Edward P. Nordberg Sr., a retired Baltimore County public schools history teacher and counselor who was also a beloved golf coach, died Oct. 27 from complications of a stroke at Stella Maris Hospice. The longtime Glen Arm resident was 90.
“Ed was really a special guy. He was a teacher first, and a coach second, and he used his abilities as a teacher to teach the kids he was coaching that it wasn’t just about winning and losing,” said Robert Y. Dubel, who headed Baltimore County public schools for 16 years before retiring in 1992.
“He was a counselor, teacher and coach all wrapped up into one. He was known as an excellent history teacher and coach,” said Dr. Dubel, a Glen Arm resident. “Ed loved the kids and he loved sports. He had a great feel for people and could relate to them."
Edward Peter Nordberg, the son of William G. Nordberg, a foundryman, and his wife, Nellie V. Nordberg, a homemaker, was born and raised in Mansfield, Massachusetts.
After graduating from Mansfield High School he entered Stonehill College in Easton, Massachusetts, where he was a member of its first graduating class in 1952, earning his bachelor’s degree.
“The college was called the Notre Dame of the East, and Ed was so proud of that,” said his wife of 61 years, the former Carol Adams, a retired Baltimore County public schools physical education instructor.
In 1953, he obtained a master’s degree in history from Boston College, and subsequently a master’s degree in counseling from the University of Maryland, College Park.
After teaching for two years in Calvert County public schools, Mr. Nordberg began his teaching career at North Point Junior High School in 1955. He joined the faculty of Dundalk Junior High School in 1959 and a year later, transferred to Dundalk Senior High School.
Mr. Nordberg was a founding faculty member at Overlea Senior High School when it opened in 1961. In 1969, began teaching at Kenwood Senior High School and then taught from 1976 to 1977 at Loch Raven Senior High School,
In 1977, he joined the staff at Kenwood Senior High School as a guidance counselor and golf coach.
“Ed always gravitated toward the troubled kids,” said Mrs. Nordberg, who retired from Perry Hall Middle School.
“He had compassion for those students who had trouble achieving and who had problems,” Dr. Dubel said. “And he loved getting kids who had problems interested in sports.”
Mr. Nordberg imparted his enthusiasm for golf to his students.
“Ed donated golf clubs and shoes so the kids could play,” his wife said. “After all, these weren’t country club kids.”
After he retired in 1987, Mr. Nordberg coached basketball at Dulaney High School and the women’s team at Sparrows Point High School.
“He was my frequent golfing companion, and I can tell you he was very competitive,” Dr. Dubel said, who added that Mr. Nordberg liked asking history questions while he played a round of golf.
“Ed would say, ‘What year was the Battle of Hastings?’ ” Dr. Dubel said with a laugh.
“He was a jokester and had a tremendous sense of humor and was very outgoing,” Dr. Dubel said.
In an email, Edward P. Nordberg Jr. of Chevy Chase recalled a golfing highlight of his father’s life.
“This is a fun fact which I witnessed,” Mr. Nordberg wrote. “When they were each about to turn 80 my Dad was fortunate to play one golf hole with Arnold Palmer at the Merion Golf Club in Philadelphia. Both parred the hole so my Dad was fond of saying he ‘was all square in his lifetime against Arnie.' "
He was 84 when he won his last big tournament at the Country Club of Maryland, where he was a longtime member, and in 2018, when he was 89, he traveled to Ireland with his family.
“He golfed the Sunday before he had his stroke,” his wife said.