed.

A memorial service, to be announced, for Dick and Elsie will be held in Northern Michigan in the summer of 2018.

Condolences to the Fineout family may be given at www.penzienfh.com.

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