Leslie “Les” Niemi

HOWELL, MI – Leslie “Les” Wade Niemi, 66, passed away at his home in Howell, MI on January 16, 2021.

He was born on June 1, 1954, in Ishpeming, Michigan to Eino and Barbara (Snow) Niemi. He grew up in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and graduated with a BSc and MSc in Metallurgical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Les was a proud Finn, “Yooper,” and Tech alumnus. He met his wife during a blizzard in Chicago, helping her dig her car out of the snow, and they married September 22, 1979.

He was passionate about his work in steel making, holding various engineering, quality assurance, and managerial roles throughout his career, as well as his involvement with industrial societies. “Treat your job like it’s your hobby” and “Do it right the first time” were his mottos. He enjoyed researching genealogy, home projects, electronic gadgets, and had an appreciation for nature that he captured through photography. He loved watching the Packers play. He was a faithful Christian and a patriotic American who never shied away from spirited discussions on politics and current events.

Les – affectionately known as “Pocky” to his three grandchildren – cherished time with his family. He was hardworking, honest to a fault, and exemplified a life of integrity and faith.

Les will be missed by his wife, Barbara Niemi; his children, Elliot (fiance Meredyth Richards) Niemi, Clare (Aaron) LaLonde; siblings, Ken (Kathy) Niemi, Al (Judy) Niemi, Bill (Peggy) Niemi, Lois (Tim) Goldsworthy; grandchildren, Benjamin, Josephine, Samantha; and favorite brother-in-law, Pete (Glenda) Rachwal.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Eino and Barbara Niemi.

Donations may be made in his name to the UI Center for Advancement (30506135 Brain Tumor Research), P.O. Box 4550, Iowa City, IA 52244 or made online at www.givetoiowa.org/can cer.

Les’s family and friends will gather for a memorial service at a later date. Please leave a message of comfort for Les’s family at 1-877-231-7900 or sign his guestbook at www.borekjennings.com.