My father died on the morning of Tuesday May 4,2010. He lived a very happy life. (More photos and information about the funeral will be under the fold. (It may take a while for all the photos to load).
Houston Chronicle Obituary (published Friday May 7)
DON NAGLE, 78, of Katy, passed away Tuesday, May 4, 2010 after a long bout with Alzheimer’s. Don was a devout Irish Catholic who attended Jesuit schools. He was an avid sports fan & conversationalist who remained a proud Yankee until his death. A Fordham graduate, he relocated to Houston in 1967 and later received a law degree from South Texas College of Law. He ran a successful practice for over 30 years. His life’s passions were family & law.
Survived by his beloved wife of 45 years, Terry; children, Robert, Kathy Johnson & husband Billy, Thomas & wife Mabel, and Maureen; grandchildren, Abby, Dylan, Donnie, Rosa, and Faith; brother, Thomas; sister, Eileen Farrell & husband Bill; as well as many nieces & nephews. Preceded in death by parents, Thomas & Mildred Nagle; & sister, Virginia.
The family will receive friends from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Fri. at St. Edith Stein Catholic Church, in Katy, where a wake service will be held at 7:00 p.m. Fri. Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. Saturday at Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Church, in Katy.
READ MORE ABOUT DON: http://bit.ly/cTi60a (this URL redirects to this web page)
To leave condolences: You can leave your remarks/condolences here also. (Eventually we will combine all the comments from people onto a single guestbook page).
Sending Flowers: In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of your choice.
Some basic data about Donald Nagle:
- born in New York City during the Great Depression and was a proud Yankee who moved to Texas with his company Texaco when they transferred him to Houston.
- His parents were of Irish descent, and he had one older brother (Thomas) and two younger sisters (Eileen and Virginia).
- In his twenties he got a business degree from Fordham, served in the army in Japan, worked in the post office and later became a credit analyst with Texaco.
- became a lawyer in his thirties. Went to law school while working full time at Texaco and raising 4 kids!
- Avid sports fan with a great memory for baseball statistics. He always rooted for Notre Dame in the college bowl games. He played sports in his youth and helped his children play sports. He would never miss a boxing match on TV and even attended a few live ones.
- Devout Catholic who attended Catholic schools while he grew up and Knights of Columbus member
- Well-known for being a conversationalist and storyteller. Also was a regular and loyal letter writer (you know, back in the days before email!) He wrote everything by hand and never learned to type.
- Some favorite movies of his: The Sting, Breaker Morant, Paths of Glory, Hoop Dreams, The Godfather, Great Santini, Papillon, a Few Good Men. He also was a gigantic fan of Seinfeld and used to like All in the Family and the Honeymooners. Later in life he relaxed by watching David Letterman.
- Despite his knack for written and oral expression, his mechanical ineptitude was legendary. It took him decades to learn to turn on the dishwasher. He sometimes even had problems opening the automatic car windows.
- Although he handled all kinds of crazy cases as a lawyer, he was particularly adept at handling family law cases and messy divorce situations.
- He was a stubborn and persistent arguer (a quality which must have infuriated his opponents in legal cases).
- Although at times a worrywart, he had a simple and sincere faith in God and was good at “big picture” things. He had a philosophical bent and was good at deliberating over the long term implications of things.
- He had stayed married to Terry Nagle since 1964 and often professed his love for her.
- He checked the death notices every day (“to make sure I haven’t died”) and was very future-oriented. He would talk to us about “after I died” when we were young and wanted us to reflect and plan for the future.
- In his declining years, he suffered from Alzheimer’s disease, but still recognized people and understood conversations (though he was hard of hearing). When he learned a few weeks ago that his daughter Kathy was pregnant, he burst into spontaneous laughter repeatedly throughout the day.
Here is a eulogy page that were given at the wake and funeral. It contains eulogies by his son Robert (me) and daughter Kathy. Coming soon: Eulogy from son Tom Nagle.
