Theodore Thormann

Theodore Thormann (Baltimore Sun / November 28, 2011)

Theodore E. Thormann Jr., a popular longtime Calvert Hall College High School math teacher, died Nov. 23 of a heart attack at the Towson private school.

He was 62 and a resident of Towson's Campus Hills neighborhood.

Mr. Thormann, who had heart bypass surgery several years ago, regularly exercised and rode his bicycle. He often would return to school in the evening and work out in the gym or walk the halls for exercise.

He went to Calvert Hall on the evening of Nov. 22, and when he did not return home, his wife of 17 years, the former Janice Flynn, a lawyer with the Public Service Commission, became alarmed and called Baltimore County police.

Early the next morning, they found Mr. Thormann dead in the gym, where he had been stricken with a fatal heart attack.

"It's a great loss to the Calvert Hall community. You just couldn't find a better human being or friend in the world," said John Thaler, math department chairman and a friend of 33 years. "He worried about you. That was always paramount in his mind."

"When we learned of Ted's death, we held an impromptu prayer service at school, and it was announced that the chapel would be open all day for those who wanted to say a prayer for Ted and his family," said Mr. Thaler.

"It was never empty all day. … The kids were somber and they would come in, kneel and offer their prayers. Some were crying," said Mr. Thaler. "And when one kid got up, another would come in to take his place. It was a real tribute to Ted Thormann."

A moment of silence was observed Thanksgiving morning before the kickoff of the annual Calvert Hall-Loyola High football game to remember Mr. Thormann's life.

"Ted worked well with his students. He was an easygoing, positive guy who pushed the boys to do better," said Joseph A. Baker, a Calvert Hall assistant principal and colleague of 32 years.

"He also had lots of positive energy and gave lots of positive reinforcement. He also had a good sense of humor, and had certain expressions like 'I crunch numbers, he whomps them,' or he called difficult problems 'Bears,'" said Mr. Baker.

One of seven children, Mr. Thormann was born in Baltimore and raised in Middle River's Hawthorne neighborhood.

He was a 1967 graduate of Mount Carmel High School in Middle River, where he had been senior class president.

He earned a bachelor's degree in 1972 from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a master's degree in math education from what is now Loyola University Maryland.

After graduating from the University of Maryland, Mr. Thormann celebrated his graduation by riding a bike with a friend from Vermont to Baltimore.

Mr. Thormann began his teaching career in Anne Arundel County public schools and joined the Calvert Hall faculty in 1978.

"Ted was an absolutely wonderful math teacher. He'd come in early and stay late. If kids needed extra help, he gave it to them. He was always there for them," said Mr. Thaler. "He was well-organized in the classroom, and in the department he was always willing to do whatever was needed to be done."

"Ted was a Renaissance man who enjoyed the arts and reading. He was taking piano lessons with his son," said a sister, Patricia Walter, who lives in Perry Hall. "He loved sitting by the ocean in Ocean City and riding his bicycle."

An avid traveler, he enjoyed traveling throughout the U.S. and Europe, and this past summer had visited Yellowstone National Park and Mount Rushmore.

Mr. Thormann was a longtime communicant of Immaculate Heart of Mary Roman Catholic Church in Baynesville, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Monday.

In addition to his wife and sister, Mr. Thormann is survived by his son, Theodore Leo Thormann, 15, a sophomore at Calvert Hall; a daughter, Anna Katherine Thormann, 13, an eighth-grader at Dumbarton Middle School; his mother, Annabelle Thormann of Fullerton; three brothers, Thomas Thormann and Timothy Thormann, both of Perry Hall, and Brian Thormann of Fullerton; two other sisters, Joanne Elliott of White Marsh and Cheryl Williams of Baltimore; and many nieces and nephews.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com