On June 4, 2017, Ester’s family gathered with her to celebrate her 101st birthday at Qu’Appelle House Care Home in Regina where she had lived since February 2016. She passed away peacefully the evening of the same day with two of her children by her side.
Ester was born near Shaunavon, SK on June 4, 1916, to Ivar and Elma Dorma , who had immigrated to Canada from Vaasa, Finland in 1912. The family moved to the Whitewood area in 1921 where they lived as farmers. She married Toivo Nieminen on June 5, 1940, and they raised their family of three children on a farm in the Woodeigh district north of Wapella. Ester worked hard on the farm milking cows, gardening, planting trees and doing other chores. She loved having visitors, always had the coffee pot on and made sure that no one ever left hungry. In 1983 they retired to Whitewood, and Toivo passed away in 1986.
When Ester was 74 years old, she married Gust Greening of Lampman in August of 1990, and they enjoyed 22 years together. During their marriage, they had a unique living arrangement, commuting from Lampman to Whitewood every two weeks, spending equal time at both residences. She and Gust did some travelling and even took up cross-country skiing in their mid-70s.
Ester was gifted artistically and enjoyed painting, needlework and crafts. Playing dominoes and doing word puzzles were pastimes that kept her active and engaged until her passing. She left behind folders of inspirational poetry that she had written over the decades.
Ester was a wonderful cook and, like most women of her generation, she let nothing go to waste. Her freezers were full of apple pies each fall and the shelves loaded with canned fruits and pickles. Store- bought bread was seldom seen on her table and could never compare to Mom’s fresh baking.
Like many Finlanders, Ester felt a special connection to the land of her ancestors, its language and customs. She was fortunate to have been able to make two trips to Finland to explore her roots and visit relatives.
Ester treasured her family. She had a positive outlook, always trusting that all would be well, forgiving mistakes and seeing only the good in others. She was a devout Christian, and her faith supported and comforted her throughout her life.
Ester was predeceased by her parents, her brothers Martin (Lil), Ralph (Emily), Alex, and Bernard (Anne), sister, Ingrid (Otto) and great-granddaughter, Jocelyn Nieminen. She is survived by her sister, Ann Hall, and sister-in-law, Lavina Dorma; her children, Paul (Margaret) Nieminen, Marion (Ken) Bueche and Wilfred Nieminen. She will also be deeply missed by her stepdaughters Anna (Dave) Beckett and Arlene Erickson; her ten grandchildren, Brian, Colin, Laura, Nicole, Lisa, Jeremy, Melanie, Angela, David and Justin; nineteen great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, four step-grandchildren, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.