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Leroy "Ted" Nagel, Jr.

Obituary for Leroy "Ted" Nagel, Jr.

April 20, 1938 - July 23, 2018
Austin, Texas | Age 80


Husband, father, grandfather, rancher, soldier, rodeo president, company chairman, wild bronc rider, and dear friend to all who knew him, Leroy F "Ted" Nagel passed on to go the Lord Jesus on July 23rd, 2018.

Leroy F "Ted" Nagel, Jr, was born along with his twin brother, William G. "Bill" Nagel, in Houston, Texas on April 20th, 1938, to Leroy F. Nagel and Jessie E. Lemburg. Ted was a proud, fifth generation Texan from the Republic of Texas era. Other than the original German emigrants, all of his direct lineage was born within the state of Texas, including his children and grandchildren. Ted loved everything about Texas: its history, varied landscape, rodeo, hill country hunting, BBQ, chili, Tex-Mex and ranching. He grew up in Houston, attended Poe and River Oaks Elementary schools, Lanier Junior High, and graduated from Lamar High School. He attended the University of Texas, studying mechanical engineering, spent a year at Sam Houston State University, and finished at the University of Houston. During his high school and college years, he enjoyed rodeoing, riding bareback bronc and salt grass trail rides to the Houston Fat Stock Show. He enjoyed traveling with his family on long driving trips to California and Mexico, and touring England and Europe on a high school trip for over two months.

In August 1960, Ted went to work for Gibraltar Fence Co., a family business that manufactured chain link fence, as VP of Operations. In 1967, Ted, Bill, and Betty, his sister, sold their interest to their Uncle, G.W. Nagel, and conversely acquired his interest in Nagel Manufacturing and Supply. Nagel Manufacturing made wire hangers for the laundry and dry cleaning industry in Caldwell, Texas, and wood hangers for garment, retail stores, and hotel-motel industries in Maxwell, Texas, with home offices in Austin. In 1972, he was instrumental in starting Nagel Wire Corporation which later started manufacturing agricultural products such as barbed wire, hay baler wire, and field fence in Rocky Ford, Colorado. In 2002, the hanger and wire businesses were sold and Ted retired as Chairman of the board and President. He was a lifetime member of the International Wire Association and the Texas Laundry and Dry Cleaning Association.

While at the University of Texas, he met his wife to be, Harriet Olsen, and they were married on November 5, 1960. They settled in Houston, and Ted joined the Army Reserves, serving as supply sergeant for the 341st Chemical Company, Ellington AFB, for a total of six years. He was honorably discharged on December 31, 1966. Out of the marriage came four lovely children- Fred, Jennifer, Laurie, and Elizabeth. As the kids grew older, they made many trips to California, skiing in Colorado, and to visit Harriet's sister and family in the Northeast. Ted and Harriet also loved traveling with their investment club friends through Texas, Mexico, and New York City. They kept busy with the kids' activities, Harriet's Laguna Gloria, Ted's Rodeo Austin and business travels. After 35 years of wonderful marriage, Harriet died on March 15, 1995.

In April 1996, Ted met Jan Carol Lentz. After six years of courtship, they were married on May 25, 2002. Ted and Jan loved traveling, visiting such places as New York City, England, Europe, Mexico, Jamaica and Las Vegas. One of Ted's passions was to build a cabin himself on his Llano River ranch. The cabin was built over a span of nine years, with Jan by his side and the help of many friends on weekends. They poured the foundation, framed, roofed, sided, wired, plumbed, did finish work and laid tile. The finished cabin was enjoyed for many years. Another passion of Ted's was watching football. He and Jan hosted football-watching parties for Dallas Cowboy games for over twenty years, with groups of 20-50 friends showing up with snacks and main dishes to share. Their annual Super Bowl party was the largest gathering and enjoyed by many.

Ted was a past member of Laguna Gloria Art Museum, Knights of the Symphony, Admirals Club, Austin Country Club, and Headliners Club. He was a founding member of the Umlauf Sculpture Garden, Founding Director of the Austin Endowment Society and was a member of the German-Texan Heritage Society, the Texas Historical Association, the Texas Map Society and a lifetime Methodist. Ted was a passionate supporter and member of the Board of Directors of Rodeo Austin for 43 years. Ted served as President (1980-81), Treasurer (1983-84), a member of the Executive Committee for many years and as Scholarship Chairman for 15 years. The scholarship program was started under his presidency and continued to be one of the largest giver of scholarships in Travis County. In 2008, Ted was awarded membership in the Hall of Fame, the highest honor for a Director to receive.

Ted had many varied interests: hunting, golf, skiing, history, geography, traveling, gardening and ranching. He loved hunting with his hunting buddies for over 45 years, especially their annual gathering for opening weekend of deer season. Ted was knowledgeable of Texas, U.S., English, Roman and Biblical history, and set a goal to read all the way through the Bible. He had several ranches during his life, raising beef cattle and enjoying the outdoors. He enjoyed a deepened faith and prayer life in his later years.

Ted was blessed by the many friends who knew and loved him. He loved a party and visiting with people. He was a gregarious conversationalist and could talk for hours. He remained a resolutely cheerful and positive force even when his healthy waned in recent years. He felt he was extremely fortunate that God blessed him with a wonderful life. He was grateful to have such a close and loving extended family with the Nagels, Lemburgs, Olsens, and Lentzes plus his children's families. Ted is survived by his loving wife, Jan, his son Fred Nagel, daughter Jennifer Berry and husband Robert, daughter Laurie Zaza and husband Jimmy, daughter Elizabeth Schwartz and husband K.D.; 8 grandchildren- Emma Berry, Colin Berry, Justin Zaza, Katie Zaza, Matthew Zaza, Connor Schwartz, Olsen Schwartz, and Jessie Schwartz; and many other cousins, nieces, nephews and other loving and close family members. Ted was preceded in death by his mother, father, brother Bill Nagel, sister Betty Gilliam, and first wife Harriet.

Visitation will be held on Friday, July 27 from 5-7 p.m. at Weed-Corley-Fish on Lamar Blvd, and a memorial will be held on July 28 at 1 p.m. at Northwest Hills United Methodist Church, Rev. Audrey Spencer officiating, with a reception at the church to follow.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ted and Harriet Nagel Scholarship Endowment fund, Rodeo Austin, 9100 Decker Lane, Austin, TX 78724.

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Suggested Memorial Donations

  • In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ted and Harriet Nagel Scholarship Endowment fund, Rodeo Austin, 9100 Decker Lane, Austin, TX 78724.

Arrangements By

Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home North

3125 N Lamar Blvd.
Austin, TX 78705
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