Clarke I. Niemi, 88, entered into rest peacefully surrounded by his loving family on Sunday, March 17, 2013, in Ocala. He was the son to the late Theodore H. and Josephine M. (Clark) Niemi. Clarke was born Dec. 11, 1924, in Wakefield, Mich.
Clarke was born and raised in Wakefield, Mich., graduating from Wakefield High in 1942. He was part of the National Honor Society in which he ranked 13th in a class of 95 students. Following high school, he attended the University of Michigan
and graduated in 1949 with a Bachelors of Science degree from the College of Engineering specializing in Chemical Engineering. While at the University of Michigan, Clarke enlisted in the U.S. Army
Air Corps in 1943 and attended the Army's pre-meteorology program at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, 1943-1944. While serving in the military he was in China, Burma and India in the CBI Theatre during WWII
. Clarke was honorably discharged in 1946. On Jan. 31, 1948, Clarke married the love of his life, Nelda June Vickers in the Indiandale Lutheran Church in Detroit, Mich. In 1949, he accepted a position with Merck and Company in New Jersey. During his tenure, he worked for Koppers Co. in Verona, Pa., 1956-66, Sinclair-Koppers Co., 1966-73, Arco Polymers Co., 1973-80 and Atlantic Richfield Co., 1980-82. He accepted an early retirement from his position as a planning analyst in 1982.
In 1986, he moved to Dunnellon from Philadelphia, Pa. Clarke was an elder at the Lenape Valley Presbyterian Church in New Britain, Pa., and Dunnellon Presbyterian in Dunnellon.
He is preceded in death by his brothers, Rolland F. Niemi, Theodore P. Niemi and his two sisters, Shirley M. Elk and Arlene J. Suomi.
Clarke is survived by his wife, Nelda; daughters, Jan A. Vaughan (William), Wake Forest, N.C., and Sherill N. Martin (William), Pittsburgh, Pa.; grandchildren, Jesse M. Bentley, Malissa R. (Bentley) Hazel, Matthew T. Taylor, Kristin M. (Martin) Cook, Andrew C. Martin, Melinda E. (Martin) Kozminski and Stephanie A. Martin; great-grandchildren, Juliette O. Bentley, Calvin J. Cook, Liam Clarke Bentley, Alina C. Bentley, Luna E. Taylor, Sara E. Cook, Nolan R. Martin, Adaline C. Hazel; and numerous other nieces and nephews.
Memorial Services will be at 2 p.m. Friday, March 22, 2013, at the First Presbyterian Church in Dunnellon with Rev. Jeffrey Welch officiating. Memorial contributions can be made in Clarke's memory to the First Presbyterian Church of Dunnellon, 20641 Chestnut Street, Dunnellon, FL 34432.
May you rest in Heaven's peace, we love you and we will miss you until we meet again.