The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

Robert Niemela


March 22, 2017

Robert Niemela

Robert James Niemela was born May 6, 1934 in The Dalles, Oregon to Bernita (Ahola) and Wilbert Niemela.

When he was three, his father passed away and Glen "Pete" Smith became a wonderful father to Bob. He passed away in Portland, Oregon on March 9, 2017 at the age of 82. Bob graduated from Goldendale High School and served in the United States Army from January 1957 until his honorable discharge January 1959. During a portion of his service, Mr. Niemela was stationed in Nevada for atomic weapons testing and experienced 13 detonations.

On Jan. 3, 1958 he married Dorothy Jean Jeter in Bakersfield, California. Bob's early work experience included ranching in Centerville. He worked for Klickitat County Public Works for 38 years and served two terms as county treasurer. He was a member of the Shriners, The Dalles Gun Club, and Masonic Lodge, where he was a 32nd degree Mason. Mr. Niemela enjoyed steelhead fishing on the Klickitat River and big game hunting, and was a wonderful dad and grandpa. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Niemela of Goldendale; daughters Sherri Niemela of Goldendale and Laurie Niemela of Beaverton, Oregon; and grandsons Zach, Zane, and Brandon.

A memorial service will be held at Columbia Hills Memorial Chapel on Saturday, March 25, 2017 at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Cancer Society. To send condolences to the family, visit


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