Francis Joseph Nagle
Football hero and educator, recently inducted into St. Mary’s High School Athletic Hall of Fame
Francis Joseph “Wank” Nagle of Madison, Wisconsin, formerly of Lynn, went home to be with his Lord and Saviour on August 15. Born in 1924, Fran celebrated his 90th birthday on July 1.
Fran led an active, faithful and humble life. He was born to Irish immigrants, John and Mary (Reen) Nagle and raised in Lynn along with his siblings: John Nagle, Mary Clement, Ann Moriarty, and Gerald Nagle, all have pre-deceased him.
Fran, known to everyone in Lynn as ‘Wank,’ was recently inducted into St. Mary High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He joined the US Army Air Corps in World War II and during his first mission as a radio controller on a B24 Bomber, he was shot down and became a prisoner of war for the last three months of the war. His camp was liberated by General Patton himself.
His athletic career blossomed after the service; he attended the University of Massachusetts—Fort Devens and, having never played football, wound up the quarterback of the football team in 1947 and ‘48 seasons. He followed his coach at Fort Devens out to Lincoln, Nebraska and played quarterback for the Cornhuskers in 1949 and 1950. He was selected to play in two All Star games and the Senior Bowl Game. He was selected by Philadelphia Eagles in 1951 and played one season of professional football for the Montreal Alouettes before injuries and a desire to be closer to family ended his football career.
Fran married the University of Nebraska’s 1950 May Queen, Virginia Koch. They were happily married until she succumbed to breast cancer in 1967. He married Edna Lange Moran a year later and together they created the large family that they raised in the Blessed Sacrament Parish in Madison, WI.
Fran was never hesitant to share his faith, his virtuous character or his abundant love with his adopted children, his step-children and his son.
Dr. Nagle taught physiology at the UW-Madison for many years. He also co-founded and directed the Bio-Dynamics Lab on campus and encouraged many cardiac patients to enhance their recovery with exercise. He also mentored graduate students throughout the years. Many of them became an extended part of the Nagle-Moran family through holiday dinners and social gatherings at the family home.
Fran’s academic career afforded international teaching opportunities that he and Edna thoroughly enjoyed. Highlights included extended stays in Brazil and India.
Fran and Edna have lived recent years in retirement and assisted living communities where they continued socializing with family, friends, old neighbors, golf buddies, UW colleagues, members of Blessed Sacrament Parish, and the Shamrock Club, to name a few.
He was a beloved husband and father of 11 children. Fran is survived by his wife, Edna and children: Michael Moran (Glennda), Tom Moran (Lori Grant), Susan Moran (Gary Johannsen), Patty Nagle, Dennis Moran, John Moran (Deb), Ann Clark, Kevin Moran (Melissa), and Daniel (Gretchen). His son, John Nagle and daughter, Erin Moran preceded Fran in death. His grandchildren (and great-grandchild!) brought him much pride and joy: Kathleen Gasper (Brian and son Clayton), Colleen Moran, Michelle Moran, Dan Bielke, Kristina Bielke, Tyler Nagle, Grace Clark, Ella Clark, Elise Moran, Alec Moran, Julia Moran, Shawn Selvaag, Mary Nagle and Frank Nagle.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, August 22 at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 2115 Rowley Avenue, Madison with Fr. Patrick Norris, O.P. presiding. A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the time of service at church. Memorials may be made to Wisconsin Parkinson Association, 945 N. 12th St., Ste. 4602, Milwaukee, WI 53233.
The family wishes to extend gratitude to the caring staff at All Saints Assisted Living and Agrace Hospice. The loving assistance they provided Fran and family members during the last days, will never be forgotten.
For additional information:
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service