Shirley Jean Niles, 86

Local obituary


Shirley Jean Niles, age 86, of Tipton, died Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, at home surrounded by her loving family. A visitation will be held on Saturday, Nov. 19, from noon until 1:30 p.m., with a funeral service immediately following at Bentley Funeral Home in Wilton. Burial will take place in Oakdale Cemetery, Wilton.

Memorials may be given to Iowa City Hospice in her memory. Online condolences may be left at

Shirley was born in Atalissa, on May 25, 1936, the daughter of Charles and Juda (Miller) Babcock. She married Gail Niles on July 4, 1954 in Atalissa.

Shirley loved watching women's basketball because she played while in school. She was athletic and loved teaching her children to play basketball, softball and baseball.

After her marriage to Gail, she worked at the Wilton Savings Bank until she started raising her family and working on the farm.

Family was the most important thing in her life and she loved to cook and celebrate birthdays and holidays – especially Christmas. She was known for starting her Christmas decorating in August.

Children benefited from Shirley's love and care. She was the consummate mother and her house was always filled with unconditional love and acceptance.

Shirley will be dearly missed by her son, Mark (Sharon) Niles of Tipton, as well as her daughter, Debra Johnston of Mechanicsville, Iowa. Other survivors include four grandchildren including Andrea (James) Schroder of Tipton, Iowa, Rebecca (Adam) Risius of Clive, Iowa, Benjamin (Laura) Johnston of Muscatine, Iowa and Quincy (Abby) Niles of Cedar Rapids, Iowa as well as four great-grandchildren; and three step-great-grandchildren.

Shirley was preceded in death by her parents as well as two brothers, Don and Bill Babcock and her husband, Gail, as well as her beloved son-in-law, Walter Johnston.