Herman Nageli was born on May 29, 1917 in Thusis, Canton of Graubuenden, Switzerland. He grew up in Safiental with his older sisters Lydia, Annie, Hermine and his younger sister Irma. The house bears the Romanish name ‘Gugalun’ and is presently home to Herman’s nephew Peter.
Herman contributed to his family’s income by the age of nine, first as a herdsman and later as a logger. He always expressed his regret at not having been able to attend University. Herman was highly intelligent and read voraciously on a wide variety of topics for most of his life.
Herman applied to come to Canada in 1945 and was accepted two years later. He traveled via the ocean liner Aquitania, arriving in Nova Scotia in early October. Herman arrived in Smithers on Oct. 10, 1947. As he told it, the day wasn’t half over before he was hired on in Gordon Chapman’s logging camp. He bought the old Hudson’s Bay Trading Co. Ranch on Driftwood Creek. He logged during the winters with his summers spent clearing land and building what became Nageli Farm.
Herman’s sister Hermine and her friend Anne Kamm traveled to Canada aboard the Arosa Star then via train, arriving in Smithers on Sept. 18, 1958. Herman and Anne married April 29, 1959, established the dairy farm in 1960 and welcomed 4 children: Susanne in 1960, Esther in 1962, Gordon in 1965 and Barbara in 1967.
Herman and Anne Nageli were pioneers, as so many in that era who had left their native countries and headed to Canada to begin a new life. Certainly there were hardships; one sometimes wonders how people survived and thrived…Herman and Anne established the Nageli Dairy Farm in 1960. This remained an active dairy farm until the fall of 2000. It remains in the family as a beef cattle farm.
Herman took loving care of Anne in 1996 until her death in 1997. He decided to go and visit his sister Hermine later that year, and again the year after. Herman also proudly became a Canadian Citizen at the age of 83.
One of Herman’s greatest joys was his farm in Driftwood. He cleared land into his late 70s. His other joy was becoming a grandparent, Lando (29), Nicholas (28), Travis (27), Tyrell (23) & Tristan Rosger(20) followed by Winston Nageli (3). He was also great grandpa to Dakota (6) and Casey (3) Rebagliati-Rosger.
In 2002 Herman’s health began to deteriorate and in May of 2003 he entered Bulkley Lodge in Smithers. He loved and was clearly loved in return by the many wonderful people in this facility.
Herman passed away peacefully on January 28, 2010. He was predeceased by his wife Anne, his sisters Lydia, Anne and Irma. He is survived by his four children, six grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, his sister Hermine, nieces and nephews in Switzerland: Peter, Arnold, Verena, Ursula, Thomas, Ernst and Margarete, and his only nephew in Canada, Reto Gallati of OK Falls.
We are deeply grateful to each and everyone at Bulkley Lodge for the kindness, respect, dignity and love shown Herman. Thank-you to Dr. Haskins, nursing staff, healthcare workers, nutrition services, activities personnel, housekeeping, etc.; every one of you showed Herman such kindness. We know he loved you very much in return.
There will be a celebration of life for Herman at the Glenwood Hall the evening of March 22, 2010. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Bulkley Lodge in Herman’s name.