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Donald Edward Nagle 1931-2010 RIP

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).

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Funeral Arrangements:

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

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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.

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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).

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Dad, high school  photo. He graduated from Brooklyn Prep, a Jesuit high school in New York where he won a scholarship.

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My dad and my grandmother  before my dad entered the army. He served in  Sendai, Japan after WW2.

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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.

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Here he was in Japan.

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During his military service in Japan, my dad worked as an MP.

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Here is me at my birthday party (13th or 14th?)  My dad liked parties.

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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.

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Dad, my mom, sister Kathy (brown blouse) and Maureen (blue blouse). 1998

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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.

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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.

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Sister Kathy and my dad in 2001.

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Dad and my sister Maureen, 2004.

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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.

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Dad, 2005

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Dad with grandchildren Dylan Nagle & Abby Johnson, 2006

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Thanksgiving, 2006.

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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).

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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).

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

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Kimberly Davishines (Davis) 5/4/2010, 8:16 pm

    I am so sad to hear about your dad. I have great childhood memories of the Nagle family and, while I was not necessarily close with your dad, he was an integral part of those memories. Believe it or not, I think of you all often and wonder how everyone is doing. Swim team, IQ tests, marker wars, Grease performances in your living room, and that darn broken leg…I will be enjoying these memories by recounting them to my kids in honor of your father. May peace be with you.

  • jennifer schaumburg kalbus 5/5/2010, 12:54 am

    I am so sorry for your loss, my thoughts and prayers are with the family. Mo and Mr. and Mrs. Nagle know that when I got married I was so scared but walking down the isle I saw Mr. Nagle giving me the thumbs up i knew I could do it!! I have so many fun memories with your family. Love you all

  • David Rothman 5/5/2010, 7:10 am

    Wonderful tribute to you father, Robert. So he wasn’t good with gizmos, eh? Sure you’re legit? More seriously, my sympathy! David

  • Jim Davis 5/5/2010, 9:38 am

    Bobby,
    I am really sad to hear about your Dad. Of course I have great memories of him from church, form the HOA, from swim team, from consoling each other over trying to raise kids, from playing basketball together with the kids, discussions (arguments?) over sports, etc, etc, etc.

    I’ll pray for you all and hope to see you at the service.

    Jim Davis

  • Ronnie & Mary Montemayor 5/5/2010, 4:43 pm

    Our most heartfelt condolences on the loss of the patriarch of your family. Although we never met your father we have heard many stories from Billy and Kathy about what a wonderful man he was. Peace be with the Nagle family. May your father be rejoicing at the banquet in Heaven now and forever AMEN!!

  • Jerry Smith 5/5/2010, 8:13 pm

    Robert, truly regret hearing of your dad’s passing. I worked with Don for years when we were with Texaco. I had just started with the company and Don was with the Fraud group. You’re right. His oral and written words were legendary!!!! I remember one letter that I had asked him to help me with. He started something like this: ” Mr….., OUR FACE IS RED!!!!” Then he continued with the smoothest letter ever. His interpretations of jokes were hillarious. I could spend lots of time listening and talking to your dad. People geniunely liked and respected him, especially when he worked and went to law school. What a guy. The world will be a little less rich without him.

  • Richard and Patty Golightly 5/6/2010, 7:43 am

    Robert, my wife and I also worked with your Dad at Texaco. He was one of the better people I have met in my life. Always encouraging and he loved a good joke. He was my introduction to “The Wizard” and he drove us crazy with that joke for months before telling us how it worked. Our condolences to you and your family.

  • Eileen Nagle Farrell 5/6/2010, 10:18 am

    Donald “The Wizard” my dear brother was smart, loveable, sensitive and had a great sense of humor.
    Many of his stories focused on himself: Cleaning the fan , Tennis shoes , the car wash,Drive in at the bank.shopping for bermuda shorts . He provided us with a lot of laughs. He use to send me blonde jokes. He said if I was mad I could send him fat jokes ! I will miss him.
    .
    “And when he shall die,
    Take him and cut him out in little stars,
    And he will make the face of heaven so fine
    That all the world will be in love with night
    And pay no worship to the
    Garish sun”
    (W.S.)

  • Bill and Cristina Hodde 5/6/2010, 10:23 am

    Robert, Cristina and I are part of the Holy Trinity family to which Billy and Kathy belong. Like Ronnie and Mary Montemayor, we did not have the pleasure of meeting your dad. However, through this wonderful tribute, it is clear the kind of man he was, and the family he’s created. Cristina and I will be praying for the comfort of the Nagle family and for your father’s glorious entry into God’s Kingdom.

  • Judy Deats 5/6/2010, 1:06 pm

    What a fine, fun man Don was! I, too, worked with Don at Texaco, and I remember how we used to admire him so much for being able to do such a good job while also going to law school. My sincere condolences to the Nagle Family for your loss. Don was truly a “gentleman and a scholar.”

