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Niles K. Hill

November 21, 1929 ~ February 22, 2019 (age 89)


Niles K. Hill of Petoskey was born November 21, 1929, and passed away peacefully on February 22 due to complications from a stroke 8 years ago. He was born in Detroit to LaVergne (Portz) and Albert Hill.  His family moved to East Jordan in 1944 where Niles graduated from East Jordan High School in 1947.

After high school Niles and 3 of his classmates traveled for 6 months to Alaska for the trip of a lifetime.  He told many favorite stories throughout his life as a result of this adventure.

Niles was drafted into the Korean War and was stationed in Fort Worden in Washington state. He was 1 of 1000 troops selected to undergo the atomic bomb testing at Camp Desert Rock located outside of Las Vegas, Nevada. This involved kneeling in a fox hole, eyes covered, waiting for the countdown of the bomb to drop and then receiving the all clear signal. These 6 bomb testing’s were the closest men ever were to nuclear bombs. He was lucky to survive.

After the war Niles moved to East Lansing to further his education. He taught accounting classes at MSU all while working on his graduate degree.  He later passed his CPA exam and moved to Petoskey.

In 1950 he married Shirley Rebec and they had 3 children, Ed, Marty, and Denise. Niles started his own CPA firm in 1961 in Petoskey, known today as Hill-Schroderus & Co. He retired from a successful career that he loved after 33 years.

Niles was a long time parishioner of St. Francis Xavier church and served as a commentator for masses, trustee of board of education, president of Gaylord Diocese and was on the Diocese of Grand Rapids Board of Education.

Being involved in the community was important to Niles. A few of the organizations that he served on are: Drive Chairman for the Community Chest, Board Member of Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council, Pickerel-Crooked Lake Association, Chairman of Northern Michigan Chapter of CPA's, President of Rotary and the first President of Rotary Charities.

If you knew Niles you know that he loved his sports! His greatest joy was watching his children and grandchildren play sports and also watching their participation in St. Francis Xavier's school children's events. Niles and Shirley would travel great distances for years to watch various sports and show their support. Other favorite past times included boating, hunting, fishing, bowling, skiing and outdoor activities.

Niles is survived by his wife of 68 years, son Marty (Joanne) Hill of Rochester, NY, and daughter Denise (Howard) Berger of Petoskey. He is also survived by his 6 grandchildren, Katie, Laura, Eric, Jason, Tyler and Melissa, and 3 great grandchildren. Sadly, he was preceded in death by his oldest son, Ed.

Friends wishing to honor Niles' memory through charitable donations are asked to consider Rotary Charities, Brother Dan's food pantry, or Hospice of Northwest Michigan. The family would like to thank Hospice of Northwest Michigan and their wonderful staff for their care and concern during this difficult time.

A private family service was already held per Niles' wishes.

Niles always said that he felt very fortunate to live in Petoskey, "the most beautiful place on earth."

Arrangements are by Gaylord Community Funeral Home.  Please share your memories and personal messages with his family at