OGDEN – Those who knew Dave Nordquist say he was a mainstay in the teaching and government communities of Weber County – a natural leader who knew how to harness every ounce of potential from the people around him.
But while these qualities have made Nordquist successful in his professional life, his friends say he will be remembered for much more.
“The thing I think I will remember the most about Dave is his kindness and the way he has always put people first,” said Tiffany Staheli, who has worked with Nordquist in various capacities. in North Ogden City. “He was kind of one of those guys who just knew how to get things done and that was really part of who he was. But above all, he was a human person.”
Nordquist passed away earlier this month at the age of 72, after a long battle with neuroendocrine cancer.
According to his obituary, Nordquist was born in Ogden on November 14, 1948. He graduated from Bountiful High School and married his high school sweetheart, Ilene Tingey, in 1967. He played baseball at the University of Utah and in graduated in 1972. Soon after, Nordquist began a career in education that spanned four decades with coaching and teaching work at Mount Ogden Junior High. Two years later, he moved to Ogden High, becoming the school’s head baseball coach. During his tenure as Tiger baseball coach, his teams won a dozen regional championships and won the 4A State title in 1982.
For 26 years, Nordquist served as the athletic director of OHS, being twice selected as Utah’s athletic director of the year.
Lucille Brizzee first met Nordquist when she started teaching at Ogden High in 1988. Nordquist was athletic director when Brizzee coached volleyball at school. She said he was part of a renowned Tiger coaching class that included a handful of highly regarded and extremely successful coaches, like Nordquist’s longtime friend Phil Russell. The legendary women’s basketball coach died in late 2020 at the age of 75 after facing complications from COVID-19.
âDave was part of this really amazing group of coaches that really made Ogden High a fun school to go to,â Brizzee said. âAnd that’s a legacy that lives on at Ogden today.â
While Brizzee’s first introduction to Nordquist was on a professional level, the couple became close friends. They eventually lived in the same neighborhood and both sat together on the board of directors of their homeowners association. Brizzee said she visited Nordquist at his home in St. George a few weeks before his death. When Nordquist’s first wife, Ilene, died in 2018, he remarried Ellen Christensen Nordquist and the couple moved to Washington County.
âHe told me he was dying,â Brizzee said. âSo I knew it was going to happen, but you’re never really prepared for it. He leaves a great legacy. He was a very organized guy and just a natural leader. But to me, he was a mentor. how busy he was. was, he was there to give me advice on teaching, coaching – whatever. That’s what I think sets him apart, the way he cared about the people around him. “
Nordquist retired from the Ogden School District in 2002, then became Director of Parks and Recreation in North Ogden City.
Staheli said she first met Nordquist when he hired her to work in the old pool at Ben Lomond High School. He eventually hired her again to work at the North Ogden Aquatic Center, and Staheli actually took over for Nordquist as director of North Ogden Parks and Recreation in 2012.
âI kind of followed in his footsteps,â Staheli said.
Staheli said Nordquist has a collection of animatronic Christmas animals and will distribute them to his daughters.
âIt would be like a puppy singing Elvis or something,â Staheli said. âHe loved them and that was just part of Dave’s funny personality. He was one of the funniest guys you ever met. He made us scream in the office sometimes. There were a lot of tears in the office here when we found out Dave had passed. ”
North Ogden council member Phil Swanson said Nordquist retired from the town before joining the council, but Swanson said he knew Nordquist from others in the town and that he continued to defend parks and recreation long after his retirement.
âHe was one of those guys that everyone thought about it,â Swanson said.
Nordquist’s funeral will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Weber Heights Stake Center, 1401 Country Hills Drive, Ogden. The funeral service will be webcast live on its obituary page on the Myers Mortuary website, www.myers-mortuary.com.