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In Memory . . . H Kyle Nagel (1929-2009)

Posted By Jessica Cambio, Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Reverend H. Kyle Nagel died on November 18, 2009, at the age of 80. Rev. Nagel was born on May 4, 1929 in Houston, Texas.  He graduated from Southwestern University in 1949 and earned his divinity degree from Duke University in 1952.  He also studied at Harvard Divinity School and Tufts University in the 1960’s. 

Rev. Nagel was ordained by the Southwest Texas Conference of the Methodist Church on May 30, 1954, in San Antonio, Texas, and served congregations within the Conference from 1952 to 1962.  He entered Unitarian fellowship in 1962, serving First Church, Unitarian, in Jamaica Plain, MA, and St. Paul’s Church, Unitarian Universalist, of Palmer, MA, before moving to North Carolina in 1968.  There he served as Ministerial Superintendent of the Universalist Convention of North Carolina, Inc.  As superintendent, he ministered to several churches throughout eastern North Carolina including those in Clinton, Red Hill, Outlaw’s Bridge, and Kinston.  Later, he resigned as superintendent and ministered exclusively to the Outlaw’s Bridge and Kinston congregations. While living in Kinston, Rev. Nagel served as president of Environment Unlimited and taught World Religions and Philosophy at Lenoir Community College.   

After moving to Houston in 1974, Rev. Nagel became a financial planner as there were no suitable ministerial positions available.  However, he never stopped thinking of himself as a minister and continued his ministry through many community activities and by officiating at weddings and memorial services and occasional preaching and counseling.  He was a founding member and president of the Humanist Association of Houston and served as president of the Tomball Area Shrine Club for 5 years.

When the Outlaw’s Bridge congregation celebrated their centennial in 2006, he and his wife, Barbara, were invited to the celebration.  Although they were unable to attend, Rev. Nagel’s sermon was delivered during the service by Gerald Simmons, one of the congregants.

Rev. Barbara Cheatham, a former congregant, said of him, "Kyle was an inspiration and a role model to me… Kyle courageously practiced and preached the principles of Religious Liberalism in a part of the country which feared and denounced such principles… Every Sunday morning, no matter how many members were in the pews, he gave us all that he had to give.”

Rev. Nagel is survived by his wife of 54 years, Barbara, of Spring, TX; his son Louis Nagel and wife, Patsy, of Morgantown, WV; and four grandchildren, Louis Martin Nagel, Jr. of Fort Worth, TX, Daniel Scott Nagel of Morgantown, WV, Steven Lee Nagel of Houston, TX, and Karen Alicia Nagel of Baytown, TX.  His son, Curtis Lee Nagel died several years ago.

Please send messages of condolence to Barbara Nagel, 8423 Burwood Park Dr., Spring, TX 77379-5703.

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