Gene “Al” Allison Finch, Jr., 55, of Lakeland, passed away June 21, 2022. He is survived by his wife of 24 years, Melissa Finch. Born August 2, 1966, in Lakeland, he was the son of the late Gene A. Finch, Sr. and Elizabeth “Betsye” Kay Finch.

Al was a devoted husband and father. He loved his family and Jesus deeply and loved spending time with them. Al graduated in 1988 from Stetson University in DeLand, FL. He was an avid Buccaneers and Gators football fan. He enjoyed traveling and experiencing culture around the world and following his passion for history, particularly World War II. He treasured his time teaching Bible study at All Saints’. After college, he worked in the construction industry for a number of years. He then joined Publix Super Markets, where he worked in the produce department for a short time, before joining the Florida Department of Citrus where he spent five years. Al joined Florida Classic Growers, a wholly owned subsidiary of Dundee Citrus Growers Association in Dundee, FL, in 1999. He was named president of Florida Classic Growers in 2014.

Al was very involved with the Southeast Produce Council since its founding in 1999. He served on its board of directors from 2003 to 2008 and led that board as president from 2006 to 2008. He also served on the council's board of governors from 2014 until his passing.

In addition to his wife, survivors include his sons, Gavin and Alex Finch; a sister, Alexis Rocker; his uncle, Ed (Charlotte) Kay; aunt, Francis Kay; father-in-law and mother-in-law, Robert and Brenda Winnie; brothers-in-law, Bob (Cathy) and Brian Winnie; nephew, Will Winnie; nieces, Madison Winnie and Samantha Normandy; as well as many dear cousins in Florida and Virginia.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 17127, Tampa, FL 33682, or by visiting:

Memorial contributions may also be made to the Betsye Kay Finch Performing Arts Foundation, Inc., 4798 S. Florida Ave., #225, Lakeland, FL 33813, or by visiting:

A memorial service will be conducted at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, July 9, 2022, at All Saints’ Episcopal Church, 202 S. Massachusetts Avenue, Lakeland, FL 33801. The service will also be live-streamed at 10:30 a.m. at

Condolences may be sent to the family at Heath Funeral Chapel.

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