The Man Behind My Mission

By Greg Niemi . November 15, 2012

My dad, and my mom, were both business owners of their own independent businesses.

Greg Niemi's Father, Bill Niemi

Bill Niemi

I learned more from them than I even know.  Thus I feel it appropriate to share a few things.

My parents each owned, and operated, their own businesses on the main street of a small town.  My dad was an auto dealer and my mom was a clothing retailer.  Dad owned the franchises for Hudson, Nash, Rambler, American Motors, International and Cub Cadet.  He also co-owned, along with my mom and my sister, a retail clothing store, a gift shop and a sub sandwich shop.  All were small businesses serving a small community.

The first months of this year (2012) my focus was with my dad.  He had a routine surgery that did not turn out as we had planned.  Although unexpected, at the time I retired, I was fortunate to spend the last months, days and hours of his life with him.  I am forever grateful that I was able to have this time with him.

I wish you could have met him.  He is one of the kindest men you could ever meet.  Most describe him as “one of the good guys”.  As a tribute I was able to write his obituary, design the program for his memorial service plus I delivered his eulogy.  I know he would be proud of how his community and family honored him.

My dad loved to tell stories so I chose to tell stories about him including a few of his favorites.  His eulogy may have been one of my best speeches ever.   I had people both laughing and crying.  He deserved a great service and eulogy.

I described my dad as a simple man.  Simple in a very good way.  He was a layman.  A solid man.  He may not have been a high society guy or a pillar of the community.  However, he was part of the bedrock.  And, it is a known fact, that a pillar cannot stand without solid bedrock.  Dad served our country (twice) and served our community in oh so many ways.  He was loved by his community and his family.

My sister, brother and I learned a lot from our dad (and mom).  We learned a lot about business, customer service and caring for people.  We learned from dad to appreciate what we do have vs. fret about what we don’t.  He taught us how to believe in hope, strength and courage.  He made everyone smile.

My dad graced our world for 85 years.  We miss him dearly but we are forever grateful for the 85 years we did have.  He is now reunited with our mom who had passed 12 years prior.  Love you dad.  Love you mom.  Thank you for everything.

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