Joseph M. Nadell M.D., F.A.C.S.
Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home
New Orleans, LA
Joseph M. Nadell, M.D., F.A.C.S., 71, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Susan Dyle Nadell, daughter Kimberly Nadell of Boston, son David Nadell (Katherine) and grandchildren Joseph and Madeline of San Jose, and sister Naomi Escalante of New York. He was preceded in death by his brother Avrom Nadell. Dr. Nadell was born in New York City to Bernard Nadell, M.D., and Marie Nadell. He moved to New Orleans in 1959 to pursue undergraduate and medical degrees at Tulane University. Aside from two years when he served as a Major in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, he resided in New Orleans for the rest of his life. After graduating from Tulane, Dr. Nadell completed a neurosurgery residency at LSU and a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at Case Western Reserve University. In 1975, he joined the faculty of the LSU School of Medicine, and, in 1980, also became a member of the Tulane University School of Medicine. He served as Director of Rehabilitation Services at Children's Hospital of New Orleans from 1981 to 1986, and as Co-Director from 1986 until his retirement in 2013. He was a member of the Children's Hospital Board of Trustees for more than 20 years, as well as a Diplomate of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the American Board of Pediatric Neurological Surgery, and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He also served within the Louisiana Children's Special Health Services program for 37 years, treating children with special needs in seven of CSHS's nine Louisiana regions. Dr. Nadell received many awards and accolades throughout his career and was especially honored by the establishment of the Joseph M. Nadell Endowed Chair in Pediatric Neurosurgery at LSU in recognition of his lifetime contributions to the field. But he took the greatest pride in the accomplishments of his patients, however great or small, in spite of the challenges each faced. Dr. Nadell enjoyed collecting stamps, reading science fiction and fantasy, listening to classical music, visiting museums, and exploring the world with his family-from the Galapagos Islands to the Arctic Circle. Most of all, he took joy in the achievements of his children, and his last years were further enriched when he became a grandfather. He will be remembered on Saturday, Aug. 23, at a celebration of life at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Visitation begins at 9:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made either to the Joseph Nadell Pediatric Chair at the LSU Health Sciences Center, online at or mailed to LSUHSC – Neurosurgery Department, 2020 Gravier Street, 7th Floor, New Orleans, LA 70112; or the Spina Bifida Association of Greater New Orleans, PO Box 1346, Kenner, LA 70063. To view and sign the family guestbook, visit
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published by The New Orleans Advocate from Aug. 20 to Aug. 22, 2014.
No memorial events are currently scheduled.
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48 Entries
We were lucky enough to meet Dr. Nadell through the unfortunate circumstances of our Son Bennett. He took us under his wings with his faithful friend Jeffery. To you his family , we are grateful to have spent time in his magnificent presence. My son is 17 years old and is briiliant. We are greatful to have known this wonderful person. Shawn Armand
Shawn Armand
March 13, 2015
Thank you, Dr. Nadell, for saving my life all those years ago.
Daniel Haycraft
September 4, 2014
I was lucky enough to know Dr. Nadell both personally and to know of him professionally. He was always kind to me and made me feel welcome in his home. And professionally, I have always heard how highly skilled and compassionate he was and that he was the kind of doctor you would always feel blessed to have working with your family. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
September 3, 2014
What a wonderful doctor and person. The world is a much better place for his life. I count myself as very lucky to have known him. RIP
Randy Routon
September 3, 2014
Dr. Nadell saved our son's life. Then he offered us words of wisdom that I returned to many times. As we wondered what Daniel would be able to do in the wake of severe brain injury, Dr. Nadell quietly told us that Daniel would show us what Daniel could do. We lived by the mantra. Daniel is now at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland studying for a Ph.D. in Medieval Studies. I hope Dr. Nadell knows that. Madaline Herlong and Don Haycraft
September 3, 2014
Dr. Nadell not only loved his patients but was an incredible teacher and graciously invited all of his co-workers to be a part of his incredible life and work. He will truly be missed. I love working with him at Children's Hospital and will cherish the memories. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. Elizabeth (Physical Therapist)
Elizabeth Cross
September 2, 2014
Dr. Nadell operated on my son 20 years ago. I can remember being so upset at the diagnosis and him relieving my fear by saying that these were his kids too.
