Emeriti Professor William Nardini passed away at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, on Saturday, Jan. 26, 2008, at the age of 78. Dr. Nardini established the Department of Criminology at Indiana State University in 1968, and was chairman of the department for 18 years. He retired in 1992, but continued to work as Adjunct Professor through 2007. The Department is ranked one of the best in the United States. He had a bachelor’s degree from Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, and a master’s degree, and doctorate in criminology, law, and sociology from the State University of Iowa. His college distinctions include the Academic Honor Society, president of the Graduate Colloquium, and the Men’s Senate Key. While in college he also received high athletic honors in wrestling including second place in the NAAU in 1951, was three-time Midwest Conference Champion from 1949 to 1951, and Japanese Champion in Tokyo. He was a U.S. Army sergeant serving with the 7th Infantry Division in Korea. He received the Purple Heart among other military honors. He served several years as 1st lieutenant in the Active Reserve.
His professional work included associate warden of the Iowa State Penitentiary; chief of research and superintendent for the District of Columbia Department of Corrections; and commissioner of corrections for the state of Delaware. Prior to his tenure at ISU, he was research associate at the University of Illinois, professor at South Dakota State College, and lecturer at both American University and the University of Delaware.
Dr. Nardini was a licensed polygraph examiner conducting numerous criminal and non-criminal examinations for the courts, prosecution, defense, and private industry for 20 years. He was professionally affiliated with the American Polygraph Association, American Society of Criminologists, American Security Council, American Society for Industrial Security, Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. He also served on numerous boards, commissions, and advisory committees on many levels and was a prolific writer with some 25 publications including a text co-authored by Dr. Robert Caldwell, Foundations of Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice.
Locally, Dr. Nardini was a member and former deacon of Oregon Baptist Church. He also was a member of American Legion Post 346, Pachyderm Club, and the Francis Vigo American-Italian Club, and was a past member of Rotary Club. He had many interests including reading, computers, walking, woodworking, weightlifting and the wonders of nature. God's creation.
He is from a family of 13 children of parents Domenic and Mary Nardini, and was born in Chicago, on July 14, 1929. His siblings and spouses are Daniel and Kay, Ray and Barbara, William (who died at age 3), Violet and Don MacKenzie, Robert and Betty, James and Jean, Richard and Mabel, Eugene and Donna, Tom and Gracie Bowlan, Jeanette and Ollie Hoss, Ronald and Barbara, and Charles and Patricia. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings and spouses, Daniel and Kay, Ray, William, Violet and Don, and Jean.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Lois; former wife, Georgia Ann; children and step-children, William Nardini Jr. and Tamie Nardini, Tony Nardini, Maria Nardini and Dave Westermeier, Lynn Williams, and Jane and Klaus-Dieter Wurm; grandchildren, Matthew and Jacob Nardini and Nicholas and Annika Wurm; and many nieces and nephews and their children.
Services are 3 p.m. Saturday in DeBaun Springhill Chapel, 85 E. Springhill Drive. Visitation is 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, and 1 p.m. until services Saturday. Memorial gifts may be made to the Oregon Baptist Church Building Fund or to the William Nardini Memorial Scholarship in Criminology and Criminal Justice at ISU, through their foundation office.