Ronald M. Nagler, 72, insurance executive

December 05, 2003|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Ronald M. Nagler, a retired insurance company executive and former board chairman of Union Memorial Hospital, died of cancer Wednesday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care. The Murray Hill resident was 72.

A city native raised in East Baltimore, Mr. Nagler was a 1949 graduate of Patterson Park High School. He enlisted in the Army and broke enemy ciphers during the Korean War.

After his military service, Mr. Nagler earned a bachelor's degree from the Johns Hopkins University and a master's in business administration from the Wharton School of Finance and Business of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

In 1960, he became an investment analyst for Monumental Life Insurance Co. in downtown Baltimore. In his 35-year career, he rose to become senior vice president of investments of Monumental Corp. When Aegon USA acquired Monumental, Mr. Nagler was named vice president and deputy chief investment officer for the company's U.S. divisions. He retired in 1995.

"He was a brilliant investment strategist, and a true and faithful friend," said James O'Conor Gentry, a Monumental colleague. "He was able to foresee interest rate changes and was good at recognizing risk."

Mr. Gentry said his associate was not adverse to trying new ventures and once invested his company's money in what turned out to be a successful Virginia apple farm.

In 1966, Mr. Nagler became a chartered financial analyst and years later joined other securities professionals as a senior grader for the examination given to thousands of investment advisers worldwide.

"He had an entertaining, almost humorous way of delivering a financial report that was also informative," said Dr. C. Richard Fravel of Ruxton, retired medical director for Monumental. "He ran a department that made money consistently."

Active in hospital work, he was a member of the founding committee that developed what is today the Kennedy Krieger Institute and was a past chairman of Helix Health Systems.

He joined Union Memorial's board as treasurer in 1980 and served as its chairman from 1989 to 1991. He remained on its board until 1994.

Mr. Nagler was interested in his family's Maryland roots. He was a descendant of the Markland family, 1722 settlers in the Oxford area of Talbot County. Family members said he traced a Markland ancestor who in the mid-19th century built the Governor's Mansion in Annapolis.

Mr. Nagler traveled and was a woodworker, and enjoyed cooking -- particularly crab soup, pasta sauces and stews. He also devised what he considered to be the perfect Bloody Mary mix.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at St. Ignatius Roman Catholic Church, 740 N. Calvert St., where he was a member and social services ministry volunteer.

Survivors include his wife of 37 years, the former Annette Schmid; a son, Joel Markland Nagler of Burnsville, Minn.; a brother, Frederick William Nagler III of Salisbury; and a granddaughter.

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