M. Joan Finken

M. Joan Finken, 88, passed from this world on November 14, 2020, at Longview Nursing Home in Missouri Valley, Iowa. She entered the world as Mabel Joan Chamberlain on March 7, 1932 on the home farm. Her mom told her it was the coldest day in March. Joan was the seventh and last child born to B. Ross and Mabel M. Chamberlain, Herrick Illinois. She attended Center school and had to walk 1-1/2 miles to school. She attended Herrick High School for 4 yrs. Her graduation class had 13 students. She attended 2 years of college at Eastern Illinois State College majoring in Music. Joan also attend 3 months Airline Training School in Omaha, NE with job placement at the hospital at Wright-Patterson AF Base Dayton, Ohio. In 1953, she worked at Camp Carson, Colorado typing pay records for military personnel being discharged from service. She was called home to cook for her dad and brothers after her mother had broken her ankle. In 1956 she worked at Letterman Army Hospital at Presidio San Francisco, California transcribing medical reports and maintaining patient charts. She met her future husband Bernie Finken July 1956. He was in the Army stationed at Presidio, California. He had just returned from overseas duty in (Eniwetok) Marshal Islands in the nuclear testing program. He was in the Military Police. They met on a blind date. He looked so young that she would not date him until he showed her his driver’s license to prove his age. They married December 1, 1956 in Missouri Valley, Iowa. Joan started working at the VA Medical Center Omaha, NE as a ward secretary training all the ward secretaries, eventually was promoted to Chief Ward Administration Section. She retired with 30 years of government service in 1987. Bernie and Joan played cards with friends and both bowled. Their passion was fishing and gardening. They loved to take their grandchildren (Sean Cooksey and Nicole (Cooksey) Harrington and eventually their great grandchildren (Dalton and Kasey Spence) fishing. For their 50th wedding anniversary they celebrated with a 3 week cruise to Australia and New Zealand during March and April 2007. Joan was an active member of Church of Christ singing in the choir. She loved to sing, dance and listen to music.

Joan and Bernie had two children Teresa Coleen (deceased) and Kimberly Kay Tresnak Bailey, Colorado.

Joan is preceded in death by her parents, daughter Teresa, husband Bernie, siblings Joyce Chamberlain, Ralph Chamberlain, Maxine Isenberg, Barbara Fenton, June Kirkpatrick and Wesley Chamberlain.

She is survived by her daughter Kim (Phil) Tresnak of Bailey, Colorado, 2 grandchildren Sean Cooksey Aurora, Colorado and Nicole (Brit) Harrington of Missouri Valley, Iowa, 2 great grandchildren Dalton and Kasey Spence of Missouri Valley, Iowa.

Visitation will be Thursday from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. at Grace Community Fellowship Church in Missouri Valley, Iowa.

In Loving Memory Of M. Joan Finken

Born March 7, 1932 Herrick, Illinois

Entered Into Rest November 14, 2020 Missouri Valley, Iowa Funeral Service

11:00 a.m., Thursday, November 19, 2020

Grace Community Fellowship Church

Missouri Valley, Iowa

Officiating Pastor Brad Westercamp

Music Selections

“As The Deer” “In The Garden”

“Amazing Grace”

Casket Bearers

Brit Harrington Sean Cooksey

Dalton Spence Josh Harrington

Phil Tresnak Cody Harrington

Final Resting Place

Rose Hill Memorial Garden Missouri Valley, Iowa

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Alzheimer’s Association P.O. Box 96011 Washington, D.C. 20090-6011



  • Dan & Becky Kougias Posted November 17, 2020 4:01 pm

    So sorry for your loss our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family

  • Michelle Gibson Posted November 17, 2020 6:08 pm

    Kim – I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. I so enjoyed seeing her and your Dad when they would come to the Eagles Club. I pray that the memories will fill you with love and help with your loss.

  • Don Huebner Posted November 18, 2020 8:12 pm

    Kim, So sorry for your loss. I have good memories of your mom and dad. Their friendship with Bob and Ann was special. Cards and bowling were the best. I have you in my prayers.

Sign Guestbook

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *