Dale Nagel, 1946-2013: Teacher, coach at Rossford was lawyer part time


WAUSEON — Dale Nagel, a former part-time lawyer and longtime teacher and coach for Rossford Schools who was among the shareholders of a cooperative that revived Sterling Dairy, died April 7 in his home. He was 66.

Mr. Nagel, formerly of Rossford, died from a heart attack, his son, Derek, said.

He was a teacher for nearly 30 years, with most of his career spent at Rossford Schools where he taught mathematics to eighth graders. For many years, he was the track and field coach of the seventh and eighth-grade teams. His other coaching duties included the girls’ varsity basketball team, eighth-grade football team, and boys’ golf.

Born Oct. 12, 1946, Mr. Nagel grew up on a dairy farm near Wauseon. He graduated in 1964 from Wauson High School, where he was on the football, baseball, and wrestling teams. He also was president of the student council and Future Farmers of America, now the National FFA Organization, at the Fulton County school.

He entered Ohio State Universty with intentions of getting a degree in agriculture but switched studies to education, said Linda Cook, who was married to Mr. Nagel from 1968 to 1987. He graduated with a degree in economics in 1968.

Ms. Cook said he attended OSU on a scholarship from Sterling Dairy Co. She said he worked at the dairy in Wauseon during summers while he attended college and continued while he was teaching.

His first teaching position was at an elementary school for the former Ridgeville Schools.

Mr. Nagel spent two years teaching eighth grade at Paulding Schools before landing a job at Rossford Schools.

“He really got into teaching. He loved it, and he loved coaching,” Ms. Cook said.

Mr. Nagel enrolled in law school at the University of Toledo in 1975, taking classes at night. He graduated in 1980. Mr. Nagel said his father didn’t open an office but did legal work, mostly probate and real estate, for friends, family, and acquaintances. He kept his license to practice active until about a year ago, he said.

After retiring from teaching in 1998, Mr. Nagel took a full-time position with Sterling Dairy as a quality-control manager. When the convenience store chain that bought the dairy decided to close Sterling Dairy in 2007, Mr. Nagel was among the employees and investors who formed a cooperative and bought the milk-processing operation.

Mr. Nagel was instrumental in the cooperative’s efforts to buy the plant and resume operations, his son said.

“He was able to use his legal background to navigate through the purchase,” Mr. Nagel said.

The company reopened in 2008 as Sterlena Pride Dairy, named after Sterling’s giant fiber-glass cow used in parades and other advertising. Sterlena Pride closed in 2011.

Mr. Nagel opened Rowhouse Antiques in downtown Wauseon after the dairy ceased operations.

Surviving are his daughter, Jacqueline Caras; sons, Derek and Brock Nagel; brother, Roger Nagel; sisters, Ruth Ann Kast and Elaine Eicher, and one granddaughter.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. today in Trinity Lutheran Church. The family requests that memorial contributions to the church. The Edgar-Grisier Funeral Home handled arrangements.