Junella Sue (Finkbeiner) Hagood passed away on Saturday, October 30, 2021 in her Nampa, Idaho home. Thus ended an earthly life filled with love for Jesus and her fellow human beings and challenged by the onset of neurological diseases over the past two decades and, thus began an unending, eternal life in the presence of Jesus and her fellow saints.
Born on June 12, 1942 in Spokane, Washington, the sixth child of A.J. and Ella Finkbeiner, Junella moved with her family to Nampa, Idaho in 1942 when her father was commissioned to begin the art department at Northwest Nazarene University. She grew up next door to, and on, the campus of the college--joined there by other children who would become life-long friends. She attended College High School and when that transitioned to Nampa Christian High School, she was in the first graduating class (1960). Junella was a talented actress and participated in numerous high school and college productions. She graduated from Northwest Nazarene University in 1964 with a major in elementary education.
It was at NNU that she met and married a fellow student, Richard Hagood, who would be her life partner for 57 years. Junella was a gifted educator teaching in elementary schools in Boise, Eugene, and Urbana, Illinois. She was an innovative and creative teacher who thrived in the open classroom methodology. Even in these later years, many of her former students maintained contact with her. She retired from active teaching in 1972.
With her husband’s higher education career underway, she was active in children’s, youth and women’s ministries in Kent, Washington and Moscow, Idaho. Junella’s life was forever shaped by participation in her church’s discipleship ministry--where she developed the disciplines of worship and prayer. In turn, she was part of a leadership team in the Moscow Church of the Nazarene that influenced a growing number of youth in their Christian journeys.
Junella returned to Nampa in 1985 to support her husband’s administrative assignments at Northwest Nazarene University and to rekindle her love for the community launched during her earlier days as a child and college student. She again was involved with NNU activities such as alumni events, homecoming auctions, and NNU volunteers, as well as local ministries including College Church and Love, Inc. She was a talented calligrapher and for several years operated a home-based business entitled “Drawing From the Well.” Upon her husband’s appointment to the presidency of NNU, she was an active and gracious presence hosting faculty and staff dinners and fellowship events; leading discipleship groups of women students; attending and hosting numerous student events.
No doubt, Junella is best known for her commitment to prayer. Over the course of her life she was blessed with wonderful prayer partners, prayer retreats, prayer groups, and the faithful practice of prayer—including the devotion of one day per week praying for NNU. Her commitment to prayer created the vision resulting in the construction of the Little Prayer Chapel and Lanman Prayer Garden on NNU’s campus. Junella was a devoted mother to daughters Heidi and Holly and son Lincoln--all graduates of NNU—and provided the prayer support that has empowered them, through God’s Spirit, to be followers of Jesus Christ. She loved Finkbeiner and Hagood family gatherings and was a significant force in building relationships within and among her families.
Junella is survived by her husband, Richard Hagood; daughters, Heidi Sue (and George) Zickefoose and Holly Sue (and Daniel) Mack, and son Lincoln (and Debi Sue) Hagood; her grandchildren, Alexandra, Korte, Nate, Kendra, Jackson, Annabella, and Harrison; her brothers, Paul and David Finkbeiner; a brother-and sisters-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her brothers, Arnie and Myron Finkbeiner, and sister, Sharon Larsen.
A memorial service will take place at College Church of the Nazarene on Sunday, November 14 at 3:00 p.m. Arrangements are under the direction of the Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So. – 208-442-8171. An online guest book is available at www.nampafuneralhome.com
For those wishing to honor/remember Junella, the family suggests memorial contributions in her name be directed to Northwest Nazarene University in support of the Finkbeiner Art Scholarship or the Richard and Junella Hagood Endowed Scholarship. The address is Office of University Advancement, NNU, 623 South University Boulevard, Nampa, ID 83686.