Nils Kenneth Ames, a man of many musical talents, went to join the big band in the sky on December 2, 2019. He passed in the presence of his wife and family in his home in Joseph, Oregon. A memorial service will be held at 2:00 PM on December 14, 2019 at the Thunder Room in Joseph, Oregon.
Nils was a man who lived his life to the fullest and had a profound effect on the lives of those around him. He was born on June 20, 1930 in Milwaukie, OR. He graduated from Milwaukie High School in 1948. During high school he found his love for skiing and music. After high school he spent one year at the University of Oregon as a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He served as a member of the Mt. Hood Ski Patrol, as well as the ski team. He enlisted in the Air Force on March 31st, 1949 and served in the Korean War. While in the military he spent time stationed in Austin, Texas where he played with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. Once home from the war he played music with many notable musicians such as; BB King, Rose Maddox and the Maddox Brothers, and The Drifters. He shared his love of music with all he met and especially his family.
While he was a member of The Drifters, he met the love of his life Shelia. They met and married in six weeks and celebrated their 51st wedding anniversary this July. Nils was above all a man who loved his family. Nils moved to Joseph, OR with his young family in 1980. While in Wallowa County he was a member of many bands, including Psalms 150 his family gospel band. He served as a member of the Shriners and VFW. He drove school bus for the Joseph School Dist. and Moffett Bros. Transportation. During his time as a bus driver he made an impact on many of the students, teachers, and parents who rode his bus. Nils was famous for his shenanigans at the school. Whether it was short sheeting the beds while traveling to a state tournament or making surprise announcements over the loudspeaker, Nils infused fun into everything he did. His smile, jokes, and kindness for everyone will be greatly missed.
Survivors include his wife Shelia Ames; brother, Michael Binns; his son, Robert Ames and wife Laurie; his daughters Kimberly (Ames) McManus and husband Edward, and Kjer (Ames) Kizer and husband Kristopher; and his grandchildren, Emma McManus, Hollis, and AnnMarie Kizer.
He was preceded in death by his parents Loretta Elizabeth Kier and Kenneth Ames.
The family would like to offer special thanks to the EMS crew, the Volunteer Fire Department, Dr. G. Maly and the many others who have assisted in his care. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Joseph Fire Department, Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, or the charity of your choice through Gray's West & Company at 1500 Dewey Avenue, Baker City, OR 97814.
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