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Nicholas Niles Jr

Nicholas Niles Jr. of Naples, FL, and Westport, MA, died after a lengthy illness at Avow Hospice in Naples on November 30, 2012.

Mr. Niles was born in New York on November 9, 1934, the eldest of four children of Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Niles (Marian Lawrence Freeman) of Morristown, NJ. He was educated at the Peck School, Groton School and Princeton (class of 1956). After graduation from college he served three years with the US Army Security Agency in Frankfurt am Main and Stuttgart in what was then West Germany. Later, in 1972, he earned his MBA in marketing at the University of Bridgeport (CT) Graduate School. 

Retired at the time of his death, Mr. Niles had spent 12 years with the Remington Arms Co., Inc., a subsidiary of E.I. duPont de Nemours Co. For 25 years he worked as an officer with numerous NYSE brokerage firms, including White, Weld & Co., Blyth-Eastman Dillon, Merrill Lynch, Prudential-Bache and A.G. Edwards & Sons, Inc., in Fairfield County, CT, where he resided for 35 years.  He used to belong to the Fairfield County Hunt Club and was Joint Master of the Fairfield County Beagles for many years.  In Westport, where he spent his summers, he belonged to the Acoaxet Club, Elephant Rock Beach Club, Spindle Rock Club and the Newport Reading Room.

Descended through his mother from William White, a passenger on the Mayflower in 1620, among his paternal ancestors Mr. Niles counted Robert “King” Carter, one of Virginia’s most prominent citizens in the early 18th century and acting colonial governor in 1726-7, and Lewis Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He was a member of the Society of Mayflower Descendants (NY), the Society of the Cincinnati (MA), and the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut, of which he was governor from 1974 to 1976.

He was very attached to Naples and Everglades City, where he and his family participated in town affairs, and had served on the boards of the Naples Depot, Southwest Heritage Foundation, and Friends of the Collier County Museums of Naples.  In 2012, he published his life’s work, the definitive, lavishly illustrated 509-page Niles’ Guide to “Affordable” Double Barrel Shotguns in America, 1875-1945.

Mr. Niles leaves his wife of 49 years, Varick Katzenbach Niles; their two sons, Nicholas Niles III of Easton, CT, and Samuel Varick Niles of Sherborn, MA; four granddaughters, Gwendolyn Willa Niles, Astrid Nadine Niles, Diana Dimon Niles and Abigail Morton Niles; and a grandson, Nicholas Niles IV. His wife’s half brother, Christian Dixon Katzenbach, who lived in the Niles household for many years, and his son, also survive him, as do Mr. Niles’ sister, Mrs. A. Robert Faesy (Nancy Niles) of Wilton, CT, and his brothers, John Adams Niles of Boca Grande, FL, and William Freeman Niles of New York, and their many children.

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