You will be greatly missed Dr. Nadel, thank you for everything you gave back to us, especially my son.
Paula Dupuis
September 2, 2014
DR. Nadell, was the best Doctor I have ever had the pleasure to work with. He was always a teacher who thought me and others to show love, compassion and patience to whom we served. I am sadden that the world has lost such a great man and Doctor. I pray for his family and friends, for he was one of a kind.
Loretta Howard, CTRS
September 1, 2014
Dear Susan, I was so saddened to read that Joe had died. He was such a great guy and friend during our years at LSU Med School and beyond. My heart goes out to you in the difficult months ahead.
Dick Strub
August 29, 2014
Dear Susan and family, my deepest sympathies to you on Joe's death. I knew that the past few years had been tough for him, and i am sure for you as well. I always looked forward to talking with him at our professional meetings. His comments were always insightful and firmly founded on years of experience. He always seemed to me to be a truly good man. I -- and all of Joe's colleagues in Pediatric Neurosurgery -- will miss him greatly.
Michael Scott
August 27, 2014
Joe and I first met in Boy Scouts when we were eleven years old. Over the next 5 years we attended Sunday school and other activities. He was a remarkable kid and teenager and young Man. I visited him several times when he was in Med School and beyond in New Orleans. He was caring , thoughtful , exceedingly bright and full of compassion. He once told me he read "Gray's Anatomy when he was 5 and 6 and I believe it. It is no surprise to me when I see all the tributes, I am sure he was a great Doctor, but more so a , a fine individual who was always understanding and with a Bed side manner.
Rest in Peace old friend. Roger
Roger Blair
August 27, 2014
Dr. Nadell saved, Eben, our son's life. As new parents to be faced with a child needing neurosurgery was devastating. Dr. Nadell's expertise, thouroughness, kindness and professional attitude sustained us through our ordeal. Eben is now 23 and applying to medical school. Dr. Nadell's patients are his legacy...what a gift to all to be able to save so many. God Bless your family and may you find the Lord's peace.
Lois and John Smitherman
August 27, 2014
Joe was a prince of fellow and an amazing doctor. My sincerest sympathy to Susan, David and Kim on his passing.
Anita Warner
August 26, 2014
Dr. Nadell performed surgery on our son, Scott, when he was 9 years old for a subdural hematoma and skull fracture. With no effects or complications, the surgery was a success, and our son was fine. Scott is now a successful man of 35 with a family of his own. Thank you, Dr. Nadell, for your skills and kindness. Rest in peace knowing that you have helped so many.
Leroy and Eretta Perrien
August 26, 2014
Dear Susan,
My deepest condolences to you and your family. Dr. Nadell was a true gentleman-and an extraordinary and compassionate physician. Thinking of you with sympathy.
Laurie Weiss
August 26, 2014
Operated on my daughter at 5 days old and now she has a child of her own. A truly compassionate and caring GREAT DOCTOR. My family is so SORRY for your loss!!! He was a truly GIFTED Doctor and Person. May GOD BLESS you and your Family Always.
Warren Goodwyne
August 25, 2014
May god strengthen your family rest in peace Dr.Nadell you were a God sent for me and my son Alvin Keller you will be greatly missed.
Erander Guss
August 25, 2014
An amazing man. He performed my son's surgery at 9 months old. I was told my son would not live to reach the age of 15 . Today my son is 42 years old and living a happy and normal life. I am so grateful to this wonderful man who blessed my family with a beautiful gift. He was truly an angel whom I will always love. This is a great loss to our community. May he Rest In Peace!
Karen Robinson
August 24, 2014
So sorry for your loss . Dr.Nadell was my doctor for the first 21 years of my life . I saw him at children's Hospital . He was a good doctor . He will be missed by so many . May God bless you & your family always .

Amy Elizabeth Frey , ( A former patient )
August 23, 2014
I am deeply sadden by the passing of an exemplary physician who was also a kind and compassionate man. Those who worked for him at Tulane Medical Center knew of the numerous kindnesses he did for so very many. A gifted neurosurgeon, he was also a friend and a mentor in art.
