Charles F. Nahill Jr., 70, former legislator

Posted: October 07, 2009

Charles F. Nahill Jr., 70, of Wyncote, a state representative from 1979 to 1992, died of heart disease Sunday at home.

Mr. Nahill served 23 years in elective office, nine as Cheltenham's treasurer and 14 in the legislature. He also headed the Montgomery County Republican Party from 1990 to 1993.

In the Pennsylvania House, Mr. Nahill represented the 154th District in Montgomery County. He chaired the Committee on Aging and Youth; served on the Transportation Committee; and served on the Local Government Commission, made up of members of the House and Senate.

"Charlie was from the old school in the respect that loyalty and follow-through on your commitments was paramount," said Lou Grossman, a former staffer. "Integrity, intelligence, and dedication to his constituents was what he stood for in Harrisburg and back home in Montgomery County. I never knew anyone who had a bad word to say about Charlie in Harrisburg, and that was a rare thing up there," Grossman said.

When Mr. Nahill announced he would not seek reelection in 1992, he told an Inquirer reporter, "I've had a real ball being a state legislator, but I think it's probably a good time for me to seek new directions."

Mr. Nahill ended his career in public service as an official for the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development in Philadelphia. He retired in 2003. He had chaired the Cheltenham chapter of the American Cancer Society and the Cheltenham Police Pension Board.

Mr. Nahill grew up in Mount Airy. His parents, Charles Sr. and Eleanor, were active in the Republican Party in Philadelphia. His mother cochaired the Eisenhower-Nixon campaign headquarters in Center City in 1952 and ran the Philadelphia headquarters for two Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaigns.

After graduating from Germantown Academy, Mr. Nahill earned a bachelor's degree from the College of William and Mary and later earned a master's degree in business from Temple University. From 1961 to 1963 he served in the Army, and he remained in the Army Reserve until 1968.

Before entering public life, Mr. Nahill was an executive with Central Penn National Bank and with DuPont Co.

He was a big Phillies fan, his family said, and enjoyed golf, travel, and tending to his large garden.

Mr. Nahill is survived by his wife, Joanne Buggy Nahill; daughters Kristin Breen and Julie; son, Brad; five grandchildren; and his former wife, Nancy Chestek.

Friends may call from 6 to 9 p.m. today and from 10 to 11 a.m. followed by the funeral tomorrow at May Funeral Home, 354 N. Easton Rd., Glenside. Burial will be in Ivy Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.

Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

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