Dr. James A. Tangdall, PhD

Dr. James A. Tangdall, PhD

April 9, 1932- January 14, 2019

Preceded in death by his parents, Alfred and Opal Tangdall; sister, Barbara Evans; and daughter-in-law, Pam Tangdall.  He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Betty; children: Laurie Kemp (Dan), Steve Tangdall, and Kris Greenwald (Doug); grandchildren:  Sara Tangdall, Alison Kemp, Danny Kemp, and Grace Greenwald.  Also survived by his beloved Tuesday Morning Coffee Group and entire Westside family.  A special thank you to the staff at Aksarben Assisted Living and Memory Care.

Memorials are suggested to The Westside Foundation.  Private Family Burial.  There will be a CELEBRATION OF LIFE on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 4pm at Westside High School with VISITATION from 3pm to 4pm.


  • S Posted January 17, 2019 7:21 am

    My sincere condolences to the family of Jim Tangdall. He was a good friend, colleague, and a wonderful educator, He spent many years in the Westside system and touched many lives. He was one of the State’s outstanding educators and will be greatly missed. God Bless you Betty and your family.

    Stan Hale, Millard South Vice Principal, (Retired)

  • Don Beller Posted January 17, 2019 8:03 am

    He was always a positive influence in what might be called my rambunctious years 77-80 at Westside. Thank you for all you did for me and please don’t let my dad, Herman Stock and Alex Naran corner you in Heaven to rehash how we should have won the 1980 state football championship they will go on for ever.

  • Valerie Bourdain Posted January 17, 2019 8:16 am

    Under his direction I had an extraordinary education, which enabled me to pursue all my dreams. His influence surely echoes in eternity.

  • Buffie Somers Posted January 17, 2019 8:18 am

    Dr. Tangdall was without a doubt the nicest man and certainly greatest Superintendent I had the honor to work for. He was one of a kind ❤️ A great man has left our Earth.

  • Ann Ferlic Ashford Posted January 17, 2019 9:43 am

    I am so sorry for the loss of such a wonderful man. Dr. Tangdall had a tremendously good impact on so many lives. I am grateful I was at the Westside school district during his tenure. My prayers to his family.

  • Dr. Lloyd Kilmer Posted January 17, 2019 9:47 am

    Dr. Tangdall was a great mentor and boss to me when I taught at Westside High. I appreciated his sincerity and great sense of humor. I also had the opportunity to teach his kids which put us in another positive relationship as parent and teacher 🙂 I’m sure that he is waiting at the first tee somewhere.

  • Jeff Allen Posted January 17, 2019 10:45 am

    Prayers to all. Jim was a class individual in all aspects of his life.

  • Lorraine Boyd Posted January 17, 2019 11:21 am

    I must echo the comments made here. He was such a wonderful boss and such a kind and generous man. I was so lucky to work for him at Westside. I have thought of him often over the years and will continue to do so. He was such a great influence in my life and career. There aren’t many like him out there. He will be sorely missed. My condolences to his wonderful wife, Betty. Sending you love and prayers.

  • Julie Gibson-Beier Posted January 17, 2019 12:53 pm

    So saddened by the loss of such an influential educator. He touched and changed so many lives. Prayers to the family.

  • Ann Royle Posted January 17, 2019 12:55 pm

    A great person. A great educator and administrator. So many memories of a fine man. Thank you to his family for sharing him with his education family at Westside Community Schools.

  • Kathryn Davenport Posted January 17, 2019 12:58 pm

    My deepest sympathy for the loss of a truly great man and educator. I will always remember him for walking the halls of Westside greeting kids and knowing us by name. He was an awesome role model and someone I will always remember.

  • Jerman Rose Posted January 17, 2019 2:54 pm

    One of the most important men in my life and the lives of other young men who needed a positive role model. Condolences to his family.

  • David Moore Posted January 17, 2019 3:57 pm

    Jim Tangdall was not only a great force in education, he was an outstanding man. I feel proud to have known him and worked under his supervision.

    Jim Tangdall was not only a force in the world of eduacation. He was an outstanding man. I remember teaching Steve Tangdall in my first years of teaching music at Westgate!!

  • Bill Buller Posted January 17, 2019 5:41 pm

    He was my math teacher , my Basketball Coach
    I ended up being a Hih School Math Teacher and a Basketball Coach. A great role model for me. Awesome Person
    Bill Buller

  • Marianne Connors Posted January 17, 2019 5:53 pm

    I taught in the Millard School District with Dr. Tangdall ‘s daughter, Laurie. I met Dr. Tangdall several times at informal get togethers with his family. He was a very down to earth, warm, and friendly man. My sincere condolences to his entire family, especially to my team teacher friend, Laurie.

  • Michael Robb Posted January 17, 2019 8:24 pm

    Dr Tangdall was a true icon and positive influence during his long tenure at Westside High School (District 66). I believe he began his career in the 1956-’57 school year as a math teacher (prior to becoming Principal). I’m very saddened by the news. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

  • John LaRandeau Posted January 17, 2019 9:33 pm

    I was with the Westside High School class of 64. Dr. Tangdall was one of my math teachers. I last saw Dr Tangdall, who attended at our 50th Class Reunion during our Friday, August 1, 2014 Regency Lake & Tennis Club in Omaha, get reacquainted event. I had a chance to meet and speak to Dr Tangdall thanking him for instructing me in mathematics. I told him I graduated from the University of Nebraska, Omaha Campus with a BS in Civil Engineering using my math skills I learned through the years as tools of the trade.

