Our Community Spotlight for this issue of the Juniper Berry shines on someone who is no longer with us but who nevertheless left his mark on our neighborhood. His name was Dennis Finneran and he was born and raised in Middle Village.

Dennis attended PS87, Brooklyn Tech and the City College of New York where he graduated with honors. He obtained an MBA from St. John’s University.

Dennis was a thirty-six year US Postal Service employee, serving all of those years in various Queens County postal facilities. He was selected to participate in the prestigious Postal Inspector program. He attended school in Washington, DC for several weeks and was assigned to work in the Boston, Massachusetts area upon graduation. He turned down that opportunity in deference to his wife and family so they may stay near their friends and family. He never regretted that decision.

Dennis also had a full life outside of his professional responsibilities as a volunteer coach for, and later President of the Central Nassau Little League, for which his two sons, Kevin and Michael, played.

Unfortunately, Dennis died an untimely death at the age of 58 from pancreatic cancer.

Dennis’ mother, Olga, 94, still lives in Middle Village. She and her son, Brian, are on a mission to memorialize Dennis.

Brian Finneran is quick to tell you, without any jealousy, that Dennis was his mother’s favorite. Olga would love to see her beloved son remembered by having the Middle Village Post Office named after him. Brian has contacted key people in this endeavor including Congressman Anthony Weiner. Research done by Brian indicates that the Post Office at 71-35 Metropolitan Avenue in Middle Village meets the basic criteria for the honor of having the facility named after Dennis; that is, it is owned by the Postal Service and it is not currently named for anyone else.

While space limits my ability to give you the full impact of Dennis Finneran’s life, it is safe to say that he was a good son, husband, father and brother. He dedicated his days to doing for others and Brian can tell you that at Dennis’ wake everyone that paid their respects to the family expounded on the very full human contribution Dennis made in his short life.

While the passing of someone is always sad, somehow family and friends find comfort in recalling the generous and giving life of their deceased beloved. Naming the Middle Village Post Office after Dennis Finneran would recognize the many contributions he made throughout his life.

Some Highlights of Dennis Finneran’s Contributions to the Community

• Assisted Postmaster Bill Rogers on all operation matter relating to the Middle Village zip code project (as Bill noted during his speech when the plague honoring Dennis was dedicated at the MV post office in April 2006)
• For many years, provided paint to enhance the appearance of Middle Village postal “relay” boxes throughout the neighborhood. On several occasions, he repainted the boxes himself when his mother was told by friends and neighbors that it wasn’t being done fast enough by the P.O. I can only assume this is why he began to requisition paint for the locals to do the job!
• Successfully arranged to have several mailboxes moved to accommodate local needs. In addition, he helped to arrange the installation of additional mail boxes in the area to accommodate senior citizen concerns about convenience.
• For many years, he attended various Middle Village citizen/civic meetings (property owners, religious and political groups) to address local complaints about Postal service and brought those issues to the forefront in Flushing – many times successfully. Although he lived in Westbury for the last 30 years of his life, he never forgot Middle Village nor did he allow it to be neglected if that could be avoided.