Frank A. Nugent
Frank A. Nugent, 91, passed away at his home July 26, 2012. In his last days, he was surrounded by family and friends. He was born on January 5, 1921 in Lyndhurst, NJ to Anthony and Edith Volpe Nugent. After he graduated from Patterson State College in 1942, he served in the U.S. Army during WWII working with wounded veterans at Starr General Hospital, Charleston, SC. After receiving an MA in vocational counseling at Columbia University (1947), he worked in counseling centers at U.C. Berkeley and at Stanford University. He met Ann VanArsdel, and they were married December 20, 1955 in Seattle at St Mark’s Cathedral. They lived in Pleasant Hill CA where Frank was a counselor at the local high school. During this time he completed his PhD in Counseling Psychology at the University of California, Berkeley (1959).
Frank and his family moved to Bellingham in 1961 where he joined the faculty at Western Washington University, Psychology Department. Over the years, until he retired as Professor Emeritus from WWU in 1986, Frank worked tenaciously to raise the professional and ethical standards of both school and mental-health counseling at the local, state and national level. During a career that spanned more than 50 years, he served as a counselor in schools and universities, and as a counselor educator, supervisor, and psychology professor. At WWU Frank co-founded the college counseling center, serving as director from 1962 to 1973. He spearheaded and coordinated the formation of the MEd. in school counseling (1963), and, later, the MS degree in mental health counseling (1978). In the community, as president of the board of both the Whatcom Counseling and Psychiatric Clinic (late 1960s), and the Lake Whatcom Residential Treatment Center (1970s), he helped develop new facilities for both agencies. At the state level, he was influential in gaining school-counselor certification and served as president of the Washington State Psychological Association (1968-69). Later, he was co-founder and first president of the Washington Mental Health Counselors Association (1980), and he led the drive to obtain state licensing for mental health counselors. He spent a year in Germany (1982-3) on a Fulbright Senior Research Scholarship. He published numerous articles and authored Introduction to the Profession of Counseling. As Professor Emeritus he continued teaching until 2000, including a course on the psychology of aging. In 1993 the Washington State Counseling Association presented Frank with the Hank Bertness Award in recognition of his contributions to mental health and to the counseling profession during his long and vital career.
In recent years Frank was an active member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. As program chairman of the Men’s Fellowship, he invited guests to speak on social justice issues from a faith perspective. He valued his men’s Cursillo reunions, where, for the past seven years, they met weekly to read books together and discuss God’s purpose and the meaning of life. Throughout his life he remained committed to his own personal and spiritual growth, kept up with current world issues, and pursued new ways of connecting with others in his community. Frank was known for his warmth, compassion, and playful sense of humor. He enjoyed a deep, loving relationship with his wife, Ann, his best friend and closest companion. He loved being with his children and grandchildren and continued socializing with friends until the last weeks of his life.
Frank was preceded in death by his sisters Thelma Burke and Edith Davis. He is survived by his wife Ann of 56 years; daughter Ellen Harris (Tim) of Bellingham and their daughters, Anna, Sophia, and Emily; daughter Laura (Andrew Ajemian) of Menlo Park, CA; son Michael (Marie Baker) of Bethesda, MD and their children Jean-Marc and Celine; son David (Bobbi Gerlick) of Seattle and Bobbi’s children Sara Salisbury (Doug), and Matthew (April Mapes-Jordan) and their son Burdock; and several nieces and nephews and their families. A Memorial Service will be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Sat., Aug.18th at 2:00 p.m., followed by a reception. A memorial scholarship in Frank’s name is being set up at Western Washington University. To contribute, visit www.wwu.edu/give, or call (360) 650-3027. Specify “In memory of Frank Nugent.” Memorials can also be sent to Earth Ministry, (206) 632-2426, www.earthministry.org/join-donate.