MARQUETTE - Steven Kotaniemi, 58, of Marquette, died Saturday morning, June 30, 2012, in the comfort of his home, surrounded by his family and under the care of Lake Superior Hospice.
He was born March 9, 1954, in Laurium, a son of Paul and Mary (Klobuchar) Kotaniemi. Steve was a 1972 graduate of Calumet High School. He earned an associates degrees in highway heavy construction and surveying at Ferris State University.
On July 18, 1975, he married the former Susan Gregorich in Calumet.
Steve was an engineering technician for the city of Marquette; then a supervisor for the Marquette County Solid Waste Authority; and later the plant manager for Marquette County Medical Care Facility. One of Steve's favorite jobs was as a snow plow driver for Marquette County.
Steve was a talented man who received a builder's license and later designed and built his own home. Steve was a master of many things, if you wanted to know how to fix anything, needed a vehicle repaired, dry wall hung, or needed something welded, you called Steve. His was generous with his time and talents to any and all who required them. He had a strong work ethic and often said a job wasn't worth doing unless done right.
Steve enjoyed the outdoors, including hunting, fishing, four-wheeling, snowmobiling and yard work. He particularly enjoyed time spent at the Dill deer camp both summer and winter, and the camaraderie found there.
Steve's greatest accomplishments were as husband and father. He was fiercely protective of his family, enjoyed spoiling his wife and daughter, and expects his son and son-in-law to do the same for their families. Steve had a boundless love for his son, and took great pride in teaching him everything he knew.
Steve was a courageous man who bore his illness with such grace; he was an inspiration to all and will be sadly missed.
He is survived by his wife, Susan Kotaniemi of Marquette; mother, Mary Kotaniemi of Kearsarge; children, Josh Kotaniemi of Marquette and Jen (Chad) Cleary of Indianapolis, Ind.; siblings, Dan Kotaniemi of Kearsarge, Sue Kitti of Marquette, Joe (Donna) Kotaniemi of Kearsarge and Jay Kotaniemi, also of Kearsarge; brother-in-heart, Jon (Dianne) Gregorich of Grayling; sister's-in-law, Kathe (Dick) Prince of Hancock, Karen (Mike) Arola of Ypsilanti, Mich. and Tammy (Steve) Hansen of Green Bay, Wis.; brother-in-law, David (Donna) Gregorich of Clio, Mich.; best friend, Lanse (Karen) Dill of Marinette, Wis.; best neighbors Kevin and Laurie Schmit, several cousins, nieces and nephews, and his beloved puppy dogs, Roxy and CoCo. He was preceded in death by his father Paul and nephew David Prince.
Visitation will be held on today from 5 to 8 p.m. in the Canale-Tonella Funeral Home. A funeral service will be held on Tuesday, July 3, 2012, at 11 a.m. at the Messiah Lutheran Church with Rev. Amanda Kossow officiating. A luncheon will follow in the church hall.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Lake Superior Hospice or Messiah Lutheran Church.
The family would like to thank Dr. Weise and staff of the Oncology office and MGH Oncology unit, Dr. Godec and staff of LMA, Dr. Skendzel and staff of Lake Superior Hospice, Dr. Jaecklein and Dr. Steinitz, for the care and support they gave Steve and his family.
Memories of Steve may be shared at canalefuneral.com.