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Services are March 9 for Niles Meriwether Davies, Jr.

Niles Meriwether Davies, Jr. died suddenly at the age of 82 on Tuesday March 4, 2014 in the 177-year-old family farmhouse in Congers where he was born and lived his life. 

Niles was born on November 19th 1931 to Erica (Riepe) and Niles M. Davies, Sr. A lifelong Rocklander, he graduated from Nyack High School in 1950. In 1952 he received a degree from Cornell University School of Agriculture.

He returned home after college to run the family farm and continued to run the farm until his death. On April 14,, 1962 he married the love of his life Jan (Mandell) Davies.

Niles is survived by his wife of 51 years, Jan, his three children Niles and his wife Anne, Lee and his wife Christine and Chris and her husband Jeff Nevin. He is also survived by his eight grandchildren who were the apples of his eye: Shannon, Cailyn, Casey, Jeffrey, Niles, Thomas, Nicholas and Matthew. He is also survived by his sister Sylvia (Davies) Diehl, many nieces and nephews as well as his loyal, dedicated employees whom he also considered his family many who worked for him for over 50 years.

As a lifelong Rockland County resident, Niles believed in giving back to his community. One of his favorite quotes was “You make a living by what you get and a life by what you give.” Niles was a 56-year member of the Congers Volunteer Fire Department, where he served as president and chief. He was a founding member of the Helen Hayes Hospital foundation, the Savings Bank of Rockland County (which is now known as Wells Fargo bank).

He served as president for the Rockland Center for the Arts as well as Rockland County Cooperative Extension. Additionally, he served on the boards for the Rockland Country Day School as well as the Salvation Army. Niles and his wife Jan made it possible for the Helen Hayes Hospital to establish the Jan and Niles Davies Learning Center for preschool children. Niles was also very philanthropic for many other charities in the community.

Niles was extremely proud of his heritage. He was a direct descendent of Meriwether Lewis of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was the grandson of the world renowned artist Arthur B. Davies who helped bring the Modernist Art Movement to The Armory show of 1913, which introduced impressionists Picasso, Rodin, Degas, Matisse and Marcel Duchamp to America. Niles was the grandson of one of the first female doctors in the county, Dr. Lucy Virginia Meriwether (Dockie) who brought him into this world in the family farmhouse. 

As a lifelong farmer Niles was able to adapt and keep his beloved farm successful in an ever changing world. 

Niles was extremely proud of his family and would enthusiastically speak about the accomplishments of his children, their spouses and all the grandchildren whom he adored. He was most happy when the family was together and holidays and celebrations were at the Family Farmhouse. Niles loved having the family travel together and many wonderful family memories were made on the vacations that he planned. The whole family had planned to go to Amish Country in March, which he was looking forward to, as he loved to see the beautiful farm land. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Helen Hayes Hospital Foundation or the local charity of your choice in his name.

The family will be having a visitation to celebrate the life of Niles Meriwether Davies, Jr. on Sunday March 9th from 3- 8pm at the Joseph W. Sorce Funeral Home, Inc. located in West Nyack, NY . A memorial service will take place at 7:30pm.
bruce gionet March 11, 2014 at 09:41 AM
My family and I will miss seeing Niles at the many events he attended with the Finkelstein family as well as of course his smiling face at the farm. The last time I saw him was on the way into Helen Hayes Hospital, where he gave me a big cheery hello even though on his back on a stretcher. That was Niles, a gem of a man. Our most sincere sympathies to all of his family, who need never worry that his name be forgotten. Bruce Gionet, Barbara Finkelstein, Alex, and Anna.

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