Professor dies of heart attack

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February 3, 2009

12:14 AM

College of William and Mary physics professor John Michael Finn died of a heart attack early Saturday morning. He was 63.

“Mike was very active in both the physics department and the College. He was a respected colleague and friend to many at the College in this community,” College spokesman Brian Whitson said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family.”

Finn, who had taught at the College since 1985, was teaching a course on quantum physics this semester.

An expert in experimental nuclear physics, Finn authored over 90 scientific papers and published a textbook on classical mechanics in 2008. The prolific professor also published a memoir about his time in the Vietnam War and two volumes of poetry, “Flashback: A Journey in Time” and “The Butterfly Girl.”

He served as the chairman of the York-Poquoson Democratic Committee.

Finn is survived by his wife, Kit, five children and two grandchildren.

**Update: 4:39 p.m., Feb. 3**

Viewing and visitation will be at Bucktrout Funeral Home on Sunday, Feb. 8, from 6 to 8 p.m. A funeral Mass will be held at 3 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 9, at St. Olaf’s Catholic Church in Norge, Virginia.

Memorial donations to an education fund for his younger children and grandchildren can be sent to 133 Little John Road, Williamsburg, Virginia.

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