Let the memory of Laila be with us forever
  • 91 years old
  • Born on July 25, 1925 in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
  • Passed away on August 22, 2016 in Los Angeles, California, United States.
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Laila Nilles 91 years old , born on July 25, 1925 and passed away on August 22, 2016. We will remember her forever.
Posted by Ayke Agus on 26th July 2018
Dearest Laila, There hasn’t beeen a single day when we (Matthew and I) didn’t think of you, or talked about you. You have been and always will be the musical light that shines in my heart. With great affection and love, from one of your admirers, AykeMatthew
Posted by Jack Nilles on 25th July 2018
Laila my love, you're the angel who keeps dancing . . . and fluting . . . and joking . . . and fuming around my head. Please keep it up!
Posted by Lis And David Fleming on 25th July 2018
Always remembered and appreciated on July 25 and throughout the years past, present and future. We feel and know Laila is always with us in Spirit and as the CFO Emeritus of JALA.
Posted by Leslie Rugg on 25th July 2018
If Laila were still with us, I can only imagine – no, I know full well – that she would be blowing a gasket over the world events unfolding as a consequence of what passes for American politics. I can see her snapping pages of morning newspapers, shaking her head, sputtering at one inanity and another insanity. She would deliver piercing judgments at TV's talking heads and online editorials, exasperated at the whole scene. She would exhort Jack with what should be done to make America America again. She would be handpicking her favorite candidates for the next election cycles. She would listen to Jud's discourses on the politics of his two Washingtons (state and DC). She would write checks to the organizations she deemed capable of carrying on the good fight. She would also be proudly bursting at the seams with the impending birth of our family's next generation. Just as she was present at Hillary's birth, I picture her spirit presiding over the next little girl to come forth and wow us all. Laila will be wafting about, waving a flute instead of a magic wand - ah! a magic flute! – to the perfect Mozartian tempo. Okay, a far-fetched scenario, but I think I just made her laugh.... Do you hear it too?
Posted by Hillary Honma Crane on 23rd August 2017
Laila's is one of the voices I hear when I am discouraged. All she says is "Oh really...?" Always in that unique slight drawl that packed 'and what are you going to do about it?' plus 'I trust you to figure this out' into those two little words. Best pep talk there ever was.
Posted by Andrea Miller on 23rd August 2017
Laila, loving, strong, compassionate, reassuring. Remembered forever as a blessing in my life. -- Andrea
Posted by Ayke Agus on 22nd August 2017
Dearest Laila, Not a single day goes by when I had not thought of you, of your wise comments, of your love and care for me and my family. I love you for ever very much.
Posted by Lis And David Fleming on 22nd August 2017
We fondly remember Laila and celebrating year after year her July 25 birthday. We'll continue doing so, remembering she is always a part of us... Fleming LTD (Lis-Tova-David)
Posted by Leslie Rugg on 22nd August 2017
I came to my computer this morning to the Forever Missed reminder that today was the one year mark of Laila's leaving us. Well, guess what, fans and folks! While her corporeal presence is gone, her essence, her spirit, her perching on our shoulders and whispering sweet nothings in our ears are all very much present! I should modify the term "sweet nothings". We can all hear what she would be saying about national and international events, cultural and social manifestations, loud and clear. Her irritations would be punctuated with fine phrases from a proverbial sailor's vocabulary. Her salutations to her family would cheer us all on and enjoin us to be true to who we are.... and what she expects of us. Truthfully, we need no reminder of her death because she is still with us in every way that counts. If you are in her home, you feel that she's no farther away than the next room or maybe even in her favorite chair right next to you. If you are with Jack, you know she's inhabiting every breath he takes. At several points at my own home, hummingbirds have hovered directly outside the family room glass slider. I know with each avian encounter, she's come to visit and deliver a very important message. I prefer to acknowledge her birthday as the coming of life. And as Jack has noted, the cosmos or at least our galaxy has paid attention by bringing us the best solar eclipse ever.
Posted by Leslie Rugg on 25th July 2017
It's Laila's birthday today – July 25. Since her father (my “Papa”) was never sure of his birthday – or so the family lore goes – July 25 became his de facto birthday. It matched the “almost sameness” of the other nuclear members of the family – Laila's mother (my “Nana”) whose birthday was November 15 and Laila's sister (my mom) whose birthday was November 20. It certainly made for easy remembering and for joint celebrations. All such celebrations – birthdays and holidays – were a big deal in our extended family. They meant coming up with elaborate menus, frenetic cooking, all the best table settings, non-stop conversation, background music, and – in those days – cocktails, wines, and post-prandial liqueurs. Birthdays were always signals of family togetherness. Presents were thoughtful, sometimes with serious intent, sometimes with utility in mind, quite often with sly wit. Although music was central to connecting us as a family, and it didn't take a birthday or a holiday for one of us to play a new recording, it seems to me that birthdays were often the occasion for introducing a new artist or work. That may just be my childhood memory rather than actual fact, but I have a feeling it might well have been a birthday when someone first brought home for all of us to hear together the uproarious Anna Russell, the lilting Roberta Peters, the irreverent Tom Lehrer. No one laughed louder than Laila. No one made more critical comments. No one enjoyed the intellectual by-play more than she – and that's saying something in my family! We were well-matched in all those aspects. Whether Laila (and Jack) were at the heads of their table or sitting side by side at one of our tables – my parents, or later on my brother and sister-in-law, and my husband and mine, birthdays – holidays – any excuse for a family party – was greeted with glee and a determination to have a damn fine time. When you know someone from relative youth onward, forever missed is a true sentiment. But I also feel that forever young is just as true – especially with Laila whose outlook never aged.
