Name: Mark Nagel (UHS ’71)
Family members: Wife, Lorrie Luxon Nagel (UHS ’77); son, Brad (UHS ’99); daughter, Amy (UHS ’03)
Occupation: retired Urbandale police officer
How long have you lived in Urbandale? 62 years
Why did you choose to live in Urbandale? My father went to Drake and settled in Urbandale after the Korean War.
If you’ve lived in Urbandale a long time, what has kept you here? After college, I joined the Urbandale Police Department and worked there for 34 years.
If you were forced to move to another city, what features would you miss most about life in Urbandale? The 4th of July celebration, tons of friends, UHS sports.
Please describe significant changes you have witnessed in the community since you’ve lived here. I grew up at 70th and Horton. Most all roads were dirt with big ditches that would fill with water after a good downpour. Sometimes we would block the culverts so we would have a free swimming pool for a couple hours.
We could walk to the Urbandale Pharmacy and Betty’s Bakery for a warm glazed donut and a nickel Coke. There was a chicken farm where S&C Automotive is on 70th Street. My mom would give me a quarter and have me go up to the farm house and get eggs.
UHS football games were behind Olmsted School. We would watch the high school guys practice football every day after school. The coach would give us jobs to do so we felt like we were big shots hanging with the cool high school guys.
A few of us had go-carts. We had a great track to race on just east of the UHS softball diamond, but then Al Carey built his house there so we lost our track. We would have to push our go-carts to the track unless we saw the one Urbandale Police squad car going the other way; then we knew the coast was clear to rev up the motors and drive to the track.
Somehow our parents always knew what we had done before we even got home. Social media these days had nothing on the communications network the Urbandale parents had back in the day.
How are you involved in the community? I was on the 4th of July Committee for about 20 years. I was in the original Urbandale Betterment Association back when it was in high gear. In 1976, I started the Safety City Program that is still active. I coached baseball and softball in the Urbandale leagues when our kids were playing. I was in Pack 3 and Troop 96 as a kid. I was on various school committees and clubs while our kids were attending school in Urbandale. I am even in the Urbandale Chamber Hall of Fame, about which my wife always asks, “And where is that Hall of Fame?”