A friend, coach will be missed

To the Editor:

Chris Stromberg and I met 40 years ago this summer at Bethel Local Schools. I was beginning my professional career as teacher and coach and he had one year under his belt. This began a friendship that lasted long after Chris left Bethel. ‘Berg, as he was known to friends, died on Monday, May 23, while visiting in Wilmington, Ohio.

‘Berg had a storied history at the “Bee-hive.”He taught science, health and driver’s education. He was a counselor and his favorite to do was coach the Bees Cross Country, which rose from a doormat operation to a state of Ohio yearly contender. He coached a great gang of gutsy guys back in the ’70s and ’80s, but decided to switch careers and moved the family to St. Louis, Mo., to pursue his doctorate degree in chiropractic.

Dr. Stromberg returned to Ohio and fostered a quite successful business in chiropractic in Wilmington, Ohio. Through all the moves and the changes in our lives we always kept the strong brotherly bond. We never failed to discuss the good old Bethel days and both of us kept up with, and in touch with ,many former students and athletes. Bethel Schools and sports in general was a main source of conversation. I would be remiss as friend if I did not include the years of talks which always dealt with our philosophies of life. These talks would prove noteworthy in the years to come.

Nearly four years ago ‘Berg began the toughest battle of his life — much more challenging than the endless hours of study to be known as Dr. Stromberg. ‘Berg’s next battle would be cancer. He proved to be a tough match for the dreaded “C” word. But as most of us know, cancer is an opponent that does not quit.

‘Berg, Dr. Stromberg, was sent to Heaven on May 23, 2016. I consider myself a fortunate man that his wife of over 40 years, Christine, herself a Bethel teacher for many years, called me and requested I come see my friend one last time. I visited with my friend with death hanging in the air as we “talked” of the good old days at Bethel Schools and the good old days in general.

While decades have passed since ‘Berg coached his last team his legacy at Bethel is a for sure.

Chris Stromberg is survived by his wife, daughter, son, grandson, and countless people who called him friend.

My friend has taken up residency with God.

— Mark L. Striebich