Kathy Niemi, age 73, of Cambridge died March 23rd at home surrounded by family. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, April 1st at Strike Life Tributes in Cambridge. A Memorial Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 31st from 5:00 – 7:00 PM and also 1 hour prior to the service on Friday also at Strike Life Tributes in Cambridge. A private burial will talk place at a later date at Ball Bluff Cemetery, Jacobson, MN. Memorials are suggested to the family to plant a memorial garden in Kathy’s memory.
Kathleen E. Niemi was born April 17, 1948 in Grand Rapids, Minnesota to Reuben (Duke) and Margaret Niemi of Jacobson, Minnesota. Kathy was raised on the family dairy farm on the Mississippi River near Jacobson. She attended Bell Horn Bay Grade School and McGregor High School graduating in 1966. Kathy helped on the family farm feeding the calves and helping hay. She spent much of her time with her horse, dogs and cats. She raised some orphan lambs and an orphan deer.
In the fall of 1966 she moved to Minneapolis where she worked at the University of Minnesota, Prudential Insurance, Embers, and Classic Motorbooks. After a travel and work adventure to Dallas, Texas for 6 months she returned to Minnesota for Christmas in 1972. Realizing she was a country girl, she decided not to return to Minneapolis and moved to Cambridge. She found a job at the Purple Hawk where she met her future husband, Gerald (Jerry) Graham. She also worked at Moline Realty, Fleetway, and had her own one room shop Kathy’s Krafts.
When Jerry and she started their family, she was home to raise their daughters, Angie and Jamie. She helped run Sun Aviation as the secretary/bookkeeper, but spent most her time caring for their daughters, home and farm. She showed and raised Chesapeakes, raised beef cattle and especially enjoyed the girls teen years when they together raised Arabians. She took the girls to horse shows, 4-H and Girl Scouts. Although she enjoyed homemaking decorating and crafts, she preferred being outdoors mowing and raking the lawn, clearing brush and caring for the animals. She also snowmobiled and rode motorcycle in her younger years.
In 2003 she cleared her own land and built her dream log home in the woods. She continued to raise calves, had her horses, dog and cats. After working at Ace Tack & Outfitter for ten years, in 2009 she opened her own shop Northwoods Decor and Gifts downtown Cambridge, and also “saved big money” at Menards by working PT there. She continued to deer hunt every year since she started following her dad and brother around as a little girl. She did not want to shoot a doe because she raised the doe fawn so after only getting a few deer through the years she finally shot her 10 point in 2009.
Kathy was especially proud of and is survived by her two daughters, Angie (Kelly) Londgren and Jamie (Travis) Scott; she especially loved and enjoyed devoting endless hours of care to her grandchildren; Marysa, Masyn, Max, Montana, McKinley, Cayden, Jace, Paisley; former husband, Jerry Graham; special nephew, Travis Niemi and son; aunts, uncles and cousins; special friend and companion, Kenny Olson whom she learned to start relaxing and enjoying life by boating, motorcycling, vacationing, eating out, and playing cards with friends.
Kathy died March 23rd at home surrounded by family at the age of 73. She is preceded in death by her grandparents; parents; brother, Charles (Bruce) Niemi; infant brother, Terry; “other dad”, Lorin Petersdorf; and aunt, Karen Harper.