Mr. Mark Frederick Finney, age 58, of Cortland, NY passed away Tuesday, May 2, 2023, at the Robert Packer Hospital in Sayre, PA. He was born in Cortland, NY on September 25, 1964, to the late John and Florence Shanahan Finney. Mark earned an Associate Degree in 1984 from SUNY Cobleskill and a Bachelors Degree in 1986 from SUNY Oneonta and held a Masters Degree in Education. Mark began his teaching career at Delaware Academy in Delhi, New York and taught in Delhi for several years. Mark moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where he worked briefly in hotel management before resuming his teaching career. During his 10 years in South Carolina, Mark was awarded the honor of 2000 Teacher of the Year for South Carolina and was presented a key to the city of North Myrtle Beach by the mayor in 2007.
In 2008, Mark returned to Cortland where he served on the Cobleskill Alumni Association Board of Directors for 15 years, serving as President and Secretary several years during that time. Mark also served on the Cobleskill Campus Child Care Center Board of Directors. His awards at Cobleskill include: 1984 Outstanding Student, 2009 Outstanding Board Member, and 2018 Outstanding Alumni. Most recently, Mark became known at Cobleskill as “Coby’s Best Friend”, a nickname affectionately coined by Cobleskill President Marion Terenzio for Mark’s leadership and over 1,000 hours of volunteer service.
Mark loved his friends, family, “the kids”, the beach and celebrating life. For years, Mark organized the Annual Shanahan-Connors Reunion where over 100 family members would gather in Cortland from across the country. When asked, Marks’s advice to all “his kids” just months ago, was to “get the most out of life, put your mind to it” and Mark certainly did just that.
Mark is survived by his two brothers, Michael Finney and his wife Cathy, Patrick Finney, his sister Marilyn Finney, and nieces and nephews, Shannon Donnelly and her husband Joey, Michelle Sparkman, Lauren Hartman and her husband Richard, Brad Finney, Nic Nowalk and his wife Liz, and Aunt Barbara Shanahan. He is preceded in death by his nephew, Brian Finney.
Family and friends can visit with the family on Friday, May 12th from 4pm to 7pm at the Wright Beard Funeral Home. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, May 13th at 1pm at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Cortland.
Donations can be made in Mark’s name to Make a Wish Foundation of Central New York. Mike and Pat and Marilyn would like to thank all the caregivers at Northwoods of Moravia and Guthrie Hospitals and Cortland Park Hospital for all the care and extra efforts that they provided to Mark and a special thanks to all the cousins and friends who helped Mark and us in so many ways. You will always be remembered.