Lois Nagle, a longtime political activist and leader of the Harford County Republican Party, died Friday. She was 83.
"I am deeply saddened to learn of the passing this past week of Lois Nagle, a lifelong member of the Republican Party and one of its earliest supporters in Harford County," Harford County Executive David Craig said in a statement issued Saturday morning. "Lois lived a full life and was an icon of the Harford County Republican Party for decades. Her loss will be felt by many people who loved Lois and worked with her in promoting the Republican Party, its principles and candidates for many, many years. Melinda and I extend our deepest sympathy to the Nagle family and friends at this difficult time."
"Lois Nagle was a true foot soldier fighting the grassroots fight for the Republican Party in Harford County many years before it was popular to do so," said Bob Thomas, a former member of the Harford County Republican Central Committee, as was Mrs. Nagle.
In addition to serving on the Republican Central Committee and working yearly to register new voters, she had served as a delegate to her party's national presidential nominating conventions. Many people in the local GOP called her Harford's "Mrs. Republican."
Mrs. Nagle and her late husband, H. Sheridan "Sparky" Nagle, lived in Bel Air. Mrs. Nagle, who was born in Forest Hill, was a 1946 graduate of Bel Air High School. For many years, until her health began to fail, Mrs. Nagle organized annual reunions for alumni of the "old" Bel Air High on Gordon Street, an event that continues to be held yearly. Mr. Nagle served on the county board of elections.
Mrs. Nagle was also active in the Harford County Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of the Harford County Chapter of the American Cancer Society.
She was named a Harford County Living Treasure by the county council in 2001.
She was also a frequent contributor to The Aegis Open Forum, often writing in support of Republican candidates, for whom she campaigned tirelessly.
In an interview following the 2002 gubernatorial election, in which Bob Ehrlich became the first Republican elected to lead the state in 34 years, an ecstatic Mrs. Nagle said she believed the hard work many in the party had put in at the grassroots level was really paying off for Harford's Republicans.
"When I started on the central committee, the Democrats had better than a two-to-one advantage in registration, now it's down to like 1.1 to 1," she said, explaining that in addition to registering new voters, the local party had made a conscious effort to find good candidates for every office, something that wasn't always possible. There are now about 4,000 more Republicans registered to vote than there are Democrats in Harford County.
Funeral arrangements for Mrs. Nagle are being handled by McComas Funeral Home, 50 W. Broadway, in Bel Air. Viewings will be held at the funeral home on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.
The funeral service for Mrs. Nagle will be held at noon Friday, Nov. 16, at Mt. Carmel Primitive Baptist Church at 1707 Churchville Road in Bel Air.