James Richard Niemela

ROCK – James Richard Niemela, 73, of 2832 West Maple Ridge Road, Rock, Mich., passed away Friday March 14, 2014, at his home in Rock. He was born July 29, 1940, in Negaunee, Mich., and was the son of Reino and Toini (Linjala) Niemela. Jim graduated from Rock High School in 1958 and then attended Northern Michigan University for two years. He then served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War until he was honorably discharged. Jim was employed as a sheet metal worker for 43 years until his retirement in 2001.

On Oct. 8, 1994, He married the former Debra Couillard Sinwelski at Faith Lutheran Church in Rock. Jim was a member of the Rock American Legion Post 559, Rock 4H and the Sheet Workers Union Local 7. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and spending time with family and friends.

James Richard Niemela is survived by: wife, Debra; mother, Toini Niemela of Escanaba; daughters, Heather (Joel) Jacobs of Hayward, Calif., and Shawn (Richard) Hatch of Cornville, Ariz.; son, Scott (Lisa) Niemela of Cedar City, Utah; stepdaughters, Christine Sinwelski of Homewood, Ill., and Lisa Sinwelski of Posen, Ill.; stepson, Gary (Karen) Couillard of Daytona Beach, Fla.; 10 grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; sisters, Carol (Gary) Melette of Joshua Tree, Calif., and Joanne (Dave) Amis of Gladstone; brothers, Al (Mary) Niemela of L’Anse, Mich., and Tom (Sandy) Niemela of Iron Mountain, Mich.; several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, Reino Niemela, on March 11, 1989.

The family will receive friends from 3 to 4 p.m. Thursday, March 20, at the Rock Lions club in Rock. American Legion services will be conducted by the Rock American Legion Post 559 at 4 p.m. Thursday. A luncheon will be served following the American Legion services. Burial will take place in the Rock Cemetery. The Anderson Funeral Home is assisting the family with the arrangements and online condolences can be sent to the family at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.