Cover photo for Marshall Finner's Obituary
Marshall Finner Profile Photo
1927 Marshall 2022

Marshall Finner

June 6, 1927 — July 5, 2022

Madison / Verona

Marshall Frederick Finner, age 95, passed away on July 5, 2022 at Noel Manor Retirement Living Center in Verona, Wisconsin.  Marshall, also known to many as Marsh, was born in Dodge, WI on June 6, 1927 to Ewald and Ida Finner.  He grew up on the 360-acre family farm in Trempealeau County after which he attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering and Mechanical Engineering, and a Master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering.

Before beginning a life-long and admirable career at UW-Madison, Marsh spent 1953-55 with the U.S. Army at Aberdeen (Maryland) Proving Ground as a Field Test Engineer.  He then began teaching at UW-Madison rising through the ranks to Professor.  In 1983, he became Director of UW Agricultural Research Stations until his retirement in 1994.  At that time, he was awarded Professor Emeritus status.

During Marsh’s tenure at the UW, he published several major publications, including a textbook titled Farm Machinery Fundamentals that was later translated into many languages, including Arabic for use at King Saud University in Saudi Arabia.  He also earned numerous honors and awards including Outstanding Instructor (1969, 1974, 1979, 1980 and 1984) and Engineer of the Year Award in 1978.

Marsh and Sandy have been long-time members of Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison during which time Marsh served as a teacher elder as well as a member and/or chair for several pastor search committees.

Upon retirement Marsh was able to devote time to his love of woodworking.  In his home workshop he created many heirloom quality pieces of furniture for his family.  He also designed and built several pieces for what he lovingly referred to as his “Covenant Line.”  These included a new communion table, a pulpit, and a lectern for Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Marsh is survived by his wife Dr. Sandra Osborn of Verona, WI; twin sister Marjorie Accola of Prairie du Sac, WI; daughters Sherri Kardong (James) of Woodland Park, CO and Susan Cochard (Larry) of Evanston, IL; stepchildren Douglas Osborn (Barb) of Madison, WI and Cathy Kangas (Garth) of Shakopee, MN; step-grandchildren Calvin, Alex, Sarah, Isaac, Zachary, Beth, and Nicole (Supergirl); one great step-grandson Theo; eleven nieces and nephews and many great nieces and great nephews.

Marsh was preceded in death by his parents, brothers Donald and Roland, and his past wife, Janet (Reichart) Finner.

A visitation is on Wednesday, July 13th, from 5 to 7 pm at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Road, Madison, WI  53705 (608) 234-3434.

A memorial service, followed by light refreshments, will be held on Thursday, July 14th, at 2 pm at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 326 S. Segoe Rd, Madison, WI 53705 (608) 233-6297.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wisconsin Biological Systems Engineering Scholarship Fund number 132043704, at the University of Wisconsin.  Online at , or sent to USBank Lockbox 78807, Milwaukee, WI  53278-0807.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marshall Finner, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, July 13, 2022

5:00 - 7:00pm (Central time)

Cress Funeral Home Madison - Speedway

3610 Speedway Rd, Madison, WI 53705

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Funeral Service

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Starts at 2:00pm (Central time)

Covenant Presbyterian Church

326 S Segoe Rd, Madison, WI 53705

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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