"The Chief” has died. That’s how William Finn is known to friends across northern Alabama.

Bill Finn had served his country in active duty Air Force and the Army Reserves. Back home, he was a Gardendale police officer for four years. He ended as police chief in neighboring Fultondale from the 1970s to the mid-1990s.

“Chief Finn” died May 13 at age 87.

Centreville Mayor Mike Oakley, a longtime friend of Finn, made this comment:

He was not only one of my best buddies and a mentor to us young folks but a fellow soldier who I deployed with and who was a genuine American hero and patriot.

To say he will be missed is an understatement. He was a devoted family man who loved his children and made their lives fun through the years.

He also made the lives of his friends fun. No matter the situation he made it better by his presence.

We will always love you, Chief!


Billfinnoakley Alabama News
Chief Bill Finn with Centerville Mayor Mike Oakley. Facebook

Chief Finn's life story is vividly portrayed in the 109 photos from Gardendale Heritage Funeral Home here.

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler’s beat is the colorful and positive about Alabama. He writes about Alabama people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at ZeiglerElderCare@yahoo.com.

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to our newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.