Toini K. Niemela, 98, passed away on October 3, 2020 at Christian Park Village. While Toini lived in Escanaba for quite a few years, she was proud to have grown up and resided in Rock, MI for many decades. Toini was born on June 19, 1922 on the family farm in Rock to Thomas and Hilija (Ruusten) Linjala. She attended the Standard School in West Rock followed by Rock High School.
On March 9, 1940, Toini Linjala married Reino Niemela and together they built a life and family on their homestead in Rock. Toini was dedicated to a variety of organizations, offering her time and talents to many in the community. For 35 years she proudly served as a 4-H leader, she also spent time serving on the Ewing Township Board, and was an active member of the PTA and Rock Co-op Club. In addition, she enjoyed time with many of her close lady friends through activities with Faith Lutheran Church and the West Rock Sewing Club. She and Reino were also known to have enjoyed many nights spent over the Scrabble board with close friends and neighbors, Osmo and Irene Aalto.
Toini was not only active in serving her community and spending time with friends and family, but also in her daily life. She enjoyed the outdoors, partaking in swimming, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing and of course, a sauna. Many will recall her green thumb and time spent in the garden tending to vegetables and flowers, as well as her love of music and dancing. Toini showered many with her talents and gifts which included the numerous sweaters and stop-and-go mittens she knitted for her grandchildren, the family dinners she enjoyed cooking, as well as the delicious items she baked, which often included her perfect sponge cake. Her grandchildren share many fond memories of sleep overs and holiday gatherings as well her spaghetti and nightly Wheel of Fortune viewings. When she moved to Escanaba, Toini became a member of Bethany Lutheran Church where she participated in circle group, quilting, and friendship club for many years.
Toini K. Niemela is survived by four children, Alan (Mary) Niemela of L’Anse, Mich., Carol Mellette of Joshua Tree, Calif., Joanne (Dave) Amis of Gladstone, Mich., and Tom (Sandy) Niemela of Iron Mountain, Mich; 8 grandchildren, Shawn (Richard) Hatch of Prescott Valley, Ariz., Scott Niemela of St. George, Utah, Heather (Joel) Jacobs of Castro Valley, Calif., Steven (Marlene) Niemela of Medford, Ore., Max (Rachel) Mellette of San Diego, Calif., Christopher (Joanna) Amis of Gladstone, Mich., Kimberly (Brian) Burroughs of Escanaba, Mich., and Casey (Aaron) Young of Gladstone, Mich. As well as 14 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
In addition to her parents, Toini was preceded in death by her husband, Reino; son, James,; son-in-law, Gary Mellette; as well as her brothers, Walter and Elmer; and sisters, Tyne and Miriam.
A private family visitation to celebrate the life and love of Toini K. Niemela will be held. Friends and family are invited to join the immediate family at the Rock Cemetery on Saturday, October 10, 2020 at 11:00 a.m. for the burial service. The family would like to thank the staff at Christian Park Village for the wonderful care provided. Memorials can be directed to the Christian Park Village Activities Fund or the Delta County Cancer Alliance.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Toini K. Niemela, please visit our floral store.
Delta County Cancer Alliance
3430 Ludington Street, Escanaba MI 49829
Christian Park Village Activities Fund
2525 7th Avenue South, Escanaba MI 49829