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Herald and News 6/8/14
2/23/1926 - 6/4/2014
In the fall of 1943, he was afraid his older brother would get to go into the service and he’d be stuck milking cows. He enlisted in the spring of 1944 and went into basic training in the tank corps in North Camp Hood, Texas. Then from there he went to Fort Ord, Calif., New Guinea, Philippines and Japan. He saw action with a 155 mm howitzer battalion in Leyte, Mindoro, and Mindanao. He was also stationed seven months in Japan. Niilo was discharged May 11, 1946.He enrolled in college in the Twin Cities, Minn. for the coming fall. That summer he traveled with his brother and ended up in Klamath Falls, Ore. He says that, “He and his brother made the mistake of stopping at an old block plant near Tionesta, Calif.” Talking to the old duffer that owned it, they were told that they could make all kinds of money in the block business. He says, “They were gullible enough to believe him.” They leased the plant and lost their “pants.” They started their own block plant in the spring of 1947. He never returned to school. This business became Glass Mountain Block.
In 1951 he married his wife, Elene J. Nelson Hyytinen. They were married for 62 years. Elene preceded Niilo in death last November. His two children, Heidi Malby, Bonanza, Ore., and Roger Hyytinen, Reno, Nev., four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, and one great great grandchild survive him.In 1972, Niilo and Elene moved their block plant to Carson City, Nev. They had a retail yard for many years in Reno, Nev., where they lived for the past 41 years. Niilo was active in St. Lukes Lutheran Church all these years. When they lived in Tulelake, Calif. they helped build the Trinity Lutheran Church. He was also active in many service organizations in Tulelake and Reno, including Lions Club, Elks Club and Rotary.
He loved to hunt and travel. Niilo’s favorite retreat however was their cabin at Medicine Lake, Calif. He would travel every summer to spend time at their mountain home.In lieu of flowers please donate in Niilo’s name to St. Lukes Lutheran Church or the Trinity Lutheran Church, Tulelake, Calif.
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