Thomas F. Nagle
Thomas F. Nagle was a man who cared deeply for his family and his community. After a 15-month struggle with cancer, he died at 85 on Friday, January 31.
He was born in Brooklyn in 1928, and spent most of his life in Hicksville on Long Island before moving to Guilderland in October 2012.
Mr. Nagle was the oldest of four children. He had polio, “but,” his family wrote in a tribute, “in typical fashion, he beat the odds and his slightly weaker leg never slowed him down. He competed on organized football and bowling teams, and was always up for a pick-up game of basketball. Even after he stopped playing sports, he continued as a fan. He would bring his children and grandkids to Mets games, and despite their dismal history, he remained a fan. Watching a game with him at home made you feel like you were at the ballpark cheering the Mets, and learned about his insights on the players.”
After, he graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor of science degree in 1951.
He served in the Korean War after enlisting in 1950 and being called up in 1952. He served in Nara, Japan during the Korean War. Earlier, he had attempted to sign up to fight in World War II, but was too young and got caught, his son, Stephen Nagle said.
His desire to help others continued throughout his life. Nagle was elected to the Hicksville School Board in 1968 and served for 20 years. In 1969, he helped found H.A.D.—Help-Aid-Direction, Inc.—a program focused on educating Hicksville residents about drug abuse and helping people with drug problems.
His son said community involvement was his father’s “way to make his corner of the world just a little bit better, a little more secure.”
He had five children, and was a compassionate parent.
“He was the guy you went to when you were in trouble. He was calm,” Stephen Nagle said. “I don’t ever remember him yelling. That just wasn’t him.”
“He would always send you two birthday cards,” he said, “one would be funny and the other would be sentimental.”
His father also “relished the idea of being a grandparent,” said Stephen Nagle. He would take days off from his work as the director of Personnel and Labor Relations at King Kullen Supermarket to drive up to Albany to watch his grandchildren play sports.
He was also active in the Holy Family Church in Hicksville, and later at Christ the King Church in Westmere.
In a tribute, his family quoted him as often saying, “You meet the same people on your way down that you meet on your way up.”
“He was a very careful but compassionate man. He always looked out for the little guy,” his son said. Mr. Nagle embodied his favorite phrase by staying humble and treating everyone with respect.
He taught his son the value of family, and “embracing and accepting of whatever life brings your way.”
“Despite the terminal illness, he was always hopeful,” his son said. “It was never a negative thing.”
Stephen F. Nagle is survived by his sister, Eileen Farrell, and her husband, William; his sister-in-law, Terry Nagle; his children, Norine Nagle and her husband, Kerry Johnson, Roberta Spinosa and her husband, Dan, Ellen Hughes and her husband, James, Stephen M. Nagle, Michael Nagle and his wife, Diane; nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews and their children.
His parents Thomas W. E. and Mildred Nagle, died before him as did his brother Donald and sister Virginia.
Funeral arrangements are by Hans Funeral Home with a funeral Mass scheduled for Saturday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m. at Christ the King Church at 20 Sumpter Ave. in Westmere. Friends may congregate with the family prior to the service at 9:30 a.m. Internment will follow immediately at Prospect Hill Cemetery for a burial with full military honors.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Joan Nicole Prince Home, (http://www.joannicoleprincehome.org) Post Office Box 2122, Scotia, NY 12302-0122.
--Lisa Nicole Viers