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Don Finke passes away

Alex Green • Aug 20, 2014 at 2:10 PM


Don Finke was both the spokesman and the voice of Citizens Organized for Responsible Development — a Port Clinton group aimed at preserving Waterworks Park and other historical sites.

The group is mourning the loss of Finke, 71, who passed away Sunday, Aug. 10.

Fellow C.O.R.D member and close friend of Finke, Jerry Jonke, said he is having trouble coming to terms with Finke's passing.

"He was a friend," Jonke said. "He was a guy you could trust."

Finke perhaps had an unmatched passion for preserving Waterworks Park and other historical sites in Port Clinton.

"(C.O.R.D.) is not just trying to save Waterworks Park from development," Finke said recently. "We're trying to save all city parks from future development."

Finke and other C.O.R.D. members collected more than 200 signatures from people who want a vote if the city is to sell, lease or transfer ownership of city parks.

The initiative will be on the November ballot, according to Ottawa County Board of Elections members. Board of Elections Director Carol Ann Hill said a sample ballot will be constructed by Sept. 19.

C.O.R.D.'s petition is available online.

But Finke had several other passions, Jonke said.

He often donated his time to the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry.

"He was the kind of guy that the more you got to know him, the more you know what he was all about," Jonke said.

C.O.R.D. offered a statement on Finke:

Don made a big difference by representing the concerns of many people in Port Clinton who had been effectively voiceless.  His work as a parks and recreation professional demonstrated his passion for its importance in the lives of us all.  Don was the city of Port Clinton’s citizen watchdog, activist and agitator attending all the city council meetings making sure the city does the right thing.

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