Jerome Nathanson dies was City College teacher

August 25, 1991

Jerome "Jerry" Nathanson, who touched the lives of thousands of people as a teacher and coach at Baltimore City College, died Friday of respiratory failure at St. Joseph Hospital. He was 77.

Services will be held at 8 p.m. tomorrow at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.

Mr. Nathanson's track teams won 165 straight meets and 13 city championships, and his cross-country teams won 14 varsity and 12 junior-varsity city titles from 1958 until 1972.

"Gentlemen," he would tell team tryouts, "we don't finish second."

"Gentlemen," he would tell team tryouts, "we don't finish second."

"He took what I would call the great melting pot of Baltimore's neighborhood kids and transformed them into unified winning teams," said a friend and former team member, Lee Raskin, an executive with a Baltimore money-management firm.

"Anybody that ran on City's teams left that school with a sense of pride and accomplishment, understanding their strengths and their capabilities and a greater respect for their fellow man," said Mr. Raskin, a member of the City College Board of Visitors.

Mr. Raskin estimated that Mr. Nathanson had coached or taught thousands of teen-agers during his 27 years at City College -- among them Kurt L. Schmoke, a track team member and a 1967 graduate of Baltimore's oldest high school.

A Baltimore native, Mr. Nathanson was himself a 1932 City graduate.

He played varsity baseball and basketball at Temple University, but never ran track. He earned a master's degree at the University of Maryland.

He taught at Clifton Park Junior High before and briefly after Navy service in World War II. He taught for several months at Baltimore Polytechnic Institute before joining the faculty at City College in 1945.

Over the years, he also coached soccer, football and basketball.

For three decades he helped run a summer camp in Belgrade Lakes, Maine.

Mr. Nathanson, who lived in Towson, was raised in Baltimore's Easterwood Park and was to be honored at the community boys club's 63rd reunion next month.

Survivors include his wife of 42 years, the former Nelda Silvernail; a son, Lee Nathanson of Great Falls, Va.; and a brother, Alfred Nathanson of Stevenson in Baltimore County.

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