Mr. John Finkbeiner was born and raised in Caledonia, and still lives on the family farm. Attending Caledonia Schools from K-12 grades and graduating in 1969, John played football, baseball and ran track. He sang in the choir, was active in student government, and was a member of the National Honor Society. One special memory is from his senior year, when his football team went undefeated—the last football team from Caledonia to achieve that status.
John went to Grand Rapids Junior College for two years and on to Michigan State University, focusing on Soil and Water Conservation. Following MSU, he returned to Twin Pines Farm to work with his father, Robert, who is also a Caledonia Alumnus. Today, John and his brother, Larry, are partners in the farming operation.
Married for 32 years to his wife, Beth, a Special Education teacher at Dutton Elementary, the Finkbeiners have three children--all are graduates of Caledonia High School. Josh lives in Cleveland, OH and is an Aerospace Engineer, working for NASA. Jenny is an elementary substitute teacher, and Jake is a senior at Alma College studying music.
John has provided leadership to this community in many ways. He was a member of the Caledonia Community School Board of Education from 1979 to 1995. He served on the Caledonia Township Planning Commission, is currently governing board president of the Strike Percussion Ensemble, and has been a mentor to middle school students. Professionally, he is the Secretary-Treasurer of the local unit of Michigan Milk Producers Association, the President of the Kent County Farm Bureau Board, and serves on the Caledonia Farmer’s Elevator Board.
The Finkbeiners are active in Holy Family Catholic Church, where John sings in the choir. In 1992, his church sent him to Tanzania, East Africa for a month to start a farming project. "The missionary work that I did there was one of the best things I’ve ever done."
The Caledonia Education Foundation is pleased to honor John Finkbeiner, as our 2005 Honored Alumnus, for his well-rounded, exemplary service to the life and quality of the Caledonia Community.
Honored Alumni - Past Recipients
- 2013 Judy Harrison
- 2012 Kenneth Gackler
- 2011 Hendricka “Henny” Stauffer
- 2010 David Clark
- 2009 Lodema Schroder
- 2008 Ret. Lt. Col. Richard Doezema USMC (Ret.)
- 2007 Bruce Ullrey
- 2006 Alan & Jackie Steeby