May 6 2010 Update: Donald’s son Tom Nagle posts this comment:
My father was many things to me over the past 41 years, it is impossible to do his life justice with just a few written words. I could write a book which would dwarf Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” in all of the life lesson’s he bestowed on me. My father taught me the honor in a hard days work, I never understood it at the time but he would say” I have more respect for an honest garbageman than a dishonest doctor.” In my teenage years, when my friends became more important to me than my family, he would tell me that you can have millions of friends but you only have one family. It was during my teen years that my dad knew just what I needed to overcome any obstacle….Especially when I was the obstacle. It was knowing when to give me a kick in the pants and when to give me a pat on the back. He always seemed to know when I needed a hug or humbling. As I became a man and started my own family, I finally realized what a brilliant man he was to juggle a career, 4 kids and a wife. No easy task, as I also have a career 4 kids and a wife. You made it look so easy….but now I know truly what a remarkable feat that is. My father and I could sit up until 4am. debating who was better Oscar Robertson or Michael Jordan, Sugar Ray Robinson or Sugar Ray Leonard, it was always my generation versus his generation. There is a fine line between arrogance and confidence and he walked it to perfection. His favorite ball player was Ted William’s “greatest hitter ever to live Tommy!” Somebody once asked Ted Williams in a interview how he wanted to be remembered and his reply was ” There goes Ted Williams, the greatest hitter ever to live” Well daddy this is for you ” There goes Don Nagle the greatest father ever to live!” I don’t know what I’ll do without you but you can bet it will be my best. I love you daddy!!!
I’m just sticking random photos up for the time being but they should give people an idea of how he looked and how he laughed. If you have photos with dad, feel free to share it at idiotprogrammer @ fastmailbox.net
My Dad was the little boy looking suspiciously at the photographer (the boy on the left). His father (my granddad) is wearing a white shirt, and my dad’s older brother (Thomas) is sitting shirtless next to him. Judging by my dad’s age, I’m guessing it’s 1935-6.
My dad had three 3 siblings: Here is a photo of my dad with his two younger sisters Eileen (left) and Virginia. (His older brother Thomas is not pictured).
Dad, high school photo. He graduated from Brooklyn Prep, a Jesuit high school in New York where he won a scholarship.
My dad and my grandmother before my dad entered the army. He served in Sendai, Japan after WW2.
Dad had a lot of crazy times during his military service in Japan. He’s the shirtless one in the middle right who is making a goofy face.
Here he was in Japan.
During his military service in Japan, my dad worked as an MP.
Here is me at my birthday party (13th or 14th?) My dad liked parties.
Here’s a joke photo that my dad took with his sister Eileen in New York and his daughter Kathy (who was 15). It was during his visit to New York where my dad grew up.
Dad, my mom, sister Kathy (brown blouse) and Maureen (blue blouse). 1998
One important event was a 70th birthday party he had in 2001. It was supposed to be a surprise party, but my dad arrived a few minutes too early, totally catching us offguard. It was hilarious. Here he is with his older brother Thomas and his wacky sister Ginnie.
One important event was a 70th birthday party he had in 2001. Here he was with his best drinking buddies Jim Nelson (left) and Kenny Hamilton. It was supposed to be a surprise party, but my dad arrived a few minutes too early, totally catching us offguard. It was hilarious.
Sister Kathy and my dad in 2001.
Dad and my sister Maureen, 2004.
A totally surreal photograph. Here he is trying to play tennis with my brother-in-law Billy in Port Aransas, Texas in 2004. By 2004, Dad’s physical condition was already pretty weak, but he loved sports, and even though he had never played tennis before, he insisted on playing doubles. We only played for a few minutes in the scorching heat, and then my dad fell while diving for a ball. In fact, he played a lot of baseball and basketball while in junior high and high school (and some church leagues later). One memory most of the children have of him is playing basketball at the basketball hoop at our garage.
Dad with grandchildren Dylan Nagle & Abby Johnson, 2006
Here’s a family photo in December 2009. (By the way, I am stoned in this photo). Others from left to right: Billy (his son-in-law), Dylan (his grandson, white shirt), Tom (his son) and Donnie (the youngest, named after my dad).
Here’s “Dad with the girls” also in 2009. Maureen left (his daughter), Mabel (Tom’s wife), Terry (his wife) and Kathy (his other daughter).