Kathie has rung bells for so long, that some believe she may have roamed the earth with the dinosaurs, about 6000 years ago. She must be a fossil, as she was told she is "well preserved." Kathie began ringing handbells when she was nine years old. As a teenager, she toured the United States with her family, known as the Fink Family Handbell Ringers. At handbell conferences, Kathie and others teach the solo ringing technique developed by her family. Kathie is a founding ringer of Sonos Handbell Ensemble. In 2006, she retired her California juvenile probation officer badge. Kathie moved to the great State of Kentucky in August 2007. She is the proud mother of two adult children, Jeremy (married to Veronica) and Alexis.
Larry and Wilma Fink's musical heritage began when they mutually agreed to a life goal of making music and involving others in worship when they married in 1935. They left a music legacy that carries on today through their four children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. They had four children, Cy, Mary Lu, Larry, Jr. and Kathie. Kathie is the single member of the Fink Family who continues to ring.
Larry and Wilma both received their college degrees at Greenville College in Illinois. Later, Larry pursued an advanced degree in music education at Westminster Choir College in New Jersey. Larry was introduced to English handbells while teaching at Roberts Wesleyan College in North Chili, New York. He ordered his first set of White Chapel Handbells from London in the late '50s. From that point on, handbells became an intricate part of the Fink Family lives.
The Finks moved to Seattle in 1961. Larry Fink was asked by the Council of Churches to demonstrate and teach handbells to children at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. This created such interest that he began teaching full time in the public school music system using handbells. He also organized a senior citizen bell choir and continued to arrange music for his family of four children. Summers from 1961-66 were spent touring across the United States with their handbells.
In 1982-83, Larry and Wilma spent four months in South Africa teaching music and helping in the library at the Evangelical Bible Seminary. The White Chapel handbells went with them. The students enjoyed the exposure to this new music venue. The White Chapel bells were sold to Linda Marean in 1987. Linda resides in Klamath Falls, OR. The Fink Family bells were recently refurbished and continue to be in active use.
Larry and Wilma Fink were honored on February 8, 1987 by Greenville College Alumni Association for "Lifetimes of effective music ministry in colleges, churches, and public schools" and for the "unique pioneering of handbell ringing in praise and worship to God". Larry Fink was honored in 1994 by the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers (www.agehr.org) as an Honorary Life Member.
The Finks were married 63 years, until Larry's death in 1998. Wilma Fink passed away in 2000.
There is no musick play'd or sung
Like unto bells when they're well rung.
Sharon Fink ('07 West Coast Tour / '07 Southwest Tour / '08 East Coast Tour)
Sharon is married to Cy Fink, Kathie’s oldest brother. Sharon grew up on the front pew of churches her father pastored. Her mother, the church pianist, taught her and provided many opportunities for her to practice playing before church congregations.
When she is not singing in her church choir or playing the piano, she is writing for a variety of publications and learning how to play handbells and chimes. Sharon was a university career counselor until her retirement.
Cy and Sharon have two children: Steve married to Noriko, and Cyndy married to Matthew. Her prayer is that their two granddaughters will enjoy sharing God’s gift of music as much as she does.
Linda Maloney ('08 Midwest Tour / '08 Germany portion of European Tour / '09 "Christmas Treasures - Revisited" / '09 Midwest Tour / '09 "Christmas Treasures" - Southern States / 2010 "Christmas Treasures - Revisited" / 2010 "Christmas Treasures" - Southern States)
Linda is "well-traveled!" She resided in Iceland, the Azores, and West Germany before returning to the United States in 1992. While overseas, Linda directed children’s choirs and served as organist, pianist, and accompanist for many military church congregations. She was a staff accompanist for the annual European Church Music Conference. Linda attended the Orff Institute in Salzburg, Austria where she received her Orff Schulwerk credential.
Linda enjoys handbells as a ringer, director and event coordinator. She is an active member of the American Guild of English Handbell Ringers, serving on the Area XI Board of Directors as the New Mexico State Chair from 2000-2004 and Area XI (AZ/CO/NM/WY/UT) Chair from 2004-2006.
Linda resides in Canton, Georgia. When not having fun with handbells, Linda enjoys being "Oma" to her "A-Z grandchildren" - Audrey and Zachary.
Why did Kathie move to Kentucky? Kathie answers that question below
Fifteen years ago I came in contact with an organization that changed the testimony of my Christian life. This organization, called "Answers In Genesis," challenged what I really believed about the Bible. This creation based ministry believes in six 24-hour days of Creation. This seemed ridiculous to me. I had been through public school education in the 70's when evolution was taught as fact. I was enlightened in college and believed that the first chapter of Genesis was an allegory. I believed in God-directed evolution. I could squeeze millions of years into the first 11 verses of the Bible.
I was challenged by an atheist relative, who did not believe my Bible was true. He asked, "If I didn't believe what God said was true about how the world was created, at what point did I believe the Bible was true?"
Was the story of the global flood factual? Is Jonah in the whale just a fable? Was Jesus' virgin birth true? Did the resurrection really happen? The atheist relative could not believe in a faith that relied on a fictional Old Testament.
I decided to accept the history of the Bible as true. This organization has reputable scientists whose theories of a young earth are credible. They acknowledge that scientists of both creationism and evolution look at the same evidence, but based on their suppositions and their personal belief system, can support very different theories.
The second question I struggled with was where to place death. If death has always been around for millions of years, then man could not be blamed for causing death to enter the world. But the Bible says Adam sinned and then came death. That creates a problem.
Answers in Genesis has built a 50,000 square foot creation museum in Kentucky that describes how science confirms the Bible's amazing account of history. It opened May 28, 2007. I volunteer at that museum. I can't be a docent because the tour is self guided, but I can be a barista, and work at the coffee bar. So come visit. I have a guest room.
Kathie's Friends Reveal All!
Diane Levorsen (from Diane's welcome at the Napa, CA concert)
I first met Kathie Fink nearly 30 years ago, when we BOTH had brown hair. The first time I remember seeing her ring bells was in 1978 at a bell conference in Fresno. She did "I Left My Heart in San Francisco," and I could not believe that one person could do all that with bells!
Kathie has boundless energy and creativity - and one addiction - coffee. Maybe that has something to do with the boundless energy part. In 2001 she found a terrific deal online for an Alaskan Cruise and talked me into going with her. I think the highlight of the trip for her was when she found a Starbucks in downtown Skagway.
Doug Benton
Kathie is one of the first innovators in handbells. She is a true artist in every sense of the word...Kathie is not only one-of-a-kind, she is the first-of-a-kind! Like Don Allured did with handbell choirs, she blazed a "solo ringing" trail pretty much from scratch. There was nobody who told her she couldn't do something, so she just figured out a way to do it - musically! She is one of the truly great, and original, solo ringers!