I send my heartfelt sympathies to his family.

~Irene Nero, Hammond, Louisiana
August 23, 2014
I am living proof that Dr. Nadell was an amazing doctor. He took over my case in 1976. I will be turning 40 this year. Had he not been brought into my life, I would not be here. Amazing man and huge loss personally and medically. My thoughts and prayers are with his whole family.
Linda Sintes Pittman
August 23, 2014
My deepest sympathy to Susan and family. "Dr. N" as we called him back at Tulane, was loved so much by his patients and their families. He was admired and respected by his colleagues and the residents. He leaves behind a legacy rich in talent, compassion, and kindness. He touched and changed thousands of lives and he will be sadly missed.
Cathi Green
August 23, 2014
Susan, I would like to extend my deepest condolences. Even though it's been fifty years since I've seen you, I think of you often.
Linda Edwards Texada
August 23, 2014
My sister, Danielle, has and still does amazing things because of this man and his relationship with our family since 1980
Dennis Coughlin, Jr.
August 23, 2014
May you rest in peace, Dr. saved my daughter's life..I'll never forget your words before she went into surgery" I can't promise you anything, but I'm going to do my best" and with God's help, you did.So caring, so gentle, so reassuring are only a few words that I can use to describe him..He didn't talk down to us using medical jargon we didn't understand..he was the epitome of what a doctor is supposed to be... God bless you, Dr. Nadell
Sandra Morris
August 23, 2014
As a team member of the Neurosurgery Clinic at Tulane, I admired
Dr. Nadell's professionalism, kindness , and wit. He touched many lives.
My deepest sympathy to Susan and the family.
Miriam Gallagher
August 23, 2014
Thank you.
A former patient
August 22, 2014
Dr. Nadell was one of the most caring empathetic doctors I have worked with. As a new graduate out of occupational therapy school in the 80's he listened to me and countless therapists, families and nursing staff on the rehab unit at Children's working together as a team. His surgical expertise was reknown. I enjoyed his enthusiasm and compassion as well as his friendship. Condolences to his family, he was a special man!
Roberta Torman
August 22, 2014
I found out late last week that Dr. Nadell had passed away. He was such a pleasure to talk to on the phone. He was also very pleasant in person. My heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and friends! Dr, Nadell will certainly be missed by everyone he came in contact with!
Isha Brown
August 22, 2014
Thank you for a Wonderful and Talent man who save many lives, Those who can in contact with him were Truly bless to be in his present. He saved my daughter life when she was just a infant, he was her doctor for over 18 years. To the Nadell Family Thank You for sharing him. I'll be forever greatful.
Dolores & Anisha Crawford
August 22, 2014
Gia Erichson thrives today because Joe Nadell saved her. As if that's not enough, he was one of the most compasionate, caring and funny people I have ever had the priviledge to meet. My family will always remember Joe with great affection
Chris Erichson
August 22, 2014
Susan-Please accept my deepest sympathy. John and I also had 45 years together. While I know that you, like me, wish for one more year, one more day, one more hour together, you and your family will have the wonderful memories of those 45 years to help comfort and sustain you today, tomorrow and all the years to come.
Lorre Lei Jackson
August 22, 2014
I would like to send my deepest condolences to the Nadell family. Dr. Nadell was my son's Neurosurgeon at Childrens Hospital in New Orleans, and saw him several times for follow up visits here in Lake Charles. Such a great man and wonderful surgeon. He truly was such an asset to Childrens Hospital. He had such a wonderful way with children. He made sure every trip to Lake Charles he brought "Jeffrey" with him for my son. So Sorry to hear about his passing. Will keep the family in our prayers.
Ashley Stroud
August 22, 2014
Dr. Nadell gave my mother a number of good years before her demise. We will always be grateful that we knew him and were beneficiaries of his exceptional skills and talent. The city has lost a talented professional and a fine gentleman.l
his family is in our prayers at this sad time.
Theresa Tamburo
August 22, 2014
Dear Family,
Thank you for sharing this talented and highly respected Doctor in his field. Way back when my daughter in her early 20's was diagnosed with a large brain tumor, we were blessed to have Dr. Nadell perform a successful surgery to remove it. What miracles his gifted hands gave to mankind. My daughter still survives at age 59.
