CHAPIN, SC. - James "Ticky" Niemi, 65, passed to an eternal life of endless fishing streams and bountiful bird hunting, on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Chapin, SC.
James Paul was born to Wilho and Elsie (Pelto) Niemi on February 9, 1949, at home in Park City (Republic). In his early years, he spent many hours consumed with playing basketball & baseball and trapping with his father. He graduated from Republic High School and soon after started his working career, which included mining in New Mexico and construction trade work. He was active in helping with the annual Republic Bonfire, enjoyed his duties as the RMS Hawk mascot and was a volunteer fireman for Republic Township, serving as Chief from 1993-1994. James loved to participate in the Annual Fishing Derby each July in Republic.
Known to most as "Ticky," his favorite days were spent fishing on the Michigamme River, hunting at his camp in Black River, playing cribbage for hours and socializing with his many friends. He loved sauna nights, Squaw Lake in the summer, creating wooden art inside glass bottles, the Detroit Tigers and Green Bay Packers.
James was quick-witted and thrived on telling jokes; he loved to make people laugh and enjoyed pulling pranks on his friends. He loved music and could relate any song he heard to a story in the history of his life; he loved to sing along, reminscing on the memories each song brought to him. Many of his stories included the line "when I wore a younger man's clothes" from the song Piano Man.
Survivors include three sons, Matthew, Jamie & Jake, and a daughter, Devin, three sisters, Melba, Marlene and Ruth, many cousins, nieces and nephews. James will be missed by his close family of friends, including Roy Arbelius, Bill Seppa, Charlie & Jenny Hendrickson, Ron Nyback, Roger & Kim Oja, Paul Perry, Kim Koski, Patti Tonge, "Woodsy," Chelsea Mattson & Hilary Venn.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Wilho & Elsie, two sisters and a brother.
In respect to his wishes, a private memorial with friends and family will be held at a later date, along with a cribbage tournament. While his sense of humor and smile will be missed by all who knew him, the memories of his laughter and friendship will last forever.