Mr. Nathan Niles

May 3, 1918April 7, 2019

Nathan "Nate" Orr Niles, 100, a 72 year resident of Annapolis, passed away peacefully on April 7 at Baywoods of Annapolis.

He was born May 3, 1918 in Concord, NH, and was a graduate of St Lawrence University. After multiple teaching positions at St. Lawrence, Bates College, University of Michigan and Renssalaer Polytechnic Institute, he became an associate professor of Mathematics at the United States Naval Academy in 1947 until his retirement in 1981. Nate was very proud of his Naval Academy tenure and the opportunity he had to mentor both midshipmen and new faculty members. In 1974 he was honored to be the first civilian to serve on the Naval Academy Board of Control, a two -year appointment to the organization in charge of policy making for the Academy’s vast intercollegiate athletic programs. He is also the author of seven college level textbooks, some of which are still in use today.

Nate joined the Annapolis Rotary club in 1963 and remained an active member for over 55 years. He loved the organization and fully embraced its motto “Service above Self”. He often characterized his years with Rotary and the close friendships he developed there as “priceless”.

In 1950, with a baby on the way, Nate and Margaret scraped together enough money to purchase a lot in Wardour overlooking the Severn. Over the next year, with the help of two colleagues, he rushed to build the home. The home was featured as the “Home of the Week” in the Capital in 2009. It has many unique architectural features including a stone fireplace that Nate constructed of old paving stones that came over as ballast in sailing ships from Belgium that were subsequently used as paving block in city dock during colonial times.

Nate loved life and was always ready to tell a joke to anyone who would listen. Friends will always remember his signature phrase “Enjoy Life!” His lifelong hobbies included fishing, boating, and restoring old boats that ranged from simple row boats to a 42 foot Grand Banks that he and Margaret enjoyed taking on extended cruises each year. He continued boating until the age of 93.

Nate was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, Margaret Rudy Niles of Oakland, MD and a brother, Albert Niles. Survivors include brother Dick Niles, daughter Susan Niles Flater “Jeff” of Wilmington NC and son Jim Niles “Donna” of Annapolis, MD. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren (Bryan Niles “Kelly” Patrick Niles, Timmy Niles, Michelle Padillo “Aris”, Christopher Flater “Shannon”, Lexy Chapman “Pat”, Nick Schwabenland) and four great grandchildren.

Visitation will be on Friday, April 12 from 5 to 7pm at John M Taylor Funeral Home at 147 Duke of Gloucester St. The funeral service will be on Saturday, April 13 at 2pm at Calvary United Methodist Church, 301 Rowe Blvd.

Memorials in his name may be made to Hospice of the Chesapeake.


  • Visitation Friday, April 12, 2019
  • Memorial Service Saturday, April 13, 2019

Mr. Nathan Niles

have a memory or condolence to add?

Bill Regan

April 10, 2019

Nate did not stop teaching after he retired from the USNA. Teaching was very much a part of his nature. As a member of the Annapolis Rotary Club he would assist in sending out blast emails among many other responsibilities. In 2011-12 I was president of the ARC and would depend on Nate for sending out announcement for me. I would sometime stop by his home and review details with me. At one such visit Nate had printed up one of my announcements and in a red pen he had circle my grammatical errors. I broke into a third grade sweat. I will always remember Nate as a loving and fair man. I like many others are a better person for knowing him.
Love you Nate,
Bill Regan PP

Kevin Hurley

April 10, 2019

Nate was a terrific mentor to me afer I joined Rotary and agreed to work on the Crablines. He was patient and always had a sense of humor about things. I will always remember him by his slogan, "Enjoy Life". He certainly did.