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James Andrew Finch

1959 - 2008, Santa Barbara

James Andrew Finch passed away on September 11, 2008. Born May 11, 1959 in New Haven, CT and a resident of Santa Barbara since 1978, Andy graduated from UCSB and worked as an Electrical and Systems Engineer with Santa Barbara Research Center / Raytheon for over 20 years.

He was recognized for his brilliant mind and his drive to succeed, and he helped develop several state of the art infrared imaging systems during his professional career. Among his favorites were a project called "Heal the Blind" and his work on the 2001 Mars Orbiter.

Andy had a heart of gold and a passion for music. He was an avid guitar player and enthusiastic music fan who loved jamming and recording, playing for others and diligently attending performances at various concert venues around town. The son of a big band pianist, Andy continued the family music tradition by recording his daughter's 4th grade class for a song on his first CD, and by jamming with his son on drums at a "talent show" last spring. His music will live on in our hearts.

Andy will be missed by his many friends in the Santa Barbara community. The family would like to express their sincere gratitude to the hiking buddies, spiritual companions and other individuals who stood by Andy in times of trouble and lightened his load with their words of wisdom and encouragement. Andy is survived by his wife of 25 years, Barbara Finch; his daughter Emily and son Dylan; his father, Merritt Evans "Bud" Finch of New Haven CT; and his sisters Marylouise Finch of Philadelphia, PA, Barbara Fenton, MD of Billings MT, Deborah Hall of Madison, CT and Debbie Wrenn of Richmond, VA. He is predeceased by his mother, Louise Hall Finch and his brother, Dr. Jeffrey Doty, MD.

Services will be held at the Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 820 N Fairview Avenue, Goleta on Saturday, September 20 at 1:00 pm. Gifts may be made in Andy's honor to The Environmental Defense Fund.

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