Obituary of R. Hannele Kiviniemi
Hannele Kiviniemi, 75, of Bethel, CT, passed away peacefully surrounded by her daughters and grandchildren on Tuesday, November 24, 2020. She was born in Perho, Finland on August 21, 1945, daughter of the late Unto and Maria Pitkäaho.
In 1969, Hannele emigrated to the United States, where, soon after arriving in New York City, she met her beloved husband and best friend Eino.
Hannele began her career in the US working for the Finnish Ambassador to the United Nations in New York City, and then later in life, worked for many years as a Certified Nurse’s Aide. She loved caring for others, especially the elderly – giving them manicures, reading to them and doing anything she could to make them comfortable and relaxed. She loved cooking and baking, particularly cakes and “pulla,” a Finnish sweet coffee bread. She is well known for her incredible skills in knitting, and she regularly gave gifts of beautifully hand-knit sweaters, socks, gloves, hats and scarves. She was so talented and had such a giving and loving spirit.
She was a beloved member of the Laestadian Lutheran Church within the Shelton, CT congregation. She had many close friends who she loved dearly from the church who live around the world, including in Toronto, Canada; Minneapolis, MN; Seattle, WA; Phoenix, AZ; Ishpeming, MI; and Finland. She is lovingly known and remembered throughout the church for her beautiful, vibrant soprano singing.
Hannele, endearingly known as “Mommy” and “Mummu” by her family, is preceded in death by her husband Eino Kiviniemi, who was her soul mate and life companion for 43 years until he passed away on June 4, 2013. She is survived by her 6 daughters, Tina Piacentini and her husband John; Minna Kiviniemi; Elina Kiviniemi, Lisa Melendez and her husband Josue; Hanna Smigala and her husband Jeff; Eeva Koski and her husband Antti; 12 grandchildren, Ingrid Kiviniemi, Michael Olin, Matthew Kiviniemi, Samuel Melendez, Sophia Koski, Jocelyn Melendez, Lily Koski, Kaiya Koski, Ryan Melendez, Jackson Koski, John Smigala and Emi Koski; 1 great grandchild Oliva Melendez; 10 siblings in Finland and Sweden: Katarina Kotomäki and her late husband Esko; Marketta Wall; Anni Ejdersten and her late husband Folke; Tapio Pitkäaho; Arto Pitkäaho and his wife Mayvor; Soile Stöa and her husband Torger; Oskari Pitkäaho and his wife Kristina; Aila Huttunen and her husband Juhani; Hanna Suosalo and her husband Jari; Suvi Dahlvik and her husband Sören; and dozens of nieces and nephews.
To celebrate of her life, her family will hold a private funeral service on Saturday morning, November 28, 2020 at Cornell Memorial Home, 247 White Street, Danbury, CT, with Marty Pylvainen officiating. Flowers would be welcome in lieu of your attendance at the private service. Burial will follow in Elmwood Cemetery in Bethel, CT.
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