Published in Idaho Statesman on Sep. 6, 2020.
Thomas Gregory Nagle
March 3, 1928 - September 3, 2020
After a joyful and laughter-filled evening with his family,
Thomas Gregory Nagle left us on Thursday night at 92 and
a half years young after his final medical adventure of many.
Tom was born in Helena, MT, the first of four sons born to
Raymond Thomas and Margaret Walsh Nagle. In 1936,
the family moved to Chicago, IL for a year, providing big
city opportunities such as museums, art galleries, and
mass transportation – a great adventure for a boy from a small mining town in the west.
In 1937, the family moved to Washington, DC for his Dad's new job with the US
Department of Justice, providing even more exciting things to see and do. While at the
Department of Justice, his Dad argued a case before the US Supreme Court.
Tom attended parochial grade school and graduated from Gonzaga College High
School in 1946.
He enlisted in the US Army, and served in the US Army of Occupation in Germany (Military
In 1953 he graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC with a
bachelor of Mechanical Engineering degree. He worked swing shift on the B&O Railroad
in the roundhouse, taking his final classes in the daytime, and continued his lifelong love of
In the summer of 1952 while working on a construction project in Montana, he met the love
of his life in Helena, Rosemary Deschenes. It was literally love at first sight, which has
continued to grow ever after. In 1953, on his way to Los Angeles for his first job with
Douglas Aircraft Company, Tom stopped in Helena, where he and Rosie became
engaged. A long-distance romance ensued, while Rosie finished her Bachelor of Music
degree at Holy Names College in Spokane, WA. At Douglas, Tom worked on
development and testing of flight controls for carrier-based Navy aircraft.
On July 16, 1955, Tom and Rosie were married at St. Helena Cathedral, where Tom had
been baptized 27 years earlier. After a honeymoon in Glacier National Park, they headed
to Hawthorne, CA (near LAX), to their new GI home, and started working seriously on their
goal of six kids. In 1958, an opportunity arose to move to the San Francisco Bay area,
where a large number of Nagle kin lived. They first settled in the suburb of Sunnyvale, CA
where Tom started a 31-year career with the Lockheed Missiles and Space Company. His
job there was exciting and rewarding, as he worked on a wide variety of programs for the
Air Force, Navy and NASA, as well as some unusual company special test facility projects.
He personally supervised an urgent flight qualification test program on the first capsule
successfully returned from space from a surveillance satellite, which is now on display in
the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
After raising their six wonderful kids (five girls and a boy), Tom retired from Lockheed in
March 1990. As their kids had all left the area, he and Rosie sold their family home in
Cupertino and moved to Eugene, OR. After visiting their roots in Counties Cork and
Donegal in Ireland, and travelling in a fifth-wheel RV for a year, they did a major remodel on
and moved into their retirement dream home.
In Eugene they found a wonderful new church community and many new friends, but after
seven years, various major medical issues made it wise to move nearer to family. They
moved to Eagle, ID in 1997, near where daughter, Sharon Hawkins and family had settled.
Since then, daughters, Barbara Quintana and Mary Rowley and their families have moved
to the Boise area, so three of their six kids and eight of their 12 grandkids now live here.
During the last 23 years in Idaho, Rosie and Tom continued their travel adventures by
plane, car and RV.
In Eagle they found a great new church community and more close and wonderful friends.
Tom was always active in their many parishes, singing in church choirs for 30 years,
teaching catechism classes, and serving as a Lector and Eucharistic Minister. He and
Rosie also worked together on Cursillo retreats, marriage preparation classes,
Evangelization retreats, and adult education classes. He was also a grateful member of
Alcoholics Anonymous for 35 years. He and Rosie made their final move to Morningstar
Senior Living in March 2020, grateful for the wonderful community and daily support they
He hopes he will be remembered for his letters to the editor, his sense of humor and his
staunch adherence to good spelling and grammar. His wife and kids also remember his
strong faith, his deeply loving and giving heart, and his uncanny ability to fix, create or teach
us just about anything.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Rosie; daughters: Carolyn Jones (Paul), Sharon
Hawkins (Cory), Mary Rowley (Dan), Barbara Quintana (Craig), and Sheila Otter; son, Paul
Nagle (Daphne); grandchildren: Joshua Jones (Jessica), Jason Jones, Nathan Hawkins,
Brendan Hawkins, Cameron Hawkins, Dylan Quintana, Benjamin Quintana, Amanda
Rowley Watson (Jake), Olivia Rowley, Aidan Rowley, and Eli Nagle; great-grandchildren:
Lilliana Hull, Alexander Hull and Madison Jones; brother, Patrick Nagle (Helena), and
numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by grandson, Daniel Jones; brothers: Raymond and Richard;
his parents, and numerous well-loved aunts, uncles and cousins.
Visitation will be held at Accent Funeral Home, 1303 N. Main St. in Meridian on Sunday,
September 6, from 3:00 to 5:00 PM with a funeral Mass at Holy Apostles Catholic Church,
6300 N. Meridian Rd in Meridian on Monday, September 7, at 10:30 AM.
Socially distanced seating will be observed, and masks need to be worn by everyone. For
those unable to attend in person, the funeral can be viewed live online at www.facebook.
Private committal service and burial will be at a later date at the Idaho State Veterans
Memorial contributions can be made to: Cross Catholic Outreach (which provides clean
water and sanitation to the poor): 2700 N. Military Trail #240, Boca Raton, FL 33427.