Leo Finnerty Sr. was a down-to-earth man who made friends everywhere he went, said Sue Finnerty, his wife of more than 61 years.
“Everywhere we went, people knew him,” she said. “He was the kind of guy who called a spade a spade.”
Leo Finnerty Sr., 82, of Hobart, died Sept. 3. He had been on the Gary Fire Department for 33 years, and after his retirement, drove a bus for the School City of Hobart. He was a graduate of Emerson High School and had served six years in the U.S. Navy.
He loved working as a fireman, and loved the camaraderie among firemen.
He enjoyed traveling, and the family took tried to take annual vacations while the children were growing up, she said. He also enjoyed gambling, and took trips to Atlantic City and Las Vegas.
Son Leo Finnerty II said he remembers his father taking him and his friends out on Lake Michigan, either to fish or so they could scuba dive.
“We lived in Miller, so we spent a lot of time either on a boat or the beach,” he said.
He said his father always worked two jobs to support the family.
Finnerty said he admired his father for his honesty and his work ethic.
Sue Finnerty said her husband loved living on Hobart’s Lake George.
“He lived the life he wanted to live, and it was a really good life,” she said.