Contributed by Beverly Frank- [email protected]
Finny was born in 1924 in Vienna, Austria. She’s a tall, elegant ninety-two (92) years young. Her memorable childhood home was filled with books, art, music and love. As a young girl, she learned to speak French, in addition to her native German, and treasured her childhood years. Her life took a dramatic turn for the worse when the Anschluss, the annexation of Austria into Nazi Germany occurred in March of 1938.
“I’ll never forget March 12, 1938. Hitler annexed Austria, and we Jews were thrown out of our homeland. I was furious!
Finny moved to Chicago to live with relatives when she was thirteen (13) years old. She mastered English, wore hand-me-down clothes and rebuilt her life. She was drawn to inspiring young people and became a high school English teacher, first at Hyde Park High School, then at Near North Career Metro High School in the (former) Cabrini-Green neighborhood.
She enjoyed her work and encouraged many poor immigrant students to overcome language barriers. “If you can live in a country, you can learn the language.” Finny married a gentleman from a cultured family and gave birth to three (3) wonderful children. They’ve each been successful in their careers. She values their integrity and close relationships with each other. “My kids are the most decent human beings, they are good people and truly like each other.”
Finny is an energetic, optimistic individual who exudes both confidence and humility, with a delicious sense of humor. “As I’ve lived my life, I’ve adapted and am grateful for the ability to let go of negative and destructive things. Gratitude enhances my daily life.”
She’s an avid reader and an involved book club participant. She loves the theatre and was a regular subscriber to the Goodman, Northlight and Steppenwolf theatres for many years.
Smiling, she sums up her reflections, “The Selfhelp Home is a kind, comfortable place. I appreciate the free choice and variety of activities. The memory games keep my gray matter active and the Sunday concerts are the best. I’m grateful for each and every day that I’m a member of this amazing community!”