Cover photo for Jeannette Finkbeiner's Obituary
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Jaie Finkbeiner

Jeannette Finkbeiner

b. April 24, 1940



Jeannette Elaine (Smith) Finkbeiner – Loving Wife, Mother, Grandmother, Artist, Naturalist


Jeannette “Jaie” Elaine Finkbeiner, 83, passed away peacefully after a brief illness on Thursday, June 22, 2023, in York, Pennsylvania, surrounded by her children.  She was born April 24, 1940 in Aurora, Illinois to parents Irving Wedell Smith and Sophia Constance Czarnik.  She spent her life full of love, family and fellowship.  Jeannette met the love of her life, Richard John Finkbeiner on a blind date on Valentines Day and they were married later that year on December 23rd, 1961.  They spent the following 61 years of their blessed marriage together.

Jeannette was a true matriarch with an indominable spirit. In her early life she was an avid artist, and devoted time to sketching, painting and photography. Alongside Richard and their children, she used these talents to design and help build their family home of 50 years in the rural Moyaone Reserve in Accokeek, Maryland.  Richard and Jeannette recently relocated to a vibrant community in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. 

Jeannette loved anything outdoors.  She cherished gardening, landscaping and woodworking, and spent many years square dancing, sailing on the Chesapeake, RV camping, and hiking with her family in the Shenandoah National Park.  One of her favorite pastimes in recent years was a good game of cards with family and friends--- as long as she was winning!

She enjoyed being active in the community, as a poll worker, as an activist fighting the Lyme carrying tick proliferation, and spearheaded a program to eliminate invasive gypsy moths from the Piscataway Park.  She was also a tenacious medical advocate for herself and her family, continually educating herself in homeopathic and western medicine to enhance the health and wellbeing of those around her.

Jeannette is survived by her children and their spouses, John and Deborah Finkbeiner, Brenda and Mitchell Wallace, Deborah and James Frost, David and Lee-Lin Finkbeiner, and Robert Finkbeiner;  by her siblings, Joyce Wiedemann, Dr. Charles Smith and Carol Nan Lueders;  by grandchildren and spouses Ryan and Carly, Kyle and Jess, Brandon and Savannah, Anna, Jessika and Patrick, Jacob, Sydney, Samantha, Grace, Jonathan, Daniel;  by great-grandchildren Lilly, Adelyn, Emilia, Owen, Olivia and newborn Kellan.

In addition to her parents, Irving and Sophia, Jeannette was predeceased by her husband, partner and soulmate, Richard Finkbeiner, and by siblings, Lawrence Smith and Joan Klaver.  

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that contributions be made in Jeannette’s memory to Amblebrook’s Neighborhood Early Aid Response Program (NEAR Inc., PO Box 4193, Gettysburg, PA 17325;, or to Hospice & Community Care (PO Box 4125, Lancaster, PA 17604;

A private Celebration of Life will be scheduled in the coming weeks.  Contact the family by email at for details.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeannette Finkbeiner, please visit our flower store.


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