Obituary:   Karl's brother, Gregory H. Finger, 7/29/45–12/13/10

Gregory Henry Finger, age 65, of Gardiner, NY, died on Monday, December 13, 2010 at home, surrounded by his family, following a courageous battle with cancer.

Greg Finger first came to the Wallkill Valley in 1969 to work as head counselor and program director at Camp Thoreau in Wallkill. From 1972 through 1978 he directed the camp, and in 1979 he established Camp-Thoreau-in-Vermont, in Thetford Center, VT, which he directed through 2004. A values-driven institution committed to diversity and social justice, Camp Thoreau-in-Vermont nurtured the development of many hundreds of young people.

Also in 1972 Finger joined the Shawangunk Valley Fire Company in which he participated enthusiastically ever since, serving in various positions including as chief for six years. For more than two decades Finger annually taught several Emergency Medical Technician courses that prepared EMTs throughout the region.

More recently Greg was active in Gradiner town governance, serving as Emergency Management Coordinator, as an elected Town Board member and as chair of the Open Space Commission.

Finger was active for many years on the board of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), New York City, and most recently served as chair of the board of CCR. This year CCR established the Gregory H. Finger Racial Justice Fellowship, to provide training and mentoring to the next generation of public interest lawyers to be racial justice advocates.

He was born on July 28, 1945 in New York, NY. He was the son of the late Raphael and the late Sophie (Mins) Finger. He married Joan Hollister on May 16, 1982 in Dobb's Ferry, NY. In addition to his wife, Joan Hollister of Gardiner, he is survived by his brother, Karl Finger of Monterey, MA, and cousins: Marion Cohen of Pelham, NY; Joan Finger of Bolton, MA; Elizabeth Bravard of West Park, CT; Shari Fredericks of Stamford, CT. He is also survived by: nephew Marc Dorfman of Lawrenceville, NJ; aunt Rosalind Kahn of Stamford, CT; and his “extended family” of the hundreds of alumni of Camp Thoreau, fellow members of the Shawangunk Valley Fire Department, and many graduates of his EMT courses.

A celebration of Greg Finger's life will be held Sunday, December 19, 2010 at 1:00 pm at Copeland Funeral Home, Inc., 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, NY. A reception will follow at the Shawangunk Valley Fire Department, 2010 Brunswick Road, Wallkill, NY.

Donations in his memory may be made to Shawangunk Valley Fire Department, 2150 Bruynswick Road, Wallkill, NY 12589 or Center for Constitutional Rights, 666 Broadway, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10012 or online at

Final Arrangements are by Copeland Funeral Home, Inc., 162 South Putt Corners Road, New Paltz, New York 12561, (845) 255-1212. If anyone wishes to express condolences online please go to or send Karl an email (—and you can go to Greg Finger's Facebook page (the Greg with the head shot), and on the Copeland Funeral Home website to see what others have written or add something of your own.

# of people on Karl's Trips # of countries visited # of people at Karl's "Weekends"
almost 2,000
about 67
over 11,000
  Call me Carl Finger, I'll still smile