  • Carolyn Reich Cochrane 5/6/2010, 4:14 pm

    What a wonderful tribute to your dad! My memories of life on Aqua Lane with you guys next door are full of great times with your dad. I can still hear his laugh. One of my all-time favorite memories of your dad is actually on my wedding video when he is giving Andy and me some marriage advice. Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. I’m thinking my dad was glad to welcome yours into Heaven.

  • Noe & Lourdes Correa 5/6/2010, 9:02 pm

    Kathy and Billy and Abby are very special to our Holy Trinity Family. You are all in our thoughts and in our prayers. Rest, knowing that your father is rejoicing with our Lord and Savior in heaven’s banquet. May our Lord continue to guide and bless you!

  • Jimmy Nelson 5/7/2010, 12:19 pm

    Robert, I know you put pen to paper but your thoughts and sentiments are those of everyone that knew “Mr. Nagle”. My dad had many friends but your dad was one of his closest, which is a direct reflection of Mr. Nagle’s character and integrity. I still remember going to Rockets games with Mr. Nagle (mid/late 70’s) and listening to unending discussions about who was the better guard….Calvin Murphy or Mike Newlin.

    Treasure the memories and remember him often.

  • Robin Davis 5/7/2010, 4:19 pm

    Dear Nagles, I am so sorry for your loss. Even tho I have not seen Don in the 10 years since I left Houston, I remember him well. Always a friend you could turn to for advice. I remember well, gosh it must be 30 years now, telling Don what a hard time Justin was having swimming all the way across the pool for the first time. That swim meet Don walked beside Justin in the outside lane encouraging him the entire way. Justin made it to the end of the pool that day, I don’t know which of them was more proud. It was not the last time that Don was there for Justin. If he needed something, advice or encouragement. Thank you Don, it will always be appreciated and remembered. You will be missed here on earth, but I am certain that you have a new audience for your stories. Make ’em laugh.

  • Morris Bosak 5/8/2010, 12:58 pm

    Dear Terry, Bobby, Tommy and Maureen,
    You are all very aware that I had Don as an office mate for several years. They are years that I cherish. We talked sports, went to lunch together almost every day (he called be Bosaki due to my love for Chinese food), swapped tales and always shared with each other the things that went on in our lives. My daughter, Tana, became friends with Tommy while working together at Bennigans. We were very, very close. He confided in me when he went through the trial in Brazoria County, and I gladly served as a character witness on his behalf. I will always remember his wit and humor, and I can never forget his love of his family.

    I am so very sorry that prior commitments keep me from seeing you and celebrating his life. We have a function tonight, Friday, to attend, and I will be attending Tana’s daughter’s first communion (Payton) tomorrow morning at 10:00 At St. Michaels.

    Love to you all! And please know how much I loved your husband and father.

    Morris Bosak, Sugarland

  • Mary Wade Hollis 5/9/2010, 2:17 pm

    Dear Terri and family I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time. May God be with you.
    Mary Wade Hollis

  • Barbara Nelson 5/9/2010, 8:18 pm

    To All the Nagel Family,

    Wish I could have been with you all but you were in my thoughts and prayers.
    The eulogy Bobby wrote was Great. The thing I remember is anytime the Nagel’s and
    Nelson’s got together they had a swim contest and the Nagel’s always won. Jimmy
    said when Kathy talked it was like Jim was present. Love to all and please keep in touch.

    Love, Barbara

  • Dennis Gallina 5/9/2010, 11:56 pm

    Dear Terry and family: My deep sympathy for the loss of you husband and father. May peace be with you.
    ~
    Dennis Gallina,
    Fort Lee, New Jersey

  • Liam Moquin 5/10/2010, 7:54 am

    Dear Terri and family:

    I am very sorry for your loss. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet your father while i lived in Houston (with sister Kathy) in the early ’80s. Your father meant the world to my sister and I know she will miss him tremendously. After seeing some of the family pictures, you can see he was a very loving and happy individual. Those fond memories will live on in your hearts forever.

    Liam Moquin
    Pittsfield, NH

  • Lillian O'Brien 5/16/2010, 12:53 am

    My children could not believe how alike the guys (my husband and Don) were- Post Office,Fordham,4 kida,Army,lawyer ,no mechanical ability,and most of all,incredibly decent men.My favorite memory was the Seminary Scam. Mildred Nagle was convinced that Don had a vocation to the priesthood.He milked the special privileges afforded him. I’m certain that she felt that her wedding band would be melted into his chalice and that upon her death she would have first class seats right up to Heaven(the belief of Catholic mothers of the day).When Danny and I were dating we visited the Nagle house. Mildred took me into the kitchen ,said that I was “a lovely girl-too good for Danny” She felt that Danny was a bad influence on her son,leading him to going to bars and other unsavory behavior.(After all,Don had a vocation). Not heeding her advice,I married Danny. About a year and a half later we visited Mildred with baby, Kevin in tow. Again,in the kitchen I was told that I did a wonderful job of “straightening Danny out.” However, she was upset with someone named Cavelli who was a bad influence on Don — they frequented bars,gambled,etc. I guess Terry straightened him out! Love to all.You are in our prayers.

    Danny & Lillian O’Brien

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