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Niles Trammell Elwood, 84, of Orem, Utah—a great and good man whose service to his country, his church, and his family enriched the lives of all those he touched—passed away on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
Niles was born on June 13, 1933, in New York City, New York, to Lena Mae Penrose and John Worden Elwood. He spent his early youth in Scarsdale, New York, where his father was an executive for the National Broadcasting System. The family—his father, mother, and older brother Mickey (John)—then moved to Palo Alto, California, where his father was Manager of NBC Radio in San Francisco and became Radio Director for Radio Free Asia. His mother was a gracious lady who became the director of Off Campus Housing at Stanford University in California when her children were grown.
Niles lived in Palo Alto from 1942-1951. At Palo Alto High School, he served as senior class president. After dating Patricia Lee Ramsden for five years, they became engaged at Christmas time in 1955 when he was finishing pilot school in the US Air Force. They were married on October 30, 1956, in Saratoga, California. Their union was later sealed in the Los Angeles Temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Niles states that from the date of his marriage his life changed significantly for the better. They celebrated their 61st wedding anniversary last year.
Niles spent 27 years in serving his country in the United States Air Force as an officer and a pilot. He graduated from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, in 1955 and was commissioned a distinguished graduate in the ROTC program. He attended flying school in Arizona and Texas. His first tour of duty was as aircraft commander at Otis AFB, Mass. flying reconnaissance. Other tours of duty included assignments in the United States, Greenland, Southeast Asia, and Germany, including 202 combat missions in Vietnam. He was a command pilot with more than 9,000 flying hours. He attended the Air Force’s Command and Staff and Air War Colleges in Montgomery, Alabama, also earning a master’s degree in political science from Auburn University. Niles served for four years as Commander of the Air Force ROTC program at Brigham Young University. He retired from the U.S. Air Force as a Colonel in October of 1982.
Niles loved his country and his God. A convert to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he served his church in many capacities including three times as a bishop. He and his wife Pat served as missionaries on Temple Square in Salt Lake City. For Niles, the gospel of Jesus Christ was about loving and serving people.
Niles loved and served his family and made his wife and children his first priority. He and Pat are the loving parents of three children: Michael John Elwood (fiancée Susan Galler), Brent David Elwood (Reva Kominsky); six grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his daughter, Leanne Elwood Walker.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, March 3, 2018, at noon at the LDS Chapel located at 80 West 900 South, Orem, Utah. Visitations will be held at the church on Friday, March 2nd from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Niles’s family and friends can honor him at a military tribute at Utah Veterans Memorial Park at Camp Williams at 9 a.m. on Saturday, March 3rd.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Family Support and Treatment Center in Orem, Utah, where Niles served on the Board for many years.
Condolences expressed to the family here on this page.