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Peter Stuart Niles, 68, a resident of Dunham Avenue, North Bennington, died unexpectedly on Sunday, October 6, 2019 at his residence.
Born in Bennington on September 21, 1951, he was the son of the late Robert MacGrey Niles II and Louise (Kastenbein) Niles. Peter received his early education in the Shaftsbury and North Bennington schools and was a 1969 graduate of Mt. Anthony Union High School.
Peter married, the love of his life, the former Michelle Rice on October 11, 1975 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in North Bennington. Michelle’s uncle, the late Rev. Julian LaFlamme, officiated.
Having grown up on the family farm in Shaftsbury Hollow, Peter was drawn to farming. As a boy he eagerly volunteered his time on farms in the Shaftsbury Hollow and White Creek, NY area and later was employed at the Bonnie Brook Farm in White Creek. Throughout his life he spent time on the State Line Farm, in Shaftsbury, owned and operated by the late Jimmy and Martha Williamson, his “second” parents.
As a young man, Peter was employed at the Carl Willis Garage where he met Michelle. Later, he went on to work for the Phil Harrington Construction Company of Shaftsbury.
An active and earnest member of the community for many years, Peter was a member of the Shaftsbury Board of Selectmen from 1985 to 1994. He was a past president and coach of the NorShaft Little League and also coached MAYAA Football. He served as a trustee of the Village School of North Bennington and often shared his passion for sugaring via a “how-to” field trip to the Williamson’s farm with Pat Gibbon’s 4th graders.
As a young man he was a member of the Green Mountain Riders, a motorcycle club. Eventually, he moved on to operating all types of heavy equipment for both work and pleasure and always jumped at the opportunity to “go tractoring” for local farmers.
Survivors include his wife, Michelle Ann Niles of North Bennington; three children, Laura Niles Merrill of Rochester, VT; Matthew Stuart Niles of Bennington and Electricians Mate, Nuclear Trained Benjamin Lane Niles, USN and his wife Stephanie of Chesapeake, VA; five grandchildren who lovingly called him “Moonpa”, Mazie Alida Merrill, Keegan Stuart Niles, Korbin Steven Niles, Blake Elliott Niles and Eli Michael Niles; a brother, James Niles of Beaver Dam, WI and several beloved nieces, nephews and cousins.
Peter was predeceased by three brothers, M. Bruce Niles, Robert M. Niles III and Eric K. Niles.
Funeral services for Peter Niles will be held from St. John the Baptist Church in North Bennington on Saturday, October 12, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. where the Liturgy of Christian Burial will be offered.
Friends may call at the Mahar & Son Funeral Home Friday from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Private committal services will take place at the convenience of the family at St. John’s Cemetery in North Bennington.
Should friends desire memorial contributions in Peter Stuart Niles memory, they may be made to the Village School of North Bennington through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201.
Guestbook condolences may be made at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net.