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Obituary for Derek Michael Finkbeiner

Derek Michael Finkbeiner, age 39, born on February 6, 1983 in Lansing, Michigan died on Monday, April 18, 2022, when God called him home. Derek was a loving and devoted father. He enjoyed making people laugh. His greatest passion was spending time and “hanging out” with family and friends. Holidays were particularly special to him. He enjoyed playing cards with family and friends, golf, watching his children play sports, and family vacations.

Derek is preceded in death by his grandparents: Dolores A. and Francis W. Thelen, Charlotte P. and Rodney W. Finkbeiner, Kent Buffenbarger; uncles, Gary A. Finkbeiner and Geoffrey E. Cross; also, a special friend, Tyler Hamel. Derek is survived by his wife, Jessica Buffenbarger; four children: Andrew Buffenbarger, Alyssa Buffenbarger, Ava Finkbeiner, Axton Finkbeiner; also surviving are his parents: mother, Jane Finkbeiner; father, Larry (Peggy) Finkbeiner; mother-in-law, Carol (Mike) Schneckenberger, brothers, Patrick (Alison) Finkbeiner and Brendan (Amy) Finkbeiner; half-sister, Danica Shier; step-brothers, Curtis (Jennifer) Brinks and Chad (Delaine) Brinks; step-sister, Lisa Brinks; aunts and uncles: Linda (Thelen) and Danny Weber, Phil (Mary Kay) Thelen, Tom (Lori) Thelen, Rick (MaryJo) Thelen, Mark Thelen, Ann Cross of Middleville, MI and Allyn (Nova) Finkbeiner from the Philippines. Derek had many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Derek graduated from Portland St. Patrick’s High School in 2001. He was known as the one that could make you laugh. He enjoyed playing all sports while in school.

Derek worked at Phillip’s Pet Food and Supply for 18 years, where he spent time traveling to their many warehouses trouble shooting and helping them as they needed. He was awarded the Employee of Excellent award in 2018. He was promoted many times there and his latest position was inventory management.

He will be truly missed by all his family, friends, and co-worker family.

The Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated by Rev. Ryan Riley at 11:00 a.m., Tuesday, April 26, 2022 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Portland. The Rite of Committal will follow at Portland Cemetery. The funeral luncheon will be held at the V.F.W. Hall, 1324 E. Bridge Street, Portland. The family will receive friends from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m. with the rosary being prayed at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, April 25, 2022 at the Lehman Funeral Home, 210 E. Bridge Street, Portland. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Jane Finkbeiner, 210 Quarterline Street, Portland, MI 48875 for Derek's children. Online condolences may be made at


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