Carl Joseph Naegele

"Oh Captain, My Captain"

Carl Joseph Naegele remained forever at the helm until his death on August 11th, 2005. He was 66. Loving husband, father, son and brother, he leaves behind his wife of 34 years, Betty, his daughters, Jen Naegele-Brennan and Erin Naegele, his mother, Mabel Naegele, his sisters, Leah Degnen and Nancy Weber, and many other relatives and dear friends. 

Carl was born on New Year's Day, 1939, and grew up in New Jersey. As a boy, "Buddy" looked forward to spending his summers on his grandparents' farm in Middletown, NY, and some of his fondest memories were from that time. Bud attended South Plainfield High School where he played basketball and football. In 1999, he was inducted into the SPHS Hall of Fame for his academic achievements and community service. Carl served in the U.S. Army from 1959 to 1961 with a one-year tour of duty in Korea. He received his B.S. in Physics from Kean College in 1965, and an M.S. in Physics from Syracuse University in 1969. He went on to earn a Ph.D. in Physics with a minor in Computer Science from Cornell University in 1974. While in Ithaca, NY, he fulfilled his long time dream of completing a private pilot license and spent many weekends flying single prop planes as a member of the East Hill Flying Club. 

In 1975, Carl took a position at Michigan State University as a Professor of Physics. During this time, he became very involved with science education and the integration of computer technology, working on early personal computers such as Radio Shack's TRS-80. He served as President of the Michigan Science Teacher's Association from 1979-80. 

In 1980, Carl and his family moved to Washington, D.C. where he served as Program Director for the National Science Foundation funding grants for science and engineering research. In 1981, Carl and his family moved west to California where he assumed the position of Associate Dean of Science at the University of San Francisco. In 1986, he was appointed Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. In the mid-nineties, he returned to the faculty with a joint appointment in the Physics and Computer Science departments. 

Carl fell in love with Lucas Valley when his family first moved here 24 years ago, and felt there was no better place to live. Carl's community service to the neighborhood twice won him its highest recognition of "Homeowner of the Year." He served as President of the LV Homeowners Association and Chairman of the Tennis Committee. For the last 15 years, Carl worked tirelessly to establish better cable TV service in Lucas Valley, and with his visionary zeal and dedication introduced an affordable Internet Broadband and Cable TV service to the community.

For many years, Carl participated in various foot races including the Detroit Marathon in 1979, the Dipsea, Bay to Breakers, and various Bay Area runs. In recent years, he took up tennis and served as Captain of several league teams. Above all, Carl loved his boat the "Deanship," enjoying summers in the San Francisco Delta as well as frequent cruises to Angel Island with friends and family. He kept a Captain's log faithfully, entering notes for every cruise made. 

Carl was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis last spring never expecting that the disease would advance so quickly. In February, he was hospitalized with respiratory failure. By nothing short of a miracle, he received a double lung transplant two weeks later on Valentine's Day at UCSF. Although his recovery was slow, he succeeded in rehabbing to the point that he was discharged to spend April and May at home. Later complications returned him to ICU where he fought with courage to win his battle for a second chance at life. Until a few days before his death, he was still checking email on his laptop. He had a spreadsheet with the name and profile for every doctor, nurse, respiratory therapist, etc. who attended to him, noting their hobbies, where they were from, and conversations he had shared with them. We can't thank the wonderful staff at UCSF and Kaiser enough for their heartfelt care and concern for all of us over the last six months. 

We will miss Carl's generous spirit, his humor and witticisms, his vision, his quiet strength and determination in getting any job done well. Carl was a man who did not do half a job; he did a job and a half. We will always remember Carl as a man of great principle and a true gentleman. Always conscientious, thoughtful and kind, he cared deeply about those he knew and loved, and worked all his days to make his small part of the world a better place. Professor Naegele, Captain Carl, Cable Carl, Dad, Bud, we will miss you so, but your memory will live forever in those who loved you. 

A memorial celebration of Carl's life will take place Monday, August 29th, 1:00 p.m. at St. Isabella's Church, One Trinity Way, San Rafael. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall. Donations can be made to either UC Regents - UCSF Medical Center, For: Dr. Hoopes' Research, San Francisco, CA 94143, (415) 353-4145, or Pulmonary Fibrosis Foundation, 1332 North Halsted Street, Suite 201, Chicago, Illinois 60622, (312) 587-9272. 

1022 E Street 
San Rafael, California

Published in Marin Independent Journal on Aug. 18, 2005