John E. Niemela

HANCOCK — John E. Niemela, 62, of Hancock, passed away suddenly on Saturday, February 10, 2018.

He was born August 10, 1955, in Detroit, Michigan, to Marvin and Joan (Hall) Niemela.

John spent his early years in the Detroit area and the family returned to the Copper Country in 1969.

John graduated from Hancock Central High School in 1973. He also attended Michigan Technological University and North Central Bible College.

He studied pastoral ministry at Word of Life Bible Institute and was subsequently ordained at Victory Christian Church in Appleton, Wisconsin, where he served two years as associate pastor.

John was associated with the Michigan Corrections Association and the Michigan Republican Party. He was executive director of Brothers Keeper Ministries for 20 years doing counseling and Bible studies in correctional institutions throughout the state.

John assisted his family in the operation of the Guiding Light Christian Supply Center and Hole in the Wall Ice Cream and Sub Shop in Hancock.

He also worked as a sales representative for various companies over the years.

John was a kind and loving man, always concerned with the welfare of others which prompted his affiliation with several local, state, and national organizations.

His most recent interest has been founding and working tirelessly to implement Hope House Homeless Shelter.

John was a member of Hope Fellowship Church of Houghton.

John is preceded in death by his father, Marvin.

He is survived by his mother, Joan; his brother, Keith (Pam) of Hancock; three nephews, David of Hancock, Timothy (Krista) of McKinney, Texas, and Kevin of Hancock; one uncle, Ralph (Helen) Niemela of Florida; one aunt, Elna Niemela of Houghton; and numerous cousins.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, February 20, 2018, at Hope Fellowship in Houghton, with Pastor Jon Kangas to officiate.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday, February 19, 2018, at the church.

Arrangements are being handled by the Jukuri-Antila Funeral Home of Hancock, Antila Funeral Service, Inc.

Online condolences may be expressed to the family at