Douglas Norman Laurila

October 16, 1958 – January 16, 2020 
Born in Highland Park, MI 
Resided in Wixom, Michigan

Age 61, Dear son of the late Norman (Louise). Dear brother of Sharon (Kyle) Smith and Sheila Laurila. Uncle of Brock, Corinne and Sean.

Douglas was a member of the Finn Camp and the Finnish Center Association. Douglas worked on our ice makers and had a camp across from the power house with pink flamingos. Douglas loved the state of Michigan and the outdoors, especially the Upper Peninsula. He spent his time Hunting and fishing. Visit Douglas Facebook.

There was a celebration of life at the Finnish Center, Farmington Hills, MI. 

To plant a tree in memory of Douglas Laurila, please visit our Tribute Store.

Our condolence to Douglas family.

Kirsti Maria Bucht Niemi

(November 22, 1926-October 23, 2019)

Kirsti was born at home in Detroit Michigan, the only child of Frans Mattias and Saimi (Mikkola) Bucht. Her parents were recent immigrants from Sweden and Finland, who met each other in Detroit’s Woodrow Wilson area, where many similar Finnish-Americans lived. Like others, she grew up often visiting the Detroit Finnish Cooperative Summer Camp in Wixom Michigan, where her father eventually built a cottage home. Kirsti met her future husband, Walter Niemi, at one of the Finn Camp’s regular Saturday-night dances. They were married in 1948. Kirsti and Walt had four children, who valued their Finnish heritage and continued involvement at Finn Camp.

Kirsti attended Commerce High School in Detroit and graduated from Wayne University (now Wayne State University). A stay-at-home Mom until her children were old enough to take care of themselves, she then began working to contribute financially to the family and helping her children to attend college. After working sales and clerical jobs, she passed the civil service exam to become social worker for the State of Michigan, attending to the needs of dependent children and senior citizens in Detroit.

A month away from her 93rd birthday, she died peacefully in her sleep, in her own home, of natural causes. She is survived by her four children: Karen Riley (husband Neil), Barbara Niemi, Steve Niemi, Dave Niemi (wife Kiya), and her grandchildren Matt Riley (wife Toni), and Lara Riley.

Kirsti was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother, devoted to her family. She leaves a legacy of kindness and compassion for others with a strong attachment to her Finnish-Swedish roots. Kirsti’s smile will be missed by all who knew her. Rest in Peace.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Dementia Society of America ( or the Residential Hospice Foundation (

The family will welcome friends Saturday, November 2, from 1-5 PM at Kirsti’s home: 28212 Greencastle Road, Farmington Hills.

Our condolences to the Niemi family.

Joann Carol Laitinen Hall


Joann Carol Laitinen Hall, 76, of New York, N.Y., and St. Petersburg, Fla., died on Nov. 10, 2018, at Arden Courts Memory Care Center in Seminole, Fla. Joann graduated from Mackenzie High School in Detroit, attended Wayne University until one semester from graduation, then—on the strength of a great cultural experience in Norway during an American Field Service year—moved to New York City to be on staff at AFS. After 18 years there she then served as Executive Assistant to five national directors of the Girl Scouts of the U.S.A. She was preceded in death by her parents, Finn Campers Uno and Elsie Laitinen, and her sister, Barbara. Survivors include her husband, David R. Hall of St. Petersburg, and her brother-in-law James Ahnemiller and his daughter Janice Finney and his sons Jason Ahnemiller, Craig Ahnemiller, and their families. Joann was an active member of her local United Methodist churches and volunteered all her life in activities involving international families. She was an avid knitter, gardener, book club member, traveler, and caregiver. 

Joann loved Finn Camp and her “Pikku Tuppa” (tiny cabin) there. Her grandfather John Laitinen was a founder of the D.F.C.S.C.A. Contributions in her memory can be made to Finn Camp at A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 26, 2019, at First United Methodist Church of St. Petersburg, Fla., at 11:00 a.m. Anyone considering attending, however tentatively, is encouraged to be in touch with David (see contact information below) by December 1, to help in securing rooms in nearby hotels. (Some financial assistance may be available to help defray your lodging cost.) You can reach David at or text or call to 917 204-6494.

Guy Lewis Swanson

Guy Lewis Swanson

Guy Lewis Swanson age 64 of Warren MI passed away June 8. Beloved husband of Debbie. Father of Andrea, Jeannie, Guy Jr, Becky Olszewski, and Sarah Mielke. Loving Grandfather of Alexis, Andrew, Ava, Kamryn and Landon. Brother of Florence Bass, Kemmy Shaheen (Dennis), Grant (Kathy), stepmother, Judy Swanson Predeceased by brother Gary, sister Lori and parents, Guy and Flo Swanson. He was retired from Center Line Public Schools after 33 years of dedicated service. Lifetime member of Finn Camp. Guy was loved by many people and will be missed dearly. Come Celebrate Guy Swanson’s Life at the Finn Camp’s clubroom Sunday June 15, 1:00 to 6:00 p.m., potluck and cash bar. Our condolences to Guy’s family and friends.