OBITUARY: Odie Bud Finley

Odie Bud Finley passed away on December 2, 2021, with family by his side, at his son’s home in Lexington, Texas. He was 91 years old.

Odie Bud was born in Pecos, Texas, on August 8, 1930, the second of three children to Edwin and Lillian Finley. He is preceded in death by his parents, his brother Edwin, his sister Marilea and his wife of 68 years, Dorothy White Finley.

Odie Bud grew up in a ranching family and loved to talk about life on the ranch. His father, Edwin, was killed in an accident on the family farm in 1939 when Odie Bud was very young. Odie Bud idolized his dad and many of his stories were about his dad’s masterful goat roping, road building using a Fresno pulled by a team of Missouri mules, and his ability to speak and write perfect Spanish. 

After his father passed, Odie Bud spent his summers with his Uncle Earl and Aunt Nellie Mae McElroy helping them on their ranch, the Green Valley, in south Brewster County. Like his dad, Odie Bud loved and admired Uncle Earl and would have done anything for him. Under Earl’s tutelage, Odie Bud became a pretty good cowboy and jockey. From a young age, Odie Bud loved to ride bulls and to match race horses. Because of his ability to “ride anything with hair,” his nickname was Horsefly. Hearing him reminisce about his dad and uncle made you appreciate just how important family was to Odie Bud.

After graduating from Pecos High School and a brief stint in college, Odie Bud joined the Navy and served honorably during the Korean War. While in the Navy, Odie Bud met the love of his life, Dorothy “Dot” June White. They met on a blind date in Memphis, Tennessee, and married six months later. They were married for 68 years but Dot often jokingly said it would never have lasted if she had known how to drive when they first married. They have three children, Sherrie Finley, Susan Kay Ellis and John Finley; four grandkids, Charlie Finley, Nikki Finley, Garrett Ellis and Brett Ellis; and two great-grandkids, Madelyn Finley and Beth Finley. Odie Bud had a special place in his heart for each of his kids and grandkids, and they all had a uniquely special connection with him.

Married, mature and out of the Navy, the Finleys returned to West Texas so that Odie Bud and Dot could finish college at Sul Ross State University in Alpine. Odie Bud graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in range animal husbandry (animal science) and a Master’s Degree in educational administration. To say that he was ambitious was an understatement. While at Sul Ross, Odie Bud went to school full time, raised a family, worked multiple jobs and served as the president of his senior class.

Odie Bud was a natural leader, educator and people person. He enjoyed interacting with folks and loved coaching six-man football in Sierra Blanca. He said that was the most fun he had ever had! His passion for coaching carried over into the classroom where “Mr. Finley” was beloved by most of his students and eventually led to a successful career in sales. He rose to national sales manager for several large textbook publishers and, at the peak of his career, Odie Bud was elected to serve as president of the National Bookmans Association, a high honor for a ranch kid from Pecos, Texas.

Odie Bud loved the Lord and his faith was grounded in a lifetime of attending Bloys Campmeeting in the Davis Mountains. As a fourth generation Finley at Bloys, Odie Bud took great pride in his family heritage in the association and served faithfully as a trustee and director on the executive committee and as a leader in the Jones Espy Finley camp for over 40 years. Campmeeting will not be the same without him.

Father, husband, brother, son, Odie Bud Finley was a wonderful example of how a person should live their life, loving people and loving the Lord. We mourn his passing and miss him terribly, but we rejoice in the knowledge that he is home, back with his wife, in the presence of our Heavenly Father.

A memorial service will be held for Odie Bud and Dorothy Finley at the Fort Davis First Presbyterian Church in Fort Davis, Texas on Saturday, June 11, at 11 a.m.

Internment for Odie and Dorothy Finley will be held on June 13, 9 a.m. at the Fairview Cemetery in Pecos, Texas.

Memorial Donations may be made to the Memorial Fund of the Jones Espy Finley Camp or to the Bloys Campmeeting Association c/o