Cover photo for James Niemela's Obituary
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1934 James 2016

James Niemela

January 22, 1934 — May 11, 2016

James Edwin Niemela, age 82, of Menahga, MN, formerly of Minneapolis, peacefully passed into eternity surrounded by his loved ones on Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at the Essentia Health Medical Center in Fargo, ND. Jim was born on January 22, 1934 to Edwin and Alina (Samuelson) Niemela in Red Eye Township.  He attended school in Sebeka graduating with the class of 1951.  In 1957, He entered the United States Army where he proudly served his country in Okinawa.  Jim returned to Minnesota where he was employed as a commercial heavy equipment operator for the Opus Corporation in the Twin Cities for 33 years.  On March 4, 1961 Jim was united in marriage to Hildie Fern Gustafson.  They resided in Minneapolis until moving to the Menahga area in 1999.  Jim was a member of the Local 49ers International Union of Operating Engineers and was a member of the Riverside United Methodist Church.  Jim loved the outdoors and especially enjoyed hunting, fishing, snowmobiling and four-wheeling. Jim will be lovingly remembered by his wife of 55 years, Hildie; five siblings: Joyce Harmala of Howell, MI, Mary Anne (Douglas) Haverinen of Sebeka, Robert (Carol) Niemela of Menahga, Susan Meyer of Fergus Falls, MN and Brent (Rina) Niemela of Menahga; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends. Jim was preceded in death by his parents and one sister, Edith Kinnunen. Memorial services will be held 2 PM Friday, May 20, 2016 at the Riverside United Methodist Church in Park Rapids, MN with visitation beginning at 1 PM.  Urn bearers will be Nathan Niemela, Bradley Niemela, Troy Kinnunen and Scott Kinnunen.  Following the service a luncheon will be hosted by the church.
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