When genetic detective dies, his family shares a surprise

A family of six people from Florida is sharing the news that their beloved genetic detective is dying of cancer.

Theodore A. Niles Jr., a 52-year-old father of four, passed away Wednesday after an aggressive cancer diagnosis.

Nils’ family released a statement Friday saying, “It’s been an honor to be able to say goodbye to my father, who was a very devoted and dedicated public servant.”

The family said Nils worked as a geneticist and public health officer with the state Department of Health, the Florida Department of Agriculture, the state Division of Epidemiology, and the Florida State Office of Human Resources.

A memorial service is planned for Sunday at 6 p.m. at Nils Funeral Home, 1006 N. E. 9th St., in Jacksonville.

It will feature a service at 10 a.m., followed by a visitation by family members and the public.

In lieu of flowers, the family asked that donations be made to the National Genealogical Research Center, located at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

You can learn more at the Family History Library, 704 E. 1st St., Gainesville, FL 32202.

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