COOPERSTOWN _ Niles F. Curtis, 71, passed away on Friday, Oct. 14, 2011, in Cooperstown. Niles was born May 28, 1940, in Honesdale, Pa., a son of the late Henry G. Curtis Sr. and Grace (Schweighofer) Curtis.
He married Nancy S. Michaels on Feb. 18, 1961, at the Methodist Church in Honesdale, Pa., and earlier this year they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
After graduating from Pleasant Mount High School in Pleasant Mount, Pa., _ where he was president of his class _ he operated a dairy farm prior to entering the retail management program of GLF/Agway in 1963. He was assigned to store management positions in a variety of Central New York towns, eventually moving to Cooperstown in 1967, where he remained for the next 44 years. He managedthe Cooperstown Agway store from 1967 through 1983, when he purchased the store and operated it as a family business until he sold the store in 1998, and retired.
Niles joined the National Guard in 1962, and served his country honorably in the Active Army Reserve until 1968. He was one of the original members of the Board of Directors of the Delaware- Otsego Railroad, and stepped down from that role in 2011, after 40 years of service to the D&O.
Throughout his entire life, Niles was a great outdoorsman, spending untold hours as an avid fisherman, an expert deer hunter, and a hands-on forest steward. He was a great sports fan and former baseball pitcher in his youth.
Throughout his life he could be seen wearing the cap of his beloved Chicago Cubs, whom he followed religiously for 66 years and who never failed to disappoint him. For many years he was a fixture at the various sports events at the Cooperstown Central School and in 1986, was awarded the “Good Sport Award” by the Redskins Booster Club in recognition of his support of Cooperstown’s sports programsand athletes.
His involvement in the community also included periods as a board member of the Cooperative Extension, a Little League coach, a member of the Lions Club, the Citizen Advisory Board of Bassett Hospital, and many other volunteer activities. He will be remembered for his integrity, wit, warmth and kindness, which made him a friend of many.
Niles is survived by his wife, Nancy (Michaels) Curtis; his son, Scott A. Curtis of Cooperstown and children Aliza G. Curtis and Madeline M. Curtis of Roseboom; his son, James T. Curtis, his wife Susan (Henderson) Curtis and their daughter, Piper Curtis and son Kyle Curtis, all of Andover, Mass.; his daughter, Gretchen A. Curtis, also of Andover, Mass.; and his siblings, Patricia G. Lawrence, Annandale, Va., Henry G. (Susan) Curtis, Waymart, Pa., and Charles D. Curtis, Pleasant Mount, Pa.
He was predeceased by his parents; a sister, Barbara Curtis; and two brothers, Edward Curtis Jr. and Wilber (George) Curtis.
Friends and family are invited to call from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 21, 2011, at the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home at 82 Chestnut St. in Cooperstown, where the family will be in attendance.
Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, 2011, at the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown with the Rev. Elsie A. Rhodes, pastor, officiating. Immediatelyfollowing the service, there will be a gathering of celebration for friends and family at the former Agway Store at 28 Railroad Ave., in Cooperstown.
Memorial contributions may be made to Catskill Area Hospice and Palliative Care, 1 Birchwood Drive, Oneonta, NY 13820 or Springbrook, 2705 State Highway 28, Oneonta, NY 13820.
Arrangements are under the guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.