Theodore F. 'Ted' Stromberg, longtime real estate professional, dies

Longtime Howard County real estate professional Theodore F. "Ted" Stromberg died June 22.

Theodore F. "Ted" Stromberg, a veteran Howard County real estate professional who played a role in developing several premier county developments, died June 22 from complications from dementia at Lorien Taneytown Inc. in Taneytown.

The Elkridge resident was 95.


"Ted was a mentor to me when I came to Howard County in the late 1960s," said Jerry Ford of Columbia, a real estate agent with Long & Foster. "He was always fair and we worked on a lot of transactions together. He was a huge credit to our industry."

Theodore Francis Stromberg was the son of Clement A. Stromberg, an insurance man and grocer, and Agnes L. Stromberg, who worked for a time in a grocery and started a real estate firm. He was born in Baltimore and raised in Irvington and Elkridge.


He was a 1939 graduate of Mount St. Joseph High School where he played football and was a member of the swim team.

After high school, he began working in 1940 for A.L. Stromberg Co., the real estate firm that had been established by his mother in 1927. He worked alongside his three brothers, King, William and Leonard.

He entered the Army Air Force in 1944, and served as a radar operator and gunner in the Pacific Theater of operations until being discharged with the rank of sergeant in 1946.

After returning to A.L. Stromberg Co., the business expanded to three offices — Arbutus, Glen Burnie and Ellicott City, which Mr. Stromberg operated.

"It was a very, very small industry in 1940 when I got started. There were probably only two or three realtors in all of Howard County. And it wasn't the strong competitive business it is today," Mr. Stromberg told The Baltimore Sun in a 1979 interview. "We're really unique because of our position in the Baltimore-Washington corridor and the job market."

Mr. Stromberg's pitch to first time young buyers was not to wait to buy a home.

"You've got to get started. If I were advising a young couple, I'd tell them, 'Don't buy a Cadillac; get something that gets 30 miles per gallon.' Buy a townhouse, something with minimum upkeep and energy costs," he said in the interview. "Purchase a group home and rent out part of it. Waiting is not the right move."

In addition to selling real estate, Mr. Stromberg and his brothers diversified the business into commercial sales, insurance and appraisal services.


He also was the sales agent for Mark A. Wakefield Jr., a developer, whose projects included the luxury communities of Woodmark and Farside, as well as Dunloggin, where Mr. Stromberg had lived.

"Ted had been an amateur boxer in his youth, so he didn't take a lot of stuff from people, but everyone trusted him implicitly," Mr. Ford said.

"He was always nice to deal with but didn't like losing a dollar on a commission," he said with a laugh. "He was just a grand guy who was well liked."

In 1953, he married the former Margaret Ann Dinkelman, who began working with her husband in 1968. She died in January 2017.

Mr. Stromberg retired in the late 1980s.

"I think so many realtors have lost touch, they don't get out with the people anymore," he said, reflecting on his career in the 1979 interview. "I honestly love it. I get twice as much out of it as I put in."


During his career, Mr. Stromberg earned many honors. He was twice named realtor of the year in Howard County and realtor of the year for Greater Baltimore. He was a member of Howard County Board of Realtors and had served as its president from 1969 to 1970.

In 1983, he was inducted into Omega Tau Rho, an honorary fraternity of the National Association of Realtors. In 1991, the association presented him the title Realtor Emeritus.

Mr. Stromberg had been a member of the Home Builders Association and had been on the board of Chesapeake Bank for 50 years until stepping down in 2007.

"Such a wonderful man. He was the best," said Rose Copper, senior vice president and branch administrator for Chesapeake Bank. "Whenever he came in for a board meeting, he'd always stop by and converse with me. He was a very intelligent man, and ... a real teddy bear."

"He cared about my career and had a heart of gold," she said. "I was blessed to have known him. I know I have a new guardian angel in heaven."

The Morning Sun


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Mr. Stromberg enjoyed hunting locally as well as in Pennsylvania, Wyoming, South Carolina and Canada.


He was a member of Turf Valley Country Club and enjoyed golfing there. He also liked staying at The Spinnaker in Ocean City and taking daily, 5-mile walks along the beach.

"He also knew karate and was doing that until he was well into his 80s," Ms. Copper said.

Mr. Stromberg was a longtime active communicant of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church, and was a member of its Knights of Columbus and Order of Alhambra. In 2005, he was presented an Archdiocese of Baltimore Medal of Honor.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Monday at his church, 4795 Illchester Road, Ellicott City.

Mr. Strombrg is survived by his son, Jim Stromberg of Hampstead; two daughters, Susanne Stromberg Lokey of Woodbine and Cathy Stromberg Heise of Littleton, Colo.; seven grandchildren; and a great-grandson.