The Family of Jack Aaron Nadol
Jan 22, 2019 2:11 AM
We welcome you to share your memories with us and with those who visit here.
Jan 10, 2019 05:00 PM
Sorry for your loss of a great man and great friend. He will be surely missed
Susan Purks Romberger
Jan 11, 2019 07:30 PM
My Uncle Jack was a wonderful man who was respected, admired and loved by many. I have fond memories of family get-togethers where Jack always told such funny, fascinating stories. I will miss him very much.
Jan 15, 2019 06:05 PM
FOR MY BROTHER JACK
My brother Jack Nadol was a remarkable man. Jack was 10 years older than I am, so we didn’t spend much time together growing up. Polly tells me Jack felt bad about the way he treated me as a kid. After all, he’d been the only boy and the youngest in the family for 10 years. Then I came along as a surprise to everyone and began to soak up most of the attention and special treatment, and Jack didn’t like that a bit.
But I never felt mistreated by my brother. Sure, I can remember he got angry when I damaged some of his toy soldiers that had been left for me to play with. And I noticed he was the only one of the four of us who managed to get into trouble. But I never thought he was needlessly cruel to me, and he never gave me a reason to fear him. He was my big brother, and I always felt safer when Jack was with me. Jack was a big, strong, tough and good looking young man as a teenager and young adult. And I was proud of him. I remember watching him play football. He was a running back. I remember thinking at some point that he was like Alan Ameche because he would always carry would-be tacklers for extra yardage.
But growing up in our family, Jack was treated as the not so smart one. Our older sisters Beverly and Rona were uncommonly intelligent, as well as charming. They were highly regarded by teachers and friends as likable, well-behaved good students and very, very smart. When Jack came to class as the third Nadol kid, teachers looked forward to more of the same. So they, and others were disappointed when Jack didn’t do well at all in grade school.
That, of course, affected the way he was treated, most importantly by our parents. They loved Jack, but often showed their disappointment and irritation, which quite understandably made Jack often angry and irritable himself – as people, maybe particularly boys, are likely to be when they are hurt because people they want to love them and be proud of them, are instead disappointed, or irritable, or angry with them. Of course, Jack’s angry outbursts and sometimes impulsive misbehavior gave them even more to be disappointed with and angry about – a classic, self-sustaining vicious cycle. It didn’t help Jack at all that I turned out to be treated by everyone as the smart kid. He apologized to me, but I want to apologize to him.
It wasn’t until Jack and I were both adults that anyone recognized that Jack had what would now be called a learning disability -- the biggest manifestation of which was that he just couldn’t spell. When Jack was school age no one diagnosed learning disabilities. A kid who couldn’t spell wasn’t treated as someone with a disability who needed special attention. They were just treated as dumb. Which of course made Jack angry, because he wasn’t dumb at all.
I told you my brother was tough. And he was smart. And he’d stand up to disrespect and to people being thoughtless to others.
As I’m sure everyone here knows, when Jack was headed for high school, he was told he “wasn’t college material,” and he was directed to vocational high school to learn to be a printer.
Jack knew he was capable of more. But instead of fighting or dropping out of school, he used what he was given to keep moving in the direction he wanted to take. Jack learned to be a printer. And he used his ability as a printer – and his drive, his hard work and persistence, and his powers of argument and persuasion -- to get himself into St. John’s College in Annapolis. Again making use of what he was given to work with, Jack offered to work in the college print shop to be accepted into St. John’s and to help pay his way.
St. John’s was probably the toughest kind of school for someone with a learning disability. It was an old Liberal Arts college, with its curriculum based on the “Great Books,” where things like reading Chaucer were the core of the program. But Jack’s disability was no match for his strength and determination. He really read the great books, and he learned a great, great deal from what they had to teach. Reading was not easy for Jack, but he could understand the meaning of what he read -- and the lessons to be learned from what he read -- as well as, or better than, anyone.
Like our father, who left high school at fifteen, and who supported us driving a taxi, Jack was as smart as anyone I have known.
Jack was very proud of successfully completing his freshman year at St. John’s, and showing our father, and others, that in spite of his learning disability, with his strength and determination, and at his core, Jack Nadol was as much “college material” as anyone.
The rest is history. For many reasons, Jack’s second year was tougher. He left St. Johns and joined the Army, in the third armored division, getting to spend much of his service in Germany. When he came back – in terrific physical shape by the way – he had also made the best use of his time in the military, among other things, getting into opportunities to express and expand his capacities for leadership.
When he returned from the service, Jack took the best jobs he could find and began to continue on the long, demanding, one step at a time process, mostly at night, of advancing his education, ultimately leading to a law degree and beginning work as a lawyer.
Being very motivated to work at something of real value for the people, the population, who needed and deserved help, Jack began work in public service, eventually doing what it took to get a government job in Washington.
I think it was that once Jack had a secretary who could spell for him so that he could focus on the mission, and the process, and the facts, and the realities of the job he had to do, that he rather rapidly advanced. No longer so bogged down by the things he couldn’t do, Jack moved up the ladder rung by rung, eventually earning with his capacities, his hard work, and his service, the highest senior executive position that a non-political, civilian public servant working in the U.S. Government can reach -- even meeting regularly with the Attorney General of the United States.
After retiring from that, my brother Jack did not quit working for the people. He became Deputy Commissioner of Juvenile Justice for the State of Maryland, moving back to Baltimore to continue to serve, caring for the children needing help, in the community in which he himself had grown.
My brother Jack was a remarkable man. He gave everything he could give, not to build wealth beyond his needs and the needs of those he cared for, not for self-aggrandizement or fame. He gave to serve others, and to serve others who also serve -- like the many Catholic sisters to whom Polly introduced him.
I have often told my brother’s story to my patients, those bogged down by their own limitations and scars, and the attitudes of others toward them. Those who feel ashamed, inadequate and down on themselves. It is an inspiring story through which Jack continues to pass on something of value to others. So many of those I have worked with, helped by hearing Jack’s story, have found their own strengths, and capacities and talents. They have become able to cast off the disrespect and negative labeling of others. They have developed more respect for themselves. They have become better able to identify and exercise the good and valuable qualities they have and can develop within themselves. They are better able to see, and to help others to see, the good things and potential good things that they have and that they can develop. They find greater empathy for others and form better, more mutually supportive and positive relationships.
Jack Nadol’s physical presence has moved on, and he is, and he will be, greatly missed. But Jack’s spirit is still with us, and within us, and active and of great value to all who have known him and loved him. God be with you, Jack. God be with you, my brother.
Robert Nadol, Brother Bobby
N. Lee Canby
Jan 16, 2019 10:54 AM
Jack Nadol was a tough & caring man with a big heart! He loved Pauline dearly and was extremely proud of his family. He had a remarkable career, but was most proud of serving and caring for others through community service! Jack you will be missed by your family, friends and the people you touched!