Edward Nager

Edward Nager

Friday, July 22nd, 1927 - Thursday, March 18th, 2021
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Our beloved Ed Nager passed on Thursday, March 18th, 2021 in Madison, WI, after a long and courageous battle with heart disease. He was a devoted husband, loving father, cherished brother, caring uncle, and loyal friend. He was a kind and gentle spirit, who embodied true goodness and equity. For those of us fortunate enough to have known him, our lives will forever be richer because of him.

Edward was born in the Bronx, New York, to Sam and Rae (Shapiro) Nager. Despite growing up in humble surroundings, he often spoke of his happy childhood and love of New York. Ed could joyfully regale you with stories of boyhood street games, sweltering summers, and of the best delis in the country. He graduated from Bronx High School of Science, and went on to earn a BS in Government from City College of New York. He was also incredibly proud of the fact that he gave back to his country by serving in the Army Air Force.

He eventually made his way to the Midwest and earned a JD from UW-Madison Law School. He went into private general practice, often fighting for the underdog, or taking cases pro bono. His law career spanned several successful decades, and also included a stint as the Assistant Deputy Clerk of Courts for Milwaukee County and as a Milwaukee County judge. Also, his passion for flying led him to serve as the President of the UW-Flying Club for several years.

Ed served on the Wisconsin Legislature and was also a member of the Madison City Planning Commission. He was regarded as a forward-thinking, conscientious, and fair politician; advocating positive, and sometimes radical, change. In 1974, Ed ran for Attorney General of Wisconsin against Bronson Lafollette and eventual Governor Anthony Earl, losing the election despite carrying Dane County. He subsequently decided to focus solely on his law practice.

In 1995, he married the love of his life, Helen. Shortly thereafter, the OTHER love of his life was born, a son they named Nicholas. They created a harmonious and loving family, often sharing the same interests in travel, aviation, chess, music, reading, baseball, animals, and the pursuit of knowledge. Ed loved his wife and son fiercely, and supported them unconditionally, and they him.

Ed is survived by his wife, Helen, and son, Nicholas of Madison. He is further survived by his brother, Bob (Carole) Nager of Florida, his sister-in-law Tamara (Sean) Kelley of Madison, and his niece, Michelle, nephew, Kenny (Elyssa), both of Colorado, and his dog Charlie. He was preceded in death by both of his parents and both of his in-laws.

Ed was one of the smartest, kindest, most gracious people you could ever meet. His loss is heavy to bear, but we can honor his legacy by conducting ourselves like him; with goodness, integrity, and humanity.

There will be a private family ceremony. A celebration of life for Ed will be held at a later date.

Memorials in memory of Ed can be made to the charity of your choice. Online condolences can be made to
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