May his soul be at Peace, and may our prayers and condolences comfort you at this time of loss.
Cookie Gelpi Zibilich
Cookie Zibilich
August 22, 2014
Dr. Nadell saved my son's life also.He was one of a kind. He pulled my son through when they said he wouldn't live. May your memories of this wonderful man fill your heart in the difficult days ahead. Carol Deshotel
carol Deshotel
August 21, 2014
Dr. Nadell was my baby girl who is now 19 miracle doctor, he was the most compassionate man I knew in the medical field, was an outstanding surgeon, he have my baby the ultimate gift, by saving her life with his skills, knowledge n most of all his caring and compassionate heart. I am truly saddened to hear of his passing, the world lost a True Hero, I still brag on on him to everyone. May his family find peace in their lost, but also feel very fortunate to know how much their father husband grandfather etc. made a huge impact on many people! True Gem.
Cindy Williams Mayronne
August 21, 2014
He saved my Gia Erichson . He made her laugh, he wore the brain head and the pink wig for her! She turned 20 this weekend. Thanks and love to you Joe!
- Lisa Donze Jacob ( Mandeville )
Lisa Donze Jacob
August 21, 2014
Dr. Nadell was a wonderful doctor and very kind man. As a pediatric nurse I had the pleasure of working with him for many years but he was also my adopted daughter, with Spina Bifida, doctor for 20 years. I am saddened by his loss and he and his family are in my prayers.
Joan Bourgeois
August 21, 2014
He was a dedicated and compassionate doctor. He was my daughter's doctor in 1999, and he will forever have our gratitude.
Tracy and Mike Turner
August 21, 2014
A doctor with a True servants heart. Never about phame or fortune, only to help those in need. Thank you for making the world a brighter place. You will be missed by many.
Julie Higginbotham RN
Region 5 CSHS
August 21, 2014
Dr. Nadell saved my son when he was 3 years old; he is now a healthy 24-year- old. I remember how confident he was before the surgery which gave me much-needed comfort. I will always remember his kindness to me and my family during this time. May God bless him and his family!
Diane Prezbindowski
August 21, 2014
I owe my life to Dr. Joseph Nadell, because he truly saved it, when I was a pre-mature newborn baby. If it were not for this wonderful man, I would not be sitting here, as an intelligent, beautiful, young woman, typing my condolences to his family. Rest In Peace, Dr. Nadell. God Bless You.
Melanie Miller
August 21, 2014
Dr. Nadell, you will be sorely missed as a champion warrior for children with disabilities. Your sensitivity and genuine concern for your patients were breaths of fresh air. Our son was in good hands with your expertise and is now a doctoral student.
Gilda Reed
August 21, 2014
Dr. Nadell was my favorite Doctor, I remember He performed a shunt revision on me on his birthday. And when they rolled me in the OR, I handed him a birthday card in a sterile
plastic bag before they put me to sleep. I will never forget him. He was as close to being like God as any man could get.
Bruce Beyers
August 21, 2014
I worked with Dr Nadell when I was a nurse in the PICU at Baptist hospital. I am saddened by his loss. He was an amazing surgeon and a kind man.
Virginia McDougall
August 21, 2014
I would like to send my Condolenses to the Nadell family. I was a Pediatric Neurology patient of Dr. Nadell's in 1991 at Tulane Hospital, he performed my brain surgery( which saved my life).

May your family find comfort in knowing that Dr. Nadell is in the arms of the Lord.
Kimberly Duplessis-Armstrong
August 21, 2014
May Dr. Nadell's soul rest in peace. I'm now 17 but shortly after birth at 2lbs 2oz, Dr Nadell did a shunt on me that allowed me to live and prosper. I'm now a junior at John Curtis with a gift and talent in instrumental music. I'm a member of three bands. Dr. Nadell made the difference in the course of my life. I will always remember him and our visits at Children's Hospital! Dr. Nadell was a legend to me and numerous kids in New Orleans.
Shannon Simmons
August 21, 2014
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