Paul C. Nagel
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Nagel, Paul C. Paul C. Nagel, biographer and historian, died May 22, 2011 in Edina at the N. C. Little Hospice. He was 85. Nagel, a graduate of the University of Minnesota, spent forty years elsewhere distinguishing himself as a university professor, administrator and writer. He and his wife, Joan, returned to Minneapolis in 1992. A native of Independence, Missouri, Nagel enrolled at the University at the close of World War II. He earned his bachelor's, master's and, in 1952, the Ph.D in history. In 1948, he married Joan R. Peterson, a librarian at the University. Joan, a genealogist, was a collaborator with Paul in many of his historical works. She died in 2010. Nagel began his career as a teacher and writer. After fifteen years as a professor of history, he became dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Kentucky. In 1969, Nagel was named vice president for academic affairs at the University of Missouri. In 1980, Nagel left academic administration to become the Director of the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond. In 1985, he began to devote full-time to writing for the general reader. He is best known for his three books about the Adams family of Massachusetts: Descent From Glory, The Adams Women and John Quincy Adams. Nagel then turned his attention to The Lees of Virginia. Nagel has also written three books dealing with his native state of Missouri. In September of 2010, Nagel received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Adams Institute. Only two other persons have been given this honor- David McCullough and Ted Kennedy. Other honors include designation by the state legislature of Virginia as a Cultural Laureate. He was a senior trustee of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Returning to Minnesota, Paul became active at the University of Minnesota, most notably serving as president of the Friends of the Library organization. He is survived by three sons, Eric J., Jefferson, and Steven P. (Monica) and a granddaughter, Margaret Joan Nagel (daughter of Jefferson). A celebration of Nagel's life will be held on Wednesday, May 25 from 3-5 p.m. at the Elmer L. Anderson Library, University of Minnesota. Memorials are preferred to the Joan Peterson Nagel Memorial Fund at the University of Minnesota Anderson Library.

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Published in Star Tribune on May 24, 2011.
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
September 8, 2011
Eric: I was a friend of your father and mother when I taught at the University of Missouri in the 1970s. Though I did not see either of them again after I left there in 1977, I have always remembered them fondly and happily. They were both lovely people, and I greatly admired your father's work as an historian. My condolences to you and the rest of your family.
Edward Purcell
June 12, 2011
Dear Eric
I am so glad I found this bio on your Dad. I am truly in awe. You and your family are in my prayers.
Bill and Carmen Perkins
Bill Perkins
May 24, 2011
Dear Eric, Jefferson, Steven and extended family,
A while back, I launched a quest for information on our family history and was blessed to have found your father along the way. I only knew Paul a short time but you should know that he made a huge impact on my life. He was kind, encouraging and so supportive of my enthusiasm for the details of our family history. My heart is heavy with the weight of this loss.You have my sincerest condolences.
Love from Your cousin,
Frances Groeneman, Pacoima Ca.
May 24, 2011
Dear Eric, We are praying for you and your family, but we are also so thankful that God granted you this special time to be with your dad. I know you will cherish those days in the months to come. We miss you and look forward to your return soon-Lots of love, Lynn and Mark
Lynn Graham
May 24, 2011
Dear Eric, Jefferson, Steven and Family,

As executive assistant to the Board of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation since 1989, I have had the pleasure of knowing your parents through the years. Your father served diligently and faithfully in his role as trustee. On their many visits to Williamsburg, your parents often spoke of all of you and always with such pride. Several weeks ago I had the honor of one last conversation with your father in which he shared his gratefulness for his family and for the life he has had the privilege of living. May you always hold dear the precious memories.
Iris Lewis
May 24, 2011
Dear Eric, Jefferson, Steven and Family,

It was our privilege to provide care for your beloved father. We share in your grief and send you our love.

Your Friends at Little Hospice
NC Little Memorial Hospice Inc
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