Anne Jane Finnerty Bates

Anne Jane Finnerty Bates

January 2, 1936 – July 26, 2020


Anne Jane Finnerty "Annie-Jane" was born in Tulsk, Co. Roscommon, Ireland on January 2, 1936. As a child she petitioned her mother to change her birthdate to New Year’s Day, because the 2nd felt “anti-climactic”. At four she taught herself to read from Caesar’s Gallic Wars. Her uncles were reading it to her, and she was anxious to find out more. Three things sprang from this: a lifelong love of history, reading, and a running joke about words she mispronounced as a child, because she worked them out phonetically, and missed. Pic-tur-ess-que-ee for picturesque, etc. She was a sickly kid who swore that playing football with the boys saved her life. As a teenager she rode her bike to school in Elphin rather than be sent to the convent school because she “…would die of loneliness.” She read Shakespeare on her handlebars, claiming to know the potholes by heart. She was a character. She had a tremendous sense of humor, especially about herself.


At age 21 Anne and her brother Andy started their greatest adventure and moved from their beloved Ireland to Montreal, Canada to join her sister Bridget.  Breege’s two young boys, Fintan and Paul never failed to delight their Auntie. I liked to tease her and say that they were her first and favorite children. “The lads.” She worked at Canadair, quickly rising to chief executive secretary (she met Chuck Yeager!), and was active in the Irish community. She loved theatre, ballroom dancing, bowling, Irish football and the beauty and cuisine of Montreal. When her Mother unexpectedly passed away in 1959, she decided to stay in Canada.


In 1965 Anne married and moved to the United States. She lived in Washington, Maryland, Georgia and California. Her home for over 40 years was Long Beach. There she raised her children, Shivaun and Aileen, and was active in Church, the Irish community (sensing a theme here), school, St. Mary’s Hospice Auction and was even an extra once in Long Beach Grand Opera’s production of Carmen. Anne learned to drive and to swim in her late forties. (I think Mom would like me to clarify that those events were unrelated.) She devoted herself tirelessly to advancing the health and success of her children.  A great joy in her life was that her brother Andy, his wife Ann and their children Kevin and Sinead lived nearby. She always loved visiting with them and especially loved celebrating the holidays together. 


In 2005 her daughter Aileen married, and Anne became mother-in-law to Steve. In 2008 Aileen and Steve provided her with a granddaughter and her favorite co-conspirator, Charlotte. Oh, what a pair. Anne was an indulgent and doting Grandma. Charlotte adored her and always will.  They spent many hours together at Disneyland. Charlotte would like you to know that whenever we left Grandma on a bench, (while we waited in line) we would always come back to find her with a group of new friends she had adopted. “Oh Anne, I will go back to school!” “Anne, I think God told me to sit next to you today.” She never met a stranger. She loved everyone and they reciprocated.


In 2010 Anne had several hospitalizations, nursing home stays and met an adoring throng of doctors and nurses who eventually successfully diagnosed her Parkinson’s disease. They estimated that she had been suffering with it at least seven years already. This is a testament to her plucky, just power through it, approach to life. Parkinson’s is a big umbrella disease, and Anne got an oversized dose. Quickly she lost her ability to use her legs, developed severe speech problems and yet never lost her intellect or sense of humor. It is important to note that no matter how much her speech became impaired, Charlotte could always understand her. Anne lived for years in a home for the chronically ill. The staff there treated her like family, and she loved them all very much. Till the end she loved going out. If OCTA paratransit went there, Mom was game to go. Off to mass every Sunday at St. Irenaeus until the shutdown began. She was mad for Italian, Chinese and Mexican cuisine. Nothing stopped her from going out. It was pouring rain on our last outing before the Covid-19 shutdown, but Mom declared it “Just a soft day.” She liked to dye her still very thick hair black and was never seen without a bit of lipstick and her nails painted. She spent 63 years away from Ireland but never forgot her country, family and friends she loved so much. Thankfully they never forgot her either. A card or letter was cause for celebration. If you visited Mom over the years, you know what joy you brought her. You could rely on hearing a story about or news from home every day.


She survived so many things and with great courage and love. On July 22 she showed symptoms of and tested positive for Covid-19. On July 26, 2020 she passed away In a nursing home in Upland, CA. She had contracted the virus from an asymptomatic caregiver. Mom would like you to all wear masks and think of others. Stay home if you can. Aileen, Steve and Charlotte would like to extend their love and thanks to her caregivers, the staff at the nursing home and the hospice team that were at her side till the very end.


Anne leaves behind more friends and family than we can name here, but we will try. If I miss you in this list, I apologize. We are a huge family.


Anne is proceeded in death by: Her parents: John Thomas and Anne (Flynn) Finnerty, her brothers and sisters and their spouses: Michael and Phyllis Finnerty, Peter and Josephine Finnerty, Mary and Lou Ruocco, Bridget and Brendan McCabe, John Finnerty, James Finnerty, Patrick Finnerty, Andrew Finnerty, brother-in-law Augustine Fagan and her niece and nephews: Anne, Gerard and Michéal Finnerty.


Anne is survived by:

Her husband Philip and daughter Shivaun Bates.

Her daughter Aileen, son-in-law Stephen and Granddaughter Charlotte Joines.

Her sister Carmel Finnerty Fagan and sisters-in-law Ann McPaul Finnerty and Ann (Babs) Flanagan Finnerty.

Her nieces and nephews:

Paul (her Godchild) and Fintan McCabe, Sinead (her Godchild) and Jason Pyne, Kevin and Katy Finnerty, Andrew and Adrienne Finnerty, Mary and Patrick Carton, Martina and Tom Keating, Maureen and Dan Frink, Vincent and Claire Finnerty, Kevin and Teresa Finnerty, Mary and Sean Tuohy, Oliver and Barbara Finnerty, Carmel Finnerty, Noel and Margaret Finnerty, Pascal Finnerty, Therese Campbell, Kieran Finnerty, Peter Finnerty, Jarlath Finnerty, Colm and Bernadette Finnerty, Imelda and Thomas Larkin, Finbarr and Natalia Finnerty, Dermott and Eithne Finnerty, Kieran Finnerty, Margaret Pauline Finnerty and Rüdiger Lenort, and Barbara and Kenneth McAuley…and all their wonderful children!

Countless friends, especially the Lane, Dufficy, Noone, Harris, Devine, Joines, D'Arcy, McGlynn, Strong, Beirne, Higginbotham and Gingras families.              

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam. 

Honoring Anne Jane Finnerty Bates

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