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Clarence Niles

May 14, 2019


Sketch for Clarence B. Niles (longer version)


Clarence B. Niles, 92, died on Tuesday, May 14, 2019 at Kidron Bethel Health Care in North Newton.


Clarence was born on January 5, 1927 in Newton, Kansas to Walter and Linda (Penner) Niles.


He married Gladys Schmidt on August 12, 1951. They were married for 67 years.


Clarence grew up on a farm between Halstead and Sedgwick and attended a one-room school near his home.  He graduated from Halstead High School in 1943 and served in the U.S. Navy at the end of World War II. Clarence was a graduate of Bethel College.  He and Gladys began their teaching careers in western Kansas and taught there for 5 years before moving to Newton, where Clarence taught mathematics at Newton High School for thirty-one years.  He also farmed for many years, working weekends and summers.  He quit active farming in 1969 but continued his involvement by managing the farm and by helping his son-in-law during harvest.  After retirement, Clarence served on the board of Newton Meals on Wheels, operated a small sharpening business and made woodcrafts.

In 1961 he was selected as Representative Young Teacher of the State of Kansas and received that award in Topeka. In 1989, he was nominated by Sharon Schmidt (a former student) and a Sallie Mae first year teacher award winner and received the Sallie Mae teacher tribute award in Newsweek Magazine. He has often commented that the best part of teaching was his contact with former students. He enjoyed meeting and visiting with them.

He was a member of the Bethel College Mennonite Church and served as trustee, church treasurer, and usher as well as being active in his Sunday School class.


Clarence joined Rotary in 1965 and became secretary in 1967 and served in that capacity until 2003.


Clarence and Gladys enjoyed reading and traveling; they particularly enjoyed international travel. He also enjoyed lively conversations with friends and especially his family and particularly enjoyed time with his grandchildren.


He is survived by his wife: Gladys; daughter: Gail Stucky (Mark); and grandchildren Matt (Blaire Mayhue) and Marike.


He was preceded in death by his daughter: Jan Niles; parents: Walter and Linda Niles; and siblings: Keith Niles and Mary Watson.


A memorial service is scheduled for Monday, June 3rd, 11:00 a.m. at Bethel College Mennonite Church in North Newton, Kansas.  Visitation will be at Kidron Bethel on Sunday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. A memorial has been established for Bethel College and Kidron Bethel.  Petersenfamilyfuneralhome.com.





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6 thoughts on “Clarence Niles

  1. Mr. Niles was an inspiring math teacher who challenged us yo do our best.

  2. Mr. Niles was an inspiration to all around him. What a great guy.
    People like him don’t come around often.

  3. What an incredible teacher and special person. Mr. Niles subtle sense of humor kept us going!

  4. Thank you for the educational foundation that you and Gladys provided me – It seems like just yesterday. God Bless.

  5. I will miss Mr. Niles. He has always been a wonderful blessing to me. I would have never passed Algebra without him. And I also had the pleasure of being his papergirl when I had a paper route as a teenager. My Mom has a shelf that he made in his woodworking days. I will miss seeing him and talking with him.

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