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Harold A. ("Hal") Nagel fr., a longtime editor of technical publications for the AMS, passed away in Hamilton, Massachusetts, on August 18, 2015. Harold was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, on March 5, 1932, the son of Harold S. and Anna Eleanor Nagel. Living through the Depression Era, Harold's father worked for The General Electric Company out of Fort Wayne, while Harold lived with his mother on the family's farm in southern Wisconsin until they could relocate in 1935 to the home where Harold lived until he left for the U.S. Naval Academy in 1950. After the move, annual visits to Wisconsin continued to cement close ties between Harold and some dear cousins. Harold also had a brother, John, who was 8 1/2 years younger and greatly admired his older brother; but, as the family often characterized it, their age difference was such that it was like having two only-children in the family.

As a youth, Harold was a diligent student, which set the stage for his later academic achievements. He was awarded a Sheaffer fountain pen for the highest grade-point average among the boys in his junior high-school class, and his high-school record for scholarship, leadership, service, and character led to his selection for the National Honor Society and his appointment to the Naval Academy. Harold played trumpet and bass with his high-school band, which led to his participation in the drum and bugle corps at the Naval Academy. He also worked throughout his high-school years at a neighborhood pharmacy stocking shelves, scrubbing floors, serving customers, and delivering prescriptions on his bicycle.

Harold's Naval Academy time involved training cruises during the summer. The cruise between his third and fourth years at the academy took him to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where he met Laura Maria Bueno, his future wife. After graduating from the Academy in 1954, Harold served on the USS Thuban (AKA-19), and he married Laura in July 1956, at about the time he was transferring to the USS Salem (CA-139), the flagship of the U.S. Sixth Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea. Laura was able to relocate to Villefranche-sur-Mer, France, the home port of the Salem, so they could be together when he was not at sea. This time was marked by the Suez Crisis and by the birth of their first child, Michael, who is now a doctor in Toledo, Ohio.

The Salem period was followed by an opportunity for Harold to earn a master's degree in aerology at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. This stint also brought to Harold and Laura their second child, Jennifer, who is now a teacher in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The degree Harold earned channeled him into meteorology assignments for the remainder of his navy career, including time stationed at Quonset Point, Rhode Island, and Norfolk, Virginia, as well as time providing logistical services during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

After Harold's early retirement from the navy, the family moved to College Station, Texas, where Harold earned a Ph.D. in physical oceanography from Texas A&M University. This period also brought Harold and Laura's third child, Nick, who now works as a software developer in Boston, Massachusetts. Upon graduation from Texas A&M, Harold accepted a position on the faculty of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, in New London, Connecticut. Harold recently described this period in New London as the best period of his family life. The workload and minimal commute time were such that there was more time for family endeavors, and as members of the Niantic Yacht Club, living by the water was a joy for all. Harold served as chairman of the club's race committee, where he put his meteorology skills to good use, meticulously anticipating conditions for upcoming races. In the navy, meteorology had been an assignment that Harold was well suited for, but here it began to develop as a passion.

During the summers on the Niantic, when school was out of session, Harold also spent time assisting with projects at the nearby Millstone Power Station, which got him involved in the nuclear field. In 1975, Harold and his family moved to Croton-on-Hudson, New York, where Harold took on employment with EBASCO Services Co., conducting thermal dissipation studies for nuclear power facilities then under design. The Three Mile Island accident of 1979, however, interrupted the projects on which Harold had been working. Hence, in 1982, Harold, Laura, and Nick moved to Hamilton, Massachusetts, and Harold began working for AMS in Boston.

Hal would spend the next three decades serving as a technical editor (TE) for AMS, first managing the postacceptance editing of all of the technical journals and later becoming more specialized as the lead TE for the Journal of Physical Oceanography. Hal's Naval Academy and Naval Postgraduate School training made him a natural for editing this journal, one of the most influential and impactful publications of its kind in the world. Throughout his long tenure at AMS, Hal became a great repository of institutional and editorial knowledge that greatly benefited the Department of Publications. Beyond his technical expertise, he was admired by coworkers for his unfailingly positive outlook regarding not only his work, but life in general.

While living in Hamilton, Harold and Laura continued to focus dedicatedly on their family. They helped to raise their youngest grandson, Luke, until he reached his teen years, and they also hosted family every year during the holiday months. These visits serve as some of the fondest memories for Harold's five grandchildren, who always looked forward to meeting up at Grandma and Grandpa's come winter. Harold, in his spare time, enjoyed taking time to relax and took on such hobbies as brewing craft beers. He also adopted retired racing greyhounds, for which he and Laura provided a loving and caring home over the years.

After Harold's second formal retirement in 2012, he shifted from full-time to part-time editing with AMS. His work remained an important part of his life until medical issues forced him to fully retire in late 2014. While working part-time, he worked primarily from home and provided support for Laura. Harold is survived by Laura; Michael and his wife, Shelly; Jennifer; Nick; and grandchildren Alex, Justin, Leah, Marc, and Luke--all of whom are following their grandfather's example in pursuing important academic achievements and making contributions to our society. Harold will always be fondly remembered, and he will be dearly missed.

HAROLD A. NAGEL JR. 1932-2015



The following individuals were recently
granted the Certified Broadcast Meteorologist
(CBM) designation. For more information
on the AMS CBM program, visit us online at

699   Brandon Wholey      2015
700   Sarah Fortner       2015
701   Matthew Hoffman     2015
702   William Alexander   2015
703   Nicholas Kelly      2015
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Title Annotation:45 BEACON
Author:Nagel, John W.; Vazquez, Justin A.
Publication:Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society
Article Type:Obituary
Geographic Code:1U1MA
Date:Jan 1, 2016
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