  • Happy and Iris Kewin Posted January 17, 2019 11:04 pm

    Our thoughts and prayers for his loving family. May God keep them in his grace throughout this journey of present and eternal life.

  • Bill Krueger Posted January 17, 2019 11:05 pm

    I began teaching at Westside in 1958. For the last 60 years I have considered Dr. Tangdall to be one of the greatest teachers, principals, and superintendents that any teacher could have as a colleague. I also considered him a friend and played many rounds of golf with him. I will miss him and I know thousands of others will too.

  • Edwin Foster Posted January 18, 2019 7:55 am

    I had not thought about the one encounter I had with him until now, I should have listened to him. I was not a respectful student and am sure I help him greatly with patience. I mourn with you for your loss this day. MAY GOD BE WITH

  • Kenneth Von Seggern Posted January 18, 2019 3:10 pm

    A wonderful administrator to work for and a great pleasure to visit and golf with.

  • John Rood Posted January 18, 2019 3:40 pm

    Rest In Power. Sending love & light to his family. A great man indeed.

  • Richard A Beechner Posted January 18, 2019 4:51 pm

    Betty and family, The fact that I didn’t see Jim that often I considered him a good friend. The friendship dated back to the 50’s and 60’s at Westside and for many more years. A wonderful and considerate person who never changed, Please accept Barbara and my sympathy.

  • steve wilson Posted January 19, 2019 10:14 am

    My heart and my prayers go out to the Tangdall family. Jim is so irreplaceable. He is deeply missed by so many of us. I started at WHS in 1957 as a 6th grader, graduating in 1964. Of all the outstanding teachers and coaches with whom I was blessed there, Jim Tangdall had a seminal impact on my life. I remained in regular touch with him after graduation, from college at UNL, through my career in the Navy, and all the way until just recently. Though I left Omaha in 1964, I would visit annually. He and and I shared many breakfasts or just coffee together on those visits. We became good friends over that 50-year+ time. My respect for him was surpassed only by my love for the man. He was a giant. His impact on us all will be felt for many years to come. You were the best of us, my friend and mentor. See you in Heaven soon!. Love, Steve

  • Nanci Shook Stephenson Posted January 19, 2019 10:21 am

    Dr, Tangdall touched many lives. He was an outstanding educator, coach and mentor. He was always so interested in the students well after graduation and came to many class reunions. He will be greatly missed.

  • Nancy Lawson Posted January 19, 2019 1:31 pm

    I know Jim will be missed greatly. He was a wonderful and caring person. He was a great friend to all. Heaven has gotten another Angel. Many prayers and much love to all of his family.????????????????

  • Eldon Franz Posted January 19, 2019 2:17 pm

    So much to remember and love about this great teacher from geometry to coffee conversations, above all the warmth and kindness in his eyes.

  • Pamela Williams Zanin Posted January 19, 2019 9:55 pm

    My heartfelt condolences to Dr. Tangdall’s family. In 1962 when “Coach Tangdall was my geometry teacher and my grades were mediocre, he called my parents and me into his office and suggested that I cease to walk to class with a particular young man whom he held in low esteem and felt it was was not in my better interests! I had so much respect for Coach Tangdall and was honored that he cared so I followed his excellent advice and my grades likewise improved greatly. I will never forget how he impacted my life.

  • Gloria Becker-Rial Posted January 20, 2019 4:21 pm

    Jim was my principal when I began teaching at Westside High School in 1987. He was always even tempered, positive and a great role model. He backed me up completely when I had to make some difficult decisions that needed to be made but were unpopular with some parents and students. I admired and respected him as so many did. My condolences go out to his family and friends. The world needs more people like him,

  • Christy Madsen Posted January 21, 2019 6:51 am

    With Prayers and Heartfelt Sympathy. May God be your tender comfort in sorrow and bring peace and strength in the days to come. I was very saddened to see in the Omaha World Herald that Jim passed away! I called my dad, Kenny Jensby and told him the news! Dad said, Jim was one of the nicest, kindest men he had ever met! Although he hasn’t seen you for years he assured me that Betty and my mom were best friends all through school! We all remember Alfred and Opal well too as they lived next door to my parents. Dad says he will always remember the fun you guys had together! We just wanted you to know Betty, we are thinking of you and your family during this sad time. You have our heartfelt sympathy. May God be with you and Bless You in the days ahead. We are so sorry for you loss.

  • Westside Human Resources Posted January 21, 2019 11:34 am

    Sending our thoughts and prayers to comfort your family during this time of mourning a legend of Westside Community Schools

  • Robert Harmon Posted January 22, 2019 2:21 pm

    Mr. Tangdall, (I find it hard to call a respected teacher by his first name) was a mentor, math coach, and purveyor of exciting sea stories from his Navy days. He encouraged me in math and in the Naval Service and for that I am very grateful. I spent seven years as a Naval officer at sea because of his encouragement and his sailor “yarns”. I had the good fortune to express my gratitude to him in person at our Class of 1960 Reunion. I am very sorry he is gone because the world needs good people like him more than ever these days. Thank you for everything. Fair winds and smooth sailing, Mr. T.

  • Del & Ann Grim Posted January 28, 2019 10:14 am

    Our sincere sympathy to the family and prayers for God’s love and care for my college room mate and dear friend. The world is a better place for his life contributions and encouragement to all whose lives he touched.

  • Greg Ashley Posted April 2, 2019 9:25 am

    He was a wonderful person and principal. After graduating in 1973, I remember speaking with him on several occasions at the Westside track. He always enjoyed speaking with alumni. He will be missed.

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