Former Times Sportswriter Frank Finch Dies at 81

Frank Finch, one of the most colorful sportswriters in Los Angeles for more than four decades, died Friday of leukemia at the Methodist Hospital in Arcadia.

Finch, 81 on July 28, covered both the Rams and the Dodgers for The Times from their arrival in Los Angeles--the Rams in 1946 and the Dodgers in 1958. Before major league baseball came West, Finch covered the Pacific Coast League activities of the Los Angeles Angels and the Hollywood Stars.

He also wrote a book, "The First 20 Years of the L.A. Dodgers."

After retiring from the Times in 1976 at 65, Finch worked for 14 years for a deposition firm until he became ill. A resident of Temple City for the past 44 years, Finch was known for the vacation trips he took alone, riding buses and trains around the country. Last May, after learning that he had leukemia, Finch embarked on a 2,500-mile automobile trip through the western United States.

A sports enthusiast to the end, Finch's daughter, Deborah, said her father watched the Rams' exhibition game against the Seattle Seahawks Thursday night from his hospital bed.

In addition to his daughter, he is survived by his wife of 62 years, Marjorie Corley Finch; a granddaughter, Kimberly, and a great-granddaughter, Dondi Michelle, all of Temple City, and a sister, Gloria Stuart Sheekman, of Brentwood.

There will be no services, at Finch's request. Family members said that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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