Posted by Craig MacDonald on 22nd November 2016
When I think of Laila, I think Brilliant, Refined, Classy, Quick Wit (boy did she have me fooled--just kidding), understanding, caring, creative--she was the Mother Teresa of Telecommuting, changing the world one person at a time; she was a zookeeper, a park ranger, loving nature, keeping an eye on her backyard forest--the wildlife, jackrabbits & Jack, admiring nature's beauty & the wonders of life; she was a little kid who never grew up (don't kids have way more fun than adults, anyway?), who was always fascinated with life and what the world could become; there were no boundaries, no borders; she was as much at home with her magical flute in Carnegie Hall as in her Stonehill palace, as much at home with strangers as she was with friends; Jack and I were flying in a tiny plane with her near Fresno--a very bumpy ride, we were looking at each other, not sure we were going to make it but Laila's calm ensured all would be well & it was; how reassuring she was, always that twinkle in her eye, that smile, she sparkled wherever she went, in whatever she did; she understood where you were coming from even if you sometimes didn't, she was two steps ahead of you, she had a sympathetic ear, she knew how to listen, she was the wind beneath Jack's wing, she put you at ease, a friend the moment she met you, she let you in the inner circle, she seemed to always bring out the best in you; right now, she wouldn't want you to be sorry for her, she wouldn't want you to be sad, she wouldn't want you to feel down, she'd want you to be celebrating life and all its wonder--enjoy those clouds, and all their shapes, moving slowly across the sky, that chirping robin that landed on the tree outside--you can hear her encouraging words that always lift us & always will, she'll always be with everyone lucky enough to have known her, she'll always be here--like she's just in the other room, still guiding lives, opening doors, helping make the impossible, possible, keeping us out of trouble (there's that laugh of hers), offering solutions to our daily challenges, she'll continue to help bring out the best in all of us; Laila has always been a guardian angel (a true gift from God), who doesn't want us to fret, who wants us to be all we can be, who wants us to be happy and enjoy our journey, she's a 4th of July sparkler that will never go out; her sparkle will forever light our way!
Posted by Janna Wong Healy on 12th October 2016
I was a young gal, working for Jack at USC, when I first met Laila and I was immediately impressed and amazed by this wonderful woman. She was so accomplished, so smart, so witty and so caring, She was kind to all...and so in love with Jack. Laila and Jack...the two of them were a perfect match, the kind of lifelong partners that every couple aspires to be. When I found my lifelong mate, I knew I wanted my relationship with Neil to be based on the same kind of love and equal partnership that I witnessed in Jack and Laila. She left her mark on many people...she definitely left it on me.
Posted by Bill Van Vleet on 26th September 2016
When I think of Aunt Laila, I am reminded of the passion she had for life. She was a highly accomplished musician, business woman and a loving partner. I always was amazed to listen to her life stories as she would share the details of her amazing experiences around the world. I will always cherish the precious times we shared together with her and Uncle Jack at our family gatherings. She made a lasting mark on the world and forever in our hearts.
Posted by Victoria Bond on 13th September 2016
Laila was a close associate and personal friend of my mother, Jane Welton. Together they created the Protone Recording label which produced many extraordinary CDs. Laila's artistry and hard work were evident in everything she did, and she was devoted to achieving perfection on the highest level. She was an accomplished flutist and brought to her career as record producer the ability to hear the subtlest details. My mother and I enjoyed the evenings we spent with Laila and jack, sharing friendship and delicious meals in their mountaintop retreat. ---Victoria Bond
Posted by Lis And David Fleming on 9th September 2016
Beginning in 1984, Laila (The Mother of Telecommuting) has had and always will have the distinction being a major influence in our lives, including cocktail toasts with true matinees. As a beautifully gifted, intelligent and inspirational friend, she offered us exceptionally welcomed mentoring together with her beloved Jack. And, together they have synergistically made our world a better place. We are eternally grateful. Laila continues living with us in our minds and hearts. Fleming, LisTovaDavid … p.s. See Laila's TeleConcertizing at: http://davidflemingltd.com/commentary/9901comLaila.htm
Posted by Tim & Maggie Cross on 4th September 2016
No candles needed. Lail's bright light will shine on in others. Tim and I were the beneficiaries of her passion for great music and life (surely the two were synonymous to Laila!). Since 1972 when Maggie stumbled into Jack and Lail's lives, we have shared music, food, raccoons, birthdays, Weimeraners, poodles, raccoons, yellow Volvos, visits (not frequent enough), and general hilarity. To say that we adored Laila is not adequate; she enriched our lives and made us all better people. There is a big hole in the universe with her passing, but if the Greeks were right and there really is music of the spheres (beyond mathematics) I suspect I hear the sound of a flute.
Posted by Ayke Agus on 3rd September 2016
Laila Nilles, and Jack Nilles her loving husband...my late husband Michael and I have known them both since 1996. Laila and Jack are two individuals but one entity. They have always been an inspiration. I met Laila for the first time in 1996 at a recording session of a violinist i was accompanying at the piano. After that recording project was over, we became dear friends. Laila recorded me at the piano and on the violin. I always sought Laila's musical advice, when ever i had a concert or recording projects to prepare. She was an artist to the highest level, a concert flutist, had recordings to her own right. Laila had an acute high level of musical instincts and life's wisdoms. She was a true friend. Dearest Laila, you will always be with me in spirit where ever i am on my musical endeavors. You are the truth, love, compassion and devotion. I love you, Laila, for ever!
Posted by Cammie Nilles on 2nd September 2016
What a full and rich life Laila had and such a long, happy partnership with Jack. I loved learning more about it here and seeing the photos of so many good times. She will be greatly missed.

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