Dr. John Alan Fink of Bath, Ohio died on July 13, 2020 at the age of 65, after a 10 month journey with cancer. Dr. Fink was born on April 12, 1955 in Columbus, Ohio to Mildred Fink and Dr. Samuel Fink. He graduated valedictorian from Riverdale High School in 1973, where he was a standout athlete playing both basketball and golf. John was very proud of growing up in Mount Blanchard, Ohio. Mount Blanchard is a small Northwest Ohio farming community where everyone had nicknames and his was “Doc” due to his father being the town physician. John still reunited with three of his high school buddies for an annual golf weekend. While studying microbiology at The Ohio State University, John met the love of his life, Deborah Owens. Their first date was a Bradley Hall Valentine’s Day dance. John and Debbie married in 1978 and recently celebrated their 42nd wedding anniversary on June17th in Hilton Head, South Carolina.
John received his Doctor of Medicine, in 1980 from The Ohio State University. Upon earning his medical degree, he moved to his wife’s hometown of Akron, Ohio, where Dr. Fink completed his residency at Akron City Hospital in 1985. While in residency, they welcomed their first daughter, Rachel. In 1986, during his subsequent fellowship in Vascular Surgery at St. Anthony Medical College in Columbus, Ohio, they welcomed their first son Shane. Upon completing his fellowship, John returned to Akron to practice as a vascular surgeon. He and his family moved to Bath, Ohio, where they later welcomed their son Shawn and their daughter Sarah to the family.
Dr. Fink loved the comradery and lifelong professional and personal relationships he formed throughout his many years at Akron City Hospital, and Summa Health System. Many of his life-long friendships started here. Dr. Fink rose through his profession to become a highly regarded member of Northeast Ohio's medical community, first practicing as a vascular surgeon with Akron Vascular Associates and subsequently with the Summa Health Medical Group. He helped to educate new generations of physicians through his work as a Professor of Surgery at the Northeast Ohio Medical University. He served as Chair of the Hospital Board of Summa Health System, the only physician ever to serve in that role.
He also served in many other positions for Summa, including as President and Secretary/Treasurer of the Medical Staff. For the last 10 years he served as Chair of the Department of Surgery and most recently as Vice President of Surgical Affairs & Chief Surgical Officer for Quality. John enjoyed teaching medical students as well as surgical residents and was honored to have once received the “Golden Shovel Award” for outstanding surgical resident teaching.
In addition to his medical and administrative career, he was a dedicated volunteer, who believed in giving back. He served on many boards, including the Ohio Public Health Council, the Board of Trustees of the Akron Metropolitan Housing Authority and the University of Akron Board of Trustees. At the University of Akron, his leadership included service as Board Chairman from 2005 to 2006 and as Chair of the Facilities Planning and Oversight Committee. His dedication and passion led to the closing of city streets to make the campus safer and more student-friendly, along with building a new recreation center and student union. One of his favorite volunteer activities was serving as a coach for Revere Youth Basketball leagues for both his daughter Rachel and his son Shawn. A man of many interests, John was also very active in Summit County Republican politics from 1988 to 2000, where he ran twice as a candidate for the Ohio Legislature (1992 and 1994).
He will be remembered for his generosity, humility, and dry sense of humor. John enjoyed golf, John Wayne movies, 1950s and 1960s tunes, traveling, his dogs, Ballreich’s potato chips and of course Pepsi.
John is survived by his wife of 42 years, Deborah Owens; children, Rachel Byerly (Paul) of Richfield, OH and their children Landon and Bryce; Shane Fink (Neena) of Boston, MA and their daughter Rowan; Shawn Fink (Kim) of Phoenix, AZ. and their sons, Carson and Arthur; Sarah Judge (Billy) of Columbia, S.C. and their sons William and John Robert. John also leaves behind his two wonderful sisters, Jane Fink-Silvers (Mark Silvers) of Cincinnati, OH and Janet Fink (Carol Barr) of South Hadley, MA; nieces and nephew, Brooke, Grace, and Blake Silvers; an aunt and many cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Mildred Fink.
A memorial service is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Friday, July 31st at Grace Church, 754 Ghent Rd., Bath, Ohio. All are welcome to attend and celebrate John’s wonderful life, with social distancing observed and masks required. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to one of the following: Haven of Rest Ministries, PO Box 547, Akron, OH 44309 or Steel City Church, c/o Chris Richards, 4279 Winterburn Ave., Pittsburgh, PA 15207 or https://steelcitychurch.churchcenter.com/giving for the Dr. John Fink Memorial Fund. This is the church plant being started this Fall by John’s daughter Sarah Judge and her husband Billy Judge https://thesteelcitychurch.com/. John was a beloved son, brother, husband, father, “Boompa”, and friend who will be terribly missed by so many.
Services in care of Billow Funeral Homes and Crematory, Fairlawn Chapel, 85 N. Miller Road Akron, OH 44333
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