Gardening 08

Kaarlo Niemi

February 9, 2022



He loved Christmas and would set his sights on the special tree each year long before, and at times despite its enormous size. 

This past Christmas saw him reunited with most of the family from near and far.  He took great joy in watching his grandchildren and great grandchildren decorate his chosen tree from at his lakeside home.  And for one last time, family enjoyed his final performance on the harmonica. 

Kaarlo Elmer Niemi, passed away on February 9, 2022 at Geraldton District Hospital at the age of 90.

We all knew him as a hard working, multi talented family man. Kaarlo earned his first paycheque delivering groceries on his bike at the age of 12. On his journey to discovering what he loved to do most, he worked as a butcher first at Chapple’s and then the Co-op.   At 21 he started trapping with his partner Art Aylward. Many a cold night these 2 were deep in the bush setting traps and collecting their catch. There were a few other short terms jobs, one being working at MacLeod-Cockshutt mine along side his dad.  Next was Longlac Pulp and Paper where he did any task asked of him but he fondly remembered tending to the haul horses at the bush camp.  His carpentry abilities were noted and he became an apprentice carpenter. This brought him to work at the Kimberly Clark carpenter shop and then his beloved sawmill which was where he found his true happiness.

During those years, Kaarlo met the love of his life, Anja Irene and they married at Faith Lutheran Church in 1953. Family life followed with the arrival of his four children, Laila (Marcel) Dumoulin, Karen, Arnold (Lisa), and Elizabeth. In 1988, a few years after retirement, he decided to turn their summer home on Wildgoose Lake into their permanent home, digging the basement out by hand and completing all renovations himself within one year. 

Kaarlo loved to work with his hands and could be found spending his days with his German Shepherd by his side while cutting firewood, in his woodworking garage, his greenhouse, or his garden.  A prized vegetable gardener, he took great pride in what he propagated, and his family loved being the recipient of an inevitable huge bounty.

A true patriarch, he taught his children and grandchildren the love of fishing, how to properly fillet a fish, how to fell a tree, shoot a rifle and get the perfect steam going in the sauna. He had many stories about his life and insights about the present. Sharing his wisdom, knowledge, and passions with the good company of his friends and neighbours was a true joy.

He loved his family deeply and we take comfort in knowing he has reunited with his beloved Anja Irene, his parents Reino and Fanny Sten, his brother Leo Sten, in-laws Saimi and Laurie Makila and brothers-in-law Arnold and Toivo Makila.

Kaarlo is survived by his four children, eight grandchildren, and 9 great grandchildren.

At Kaarlo’s request, a private family burial will be held in June at Pinegrove Cemetery in Geraldton.  It will be followed by a Celebration of Life gathering for family and friends at his Wildgoose Lake home.

In lieu of flowers, a donation to Geraldton District Hospital or the charity of your choice would be appreciated.



You can still show your support by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Kaarlo Niemi
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