Thursday, 20 February 2014 12:00
Thomas F. Nagle was born in Brooklyn in 1928, raised in Jamaica, Queens and spent most of his life in Hicksville, until he moved to Guilderland in October 2012. He graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1951. Nagle enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 1950, was drafted in 1952 and completed his training on Parris Island, distinguishing himself as an Expert Marksman. He served in Nara, Japan during the Korean War. Nagle moved to a Levitt home on Blueberry Lane, Hicksville with his wife and infant daughter in December 1954. Nagle welcomed four more children, two girls and two boys, later becoming a grandfather nine times and a great-grandfather twice. He was a leader in the community. His life ended Jan. 31 in Guilderland, New York at age 85.
He was preceded by his parents Thomas W. E. and Mildred, his brother Donald and sister Virginia. He leaves behind his sister Eileen Farrell (William) and sister-in-law, Terry Nagle, five children: Norine Nagle (Kerry Johnson) Roberta Spinosa (Dan), Ellen Hughes (James), Steve Nagle, Michael Nagle (Diane); nine grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews and their children.Nagle had polio as a child and was not expected to live, but 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, remained a fan. Watching a game with him at home made you feel like you were at the ballpark cheering on the Mets, and you learned about his insights on the players.
Nagle worked in supermarkets. He started as a store manager for First National Stores (Finast) in 1956 and worked his way up to Director of Labor Relations in the late 1960s. He eventually left Finast to return to King Kullen Supermarkets, in 1979 as Director of Personnel and Labor Relations. King Kullen was where he had his first job at 16 that had continued through his college years. He retired in 2004 and continued to consult and advise for a few more years.
Nagle remained committed to giving back to his community. He was first elected to the Hicksville School Board in 1968 and served for two decades in various capacities until the mid-1980s. In 1969, he helped found H.A.D. — Help-Aid-Direction, Inc. — a program committed to educating Hicksville residents about drug abuse and helping those with problems. He was an active member of Holy Family Church in Hicksville where he volunteered as a church usher, lector, and member of the booster club. Within the church, Nagle was involved with the Nocturnal Adoration Society, Legion of Mary, and Holy Name Society. He was also a member of the Holy Family School Board.
A phrase you could always hear him say was, “You meet the same people on your way down that you meet on your way up.” It was truly the phrase which defined his life. He treated others with respect and dignity no matter their walk in life, and looked for ways to quietly help others. He never wanted accolades, and worked to make the lives of others better, a true reflection of the Jesuit values he held. Without a doubt, Nagle’s kindness, generosity, and hard work left a mark on the world. He will be dearly missed by his family, friends, and neighbors.
A funeral Mass is scheduled for Saturday, March 1 at 10:30 a.m. at Christ the King Church in Westmere, NY. Friends may congregate with the family prior to the service at 9:30 a.m. Internment immediately following at Prospect Hill Ceremony. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Joan Nicole Prince Home, (http://www.joannicoleprincehome.org) P.O. Box 2122, Scotia, NY 12302-0122.