Phil Niemisto

abc10up.com

MARQUETTE, MI--   A bright, steady light in downtown Marquette has gone out. 

Phil Niemisto, longtime window washer and flower tender, died Sunday. He was 88. According to Brian Cabell’s “Word on the Street,” Phil passed peacefully at his apartment, surrounded by people who loved him.

Over the past 35 years Phil could be seen cleaning store windows, shoveling snow, and planting flowers in the Pocket Park, which was eventually named for him. A statue of Phil sitting on a park bench was unveiled last year.

Andrew LaCombe / WLUC-TV

MARQUETTE, MI--   Marquette Police have arrested a man they believe vandalized the Phil Niemisto statue downtown. 

The statue’s hat and scarf were discovered missing Saturday morning. On Thursday officers arrested Alex Wiitanen, 20, of Marquette for malicious destruction of tombs and memorials less than $200 and larceny less than $200.

Both the hat and scarf have been recovered.

Wiitanen was released from jail after posting a $500 bond. 

MARQUETTE, MI--   The likeness of a beloved member of the Marquette community will be unveiled downtown next week. 

A statue of Phil Niemisto will be placed in the Pocket Park on Washington Street.

The 87-year-old Niemisto has been cleaning the windows of downtown buildings and tending flowers in the park for years. Thanks to a GoFundMe page, enough money was raised to commission local artist Earl Senchuk to create a life-size statue of Phil to put on a bench among the flowers.

Mary Wardell / miningjournal.net

MARQUETTE, MI--   The City of Marquette is seeking donations for a statue to honor a much-loved member of the community.

Phil Niemisto, 87, has been cleaning the windows of downtown buildings and tending flowers in the pocket park on Washington Street for years. The City Commission recently renamed the spot Phil Niemisto Pocket Park, and now a GoFundMe page has been established to commission a statue of Phil to put on a bench among the flowers.