Menominee / Munising
Richard J. Niemi, age 79, of Menominee, Michigan and formerly of Munising, died Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at the Aurora Bay Care Medical Center in Marinette, Wisconsin following a brief illness. He was born on November 8, 1942 in Munising, Michigan to the late Ernest and Viola (Tyner) Niemi. Rich grew up across the UP and Downstate where his family settled in Traverse City. He graduated from Traverse City Senior High School in 1961. Rich entered into the US Army in September of 1964. He was stationed in Ban Me Thuot, Vietnam and served as a crew chief helicopter mechanic and door gunner. Rich received the Sharpshooter Badge, Air Medal, National Defense Service Medal, and Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal, and was honorably discharged as an SP4 (T) in September of 1966 and completed his reserve obligations in 1970. He returned home and married Betty “Kay” Cadwallader in 1967 and together they raised three daughters in Traverse City and then Munising. Rich later moved to Menominee and married Colleen “Teeny” Gollinger on February 7, 1986 together they raised his, her, and their children. Rich worked as a mechanic at M&M motors in Menominee and later owned and operated his own lawn care service Northern Clean Up and Maintenance. Rich loved to ride his motorcycle, piloting small planes, photography, writing short stories, and staring into space to look at the stars and possibly find a UFO. He and Teeny would take long rides in the woods down any good two track road and look for a spot to target shoot. Rich also found an enjoyment with cats as he got older, and he never skimped on sharing treats with his feline friends.
He is survived by his wife of thirty-six years – Teeny Niemi of Menominee; children – Ursula (Harold “Junior”) Livermore of Shingleton, Laticia “Tisha” (Alan) Edmonds of Albuquerque, NM, Kara Niemi of Marquette, Peter Niemi of Tampa, FL, Paul (Jada) Niemi of Stephenson, Molly Niemi of Menominee, Danny (Autumn) Niemi of Ishpeming, Kevin Niemi of Menominee, Rex (Amanda) Niemi of Menominee, and Deanna (Brian) Niemi of Menominee; and many grandchildren. Rich was preceded in death by his parents, and son Eric Niemi.
Visitation will be at the Bowerman Funeral Home in Munising on Monday, June 27, 2022 from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m. EST. Rich’s funeral will be conducted by Deacon Tom Moseley at the funeral home at 1:00 p.m. Interment will take place at Maple Grove Cemetery in Munising following the funeral. Military Honors will be rendered by the American Legion and Vietnam Veteran Honor Guard.
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