Gene (88) and Martha (84) Finney share their story of hope from the 1950s.
Gene is a World War II veteran who served the navy for about two years. After the war ended, Gene took the option of taking a course under the GI bill which offered a cosmetology course and a sheet metal course. Gene did not have a chance to go to school before joining the navy. In the interview, he relates how he started making money by the age of 8 by selling gum and taking on different jobs, constantly hoping to do better, until he joined the navy at age 17. Having the eye of an entrepreneur, Gene took on the cosmetology class (which he knew would pay better) and later became a hairstylist for Gould’s Salon Spa where he retired from just last year at the age of 87. He was a hairstylist there for 63 years. He’s done the hair of Elvis and Cybill Shepherd. Gene is also an avid harmonica player. He’s played individually, with a band and lately with his eldest son, Rick. Gene uses his gift of music to share hope to a lot of people – he plays in retirement homes and churches and wherever his music takes him! Click the links below to watch Gene Finney play harmonica and make wonderful music.
Martha is a nurse and is an accomplished bowler. She is a city and state champion for bowling. Martha and Gene met when Martha was 15 and Gene was 19 in a dance and met again after a year where they’ve decided to get married. Martha fondly recalls how Gene had sent her out every morning from 11th to 12th grade to finish high school. When their last child went to school, Martha then took up nursing and later worked as a nurse for 25 years.
Gene and Martha have been married for 67 years and are the proud parents of three children, Ricky, a pilot/crop duster, Sharon a teacher and Jeannie a caregiver. Gene and Martha believes that in life, we shouldn’t give up and that we should know that there’s always a way to make it through.