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Don Fineran

March 28, 1926 - October 17, 2018

Don Fineran, of Salem Oregon, peacefully passed away on October 17th with members of his family present.  Don was born on March 28, 1926 in Corsica, South Dakota and grew up on a small farm in Armour, South Dakota.  He moved to Oregon in 1954.
Don pursued his passion to become a teacher via his education. He received his Bachelor’s Degree In Education from Southern State Teachers College in Springfield South Dakota and attended Colorado State Teachers College in Greely Colorado and Portland State University.  Don completed a Master’s degree from the University of Oregon.
Don served in the United States Army in the Military Police starting October 11, 1950.  He was stationed in Germany for a year and received the Army Occupation Medal.  Don achieved the rank of Corporal and received his honorable discharge September 28th, 1956.
While in the military Don met his future bride, Jeanne, at a USO dance.  They were engaged after 3 weeks and married 3 months later, on September 16th, 1951.  Don and Jeanne recently celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary.
Don started his Oregon teaching career in Lakeview, Oregon in 1954.  In 1957, Don moved to Salem and started teaching math classes at Leslie Junior High, where he taught for 16 years.  In 1973, Don took on a new role as the Math Specialist for the Oregon State Department of Education. In this role he worked to train and develop math teachers throughout Oregon.
Don was active in the Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics (OCTM).  In 1993, OCTM inducted Don into the Oregon Mathematics Education Hall of Fame and his nomination read in part ‘in honor of one of the most influential people in the history of Oregon math education’.  OCTM also recognized Don with the Don Fineran Scholarship Fund in 1990.  The scholarship provides funds to enable math teachers to attend math education seminars and conferences to improve their teaching skills and methods.  Don contributed to this scholarship fund throughout his life.
Don’s other passion in life was his family—from his wife Jeanne, his 5 sons- Jim, Mike (Dayna), Mark (Cindy), Steve (Tina) and Bruce (Carrie) to his 13 grand children and 12 great grandchildren.  Don loved family gatherings and reunions. He was also passionate about Oregon’s great outdoors and spent many days camping, hunting and fishing in Oregon.
The family will host a Celebration of Life Service on Sunday, November 18th at 2:00 pm at Virgil T Golden Funeral Service in Salem.  In lieu of flowers, the family encourages gifts to the Don Fineran Scholarship Fund at the Oregon Council of Teachers of Mathematics.   The family also extends our deepest thanks and appreciation to the Staff at Windsong at Eola Hills and Serenity Hospice for their compassion and care for Don in the last days of his life journey.

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One of the most compassionate, caring, teachers I ever encountered. I spent many lunch hours and after school time getting extra help in algebra from Mr. Fineran. I needed the class so I could apply to nursing school. I have often felt he passed me so I could apply to the school. I not only was accepted but graduated 3 years later and worked for almost 30 years as a registered nurse. I also served 2 years in the United Air Force Nurse Corps where I met my husband of 46 years. I know I am too late to tell him, so I am telling you, his family, how much I appreciated his help all those years ago. Thank you Mr. Fineran !  With gratitude for sharing him with all of his students.  Linda Crom Bosma class of 1961 South Salem High

Don Fineran was my favorite uncle, and I was his favorite niece. We were lifelong pen pals. He wrote long, lovely letters, and I learned a lot from him. I always looked forward to receiving them. Walking to my mailbox will never be the same. I already miss him and always will. The picture I have shared was taken during his last visit to Kentucky. He and Aunt Jeanne are on the right. My condolences to my aunt, my cousins, and their families. How blessed they were to have him as a husband, father, and grandfather.