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Official Obituary of

Eugene "Gene" A. Nieminen

August 7, 1951 ~ February 27, 2024 (age 72) 72 Years Old
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Eugene "Gene" Nieminen Obituary

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP - Eugene “Gene” A. Nieminen, 72, passed away peacefully on February 27, 2024.

He was born on August 7, 1951, in Ashtabula, Ohio, the son of Eugene J. and Helen (Bino) Nieminen.

Gene graduated from Harbor High School in 1969, then went on to Kent State University to complete his undergraduate studies. He completed his higher education at the Rochester Institute of Technology (R.I.T.) where he received his master’s degree in Imaging Arts.

Gene very proudly served his country in the United States Marine Corp.; his final promotion was to the rank of Major before his decorated career in active military service came to an end.

On July 20, 1984, Gene married Barbara Sue (Taano); together they shared 39 years of marriage.

Gene was fortunate to hold many different unique and challenging positions in his lifetime. He worked for NASA in Langley, Virginia as their Quality Control Supervisor in the Photographic Department; Followed by an appointment by Congressman Paul McHale where he served on the House National Guard and Reserve Caucus. Gene then took on a very intense assignment as the Operations Officer for the four-man Military Liaison Team in Riga, Latvia working to get them into NATO. Upon completion of that assignment, he returned to the states and in 1999 relocated to New Jersey and accepted a position with The Department of the Interior-United States Fish and Wildlife in the New Jersey field office as their Visual Information Specialist; Barb joined him following her retirement in 2000.  Then in 2008 Gene accepted his final job with the US Government working for Homeland Security with the United States Coast Guard at TRACEN Cape May, New Jersey as their Visual Information Specialist until his retirement in 2019.  When Gene retired from that position, he was awarded with the distinction of “Honorary Company Commander” at his retirement ceremony, the first ever given at TRACEN Cape May.

Gene was known as “MacGyver” to all who knew him, there wasn’t anything he couldn’t fix or get back into working order, and there wasn’t anything he couldn’t build with just an idea in his mind.  He lived a very fulfilling and rewarding life and will be dearly missed.

Gene enjoyed surfing Lake Erie, camping, woodworking, and photography. He loved traveling, his favorite places to travel to were Mont Tremblant, Canada, Williamsburg, Virginia and Destin, Florida. He was a member of the American Legion Neal Post #743 and the United Methodist Church in Ashtabula.

Gene is survived by his loving wife, Barbara Nieminen and his brother, Mark Nieminen; his sister-in-law Carol (Jim) Phillips; his nephews Mike (Christa) Phillips and Dan Phillips and his niece Laura (Tyler) Roese; as well as his grand-nephews: Emmett, Wyatt, and Miles Phillips and Graham Roese.

He is preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Jamie Nieminen.

In honor of Gene’s wish no formal services will be observed at this time.  A private gathering of family and friends will be held at a later date.

If people desire to make a memorial contribution in Gene’s name it can be given to The Michael J. Fox Parkinson's Association, The First United Methodist Church, The American Legion Neal Post #743, Ashtabula Co. Humane Society or Bella Care Hospice.

Barb wishes to thank Gene’s friends and family for their many visits, and to Pastor Preston Watkins for his visits and many prayers with Gene.  Thank you, also, to the Staff at Saybrook Landing, and especially to Bella Care Hospice for their care and compassion during Gene’s last week.

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