Darragh E. Nagle passed away on April 22 at St. Vincent's Hospital in Santa Fe. He was 94.
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He was born Feb. 25, 1919, in Brooklyn, N.Y. to parents Percival Edmund Darragh Nagle and Mabel M. Russell. He married Avery Leeming on Jan. 29, 1949 in Salisbury, CT.
He fell ill in mid-April, losing blood in the digestive system. Emergency surgery was not successful. He chose hospice care and was surrounded by his family as he died comfortably and peacefully.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother Russell Nagle; wife Avery Leeming Nagle; and dear friend Peggy Humphries.
He is survived by his children: Carol J. Nagle, Darragh J. Nagle and Patricia G. Nagle; granddaughter; Bebhinn L. Nagle; niece Pamela Keelin; grand-niece Amy Orgliano; and grand-niece Christine Keelin.
He held a Ph.D in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and degrees from Columbia University and Cambridge University, England.
He worked as a professor of physics at Columbia University, under Enrico Fermi, in 1940. In 1942 he was present at the world's first nuclear reactor, under the West stands of Stagg Field, at the University of Chicago. Soon after he worked in the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos with Enrico Fermi. He was at Trinity Site for the first test in 1945. An interview with him is online at: manhattanprojectvoices.org/people/darragh-nagle
He and Ed Knapp designed the Los Alamos Meson Physics Facility accelerator at Los Alamos National Laboratory, which in 1972 started giving the world early data for subatomic particles such as mesons and quarks. It was also used for cancer treatment and the development of smaller accelerators for use in hospitals.
He was a Senior Fellow at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and one of the founders of the Santa Fe Institute.
He was an avid skier, camper, hiker, swimmer and tennis player. He enjoyed nature, watching birds, and was well known for his humor, kindness and smile. Among his last words was a recitation of the amusing poem, "James James Morrison Morrison" (Disobedience) by A.A. Milne.
A public memorial service will be held at Quail Run, 3101 Old Pecos Trail, at 11 a.m. on June 8.
Photograph by David Robin. Memorial contributions may be directed to Gerard's House, P.O. Box 28693 Santa Fe, NM 87592.
Berardinelli Family Funeral Service,1399 Luisa Street Santa Fe, NM 87505, (505) 984-8600. Please sign our guestbook for the family at: www.berardinellifuneralhome.com.
Published in Los Alamos Monitor from May 5 to June 4, 2013