PHOENIX: (602) 906-9600 | PEORIA: (623) 486-1955

Date of Birth: June 07, 1936

Date of Death: October 20, 2023

Patricia Lewis Finnell, 87, of Surprise, Arizona, died peacefully in her sleep on the morning of October 20th, 2023, after a long-term illness. Well known by her friends and family as Pat, she had a fulfilling and accomplished life. She was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, alongside her younger sister, Jean. Pat attended Cleveland High School in Seattle, Washington, while working at The Bon Marché, a fashion department store in Seattle. She was passionate about fashion and ran several local pageants for The Bon Marché. Through this work, Pat received a scholarship to attend the University of Washington, where she studied retail management and marketing at the Foster School of Business and was a member of the Chi Omega Sorority. Upon graduating college in 1957, she continued working at The Bon Marché as an executive. Later, after starting a family, she joined the Children’s Home Society of Washington as their development officer and later served as the CEO of Seattle King County Camp Fire Council. Later, she was selected as the CEO for the National Society of Fundraising Executives (NSFRE), headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia. Pat served on many nonprofit boards throughout her life, most notably the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra in Virginia, the Association of Fundraising Professionals (then called the National Society of Fundraising Executives), the Women’s Philanthropy Institute, and most recently served as Chair of the Board for Sun Health until June of 2023 where she spearheaded a number of transformational initiatives. She had a long and fulfilling career in philanthropic and nonprofit endeavors. She was frequently recognized for her work, and in the late 1990s, she received the Henry Rosso Lifetime Achievement in Ethical Fund Raising award from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy; this honor meant a great deal to her. After retiring from the NSFRE, she became a professor of Nonprofit Leadership at George Mason University and later an Executive in Residence teaching and consulting throughout the state on nonprofit governance and leadership for Arizona State University’s Lodestar Center for Philanthropy & Nonprofit Innovation. Pat was well known for her generosity, intelligence, love for her family, and fierce perseverance to always advocate for what she believed in. She was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, and friend, always making time to connect with and support her family and dear friends. She enjoyed traveling and visited over twenty countries and all fifty states during her life. She had a love for boating throughout her life, which started as a teenager when she would visit her stepfather and his boat each summer. She also loved to cook and entertain guests, never missing the opportunity to invite over friends, coworkers, and relatives for a home-cooked dinner or an afternoon tea party on the patio. Her warm and infectious smile was a welcome sight to the many visitors she hosted over her life. Patricia is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Stephen and Carmelita Lewis, by her daughter and son-in-law, Janine and Brad Timko, and by stepson Joseph Lewis, as well as her grandchildren, Madison and Zachary, step-grandchildren, Eli and Liana, and her sister Jean Baldwin. She was preceded in death by her husband, Dallas Grant Finnell.

Service Information

In accordance with her wishes, there will be no service.


In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Sun Health Foundation or the 501(c)3 charity of one's choice.