Robert Niemela


March 29, 2017

Robert Niemela

Robert James Niemela was born May 16, 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 January 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 was held at Columbia Hills Memorial Chapel on Saturday, March 25, 2017. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Cancer Society. To send condolences to the family, visit

Our Dad

Today is a day of tears of sadness of missing your presence with us here today and tears of joy for your spirit to be free of a body that was sick. We have one hand stretched out hanging on to your hand and not wanting to let you go and the other hand freely happy to let your hand slip into the hand of the Father of heaven and to feel such joy and excitement, love and happiness forever in your eternal Heavenly Home which you deserve so much. We just pray that God sends His heavenly angels to comfort all of us here, to give us peace to carry on, and to know that letting your spirit go free gives us all such a sense of happiness and peace and knowing you are still with us in our hearts and know with a true believable conviction that we will see you again when the time is right. Let's not have any regrets or guilt of something we did not say or do, because when your family we love each other just the way we are.

May we live by your example with courage, strength, hope and a will that never gives up till the last breath. We will go out and see all the faces of others and try to give them hope, strength, faith and encouragement to also never give up. We love you Dad!

Our Mom

Let's also recognize and not forget the hands that toiled every day, and with love and support of our mother who stood by our dad everyday through all wonderful times and all the hard times. She is always a positive part of his life and all of the rest of our family. We are all thankful to have them in our lives. We love you Mom!

Thank you to you both for everything you've done for all of us.

-The Children


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