Herbert "Herb" Broda

Birth Date: 
Saturday, March 17, 1945
Date of Passing: 
Thursday, September 1, 2022

Herbert (Herb) Broda, 77, passed away peacefully surrounded by his loving family on September 1, 2022 at Life Care Hospice in Wooster, Ohio. Born in 1945 to Theophil Broda and Irma (Pietsch) Broda, Herb lived in Wooster nearly all of his life. He graduated from Wooster High School (1963), The Ohio State University for both B.A. and M.S. degrees in Economics, and Kent State University for his Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (1977).

Herb’s award-winning career in education spanned over 50 years. This included positions as a 6th grade teacher and principal (Apple Creek Elementary); elementary supervisor, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, and interim superintendent (Tri-County ESC); professor of education (Ashland University); and student teaching supervisor (The College of Wooster). It is impossible to fully represent the impact Herb had on his students and colleagues over the years, but he will be remembered as a gifted teacher and a tireless champion for the field of education. His legacy lives on in classrooms around the world.

Herb is perhaps best known for his work and passion in the field of outdoor education. Countless educators continue to embody his “change of pace and place” philosophy of integrating the outdoors into all aspects of the learning experience. Herb’s work in this area included a television documentary, numerous professional and scholarly articles, two books, and hundreds of workshops and presentations for local, state, national, and international organizations.

He was recognized numerous times for his work, most notably as the recipient of the Ohio Middle School Educator of the Year, the Ashland University Edward and Louaine Taylor Excellence in Teaching Award, and the Finlay Johnson Award in Environmental Education.

After retirement, Herb wrote a regular “Nature Notebook” column for Wooster Weekly News and an online devotional column for Ohio’s Amish Country.

Herb cherished his opportunities to serve numerous organizations including Trinity United Church of Christ, the Environmental Education Council of Ohio (EECO), The Wilderness Center, Nuhop, and Secrest Arboretum Master Gardeners.

A loving husband, father, and grandfather, Herb is survived by his wife of 51 years, Janet (Richeson); daughter, Emily Baxter of State College, PA; sons, Matthew (Kristin) of Wooster, and Mike (Liz) of Richmond, VA; and grandsons, Evan and Andrew Baxter.

A private inurnment was held at Wooster Cemetery.

The family is hosting calling hours and a reflective walk on Friday, September 30 from 4-7 p.m. at one of Herb’s favorite places, Barnes Preserve Pavillion (3396 Sylvan Rd, Wooster).

A celebration of Herb’s life will be held at Trinity United Church of Christ (150 E. North St., Wooster) on Saturday, October 1 at 11 a.m.

McIntire, Bradham & Sleek Funeral Home, 216 E. Larwill St., Wooster is assisting the family.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to one of Herb’s favorite organizations: The Wilderness Center, Friends of the Wayne County Park District (c/o Barnes Preserve), Nuhop, and/or Trinity United Church of Christ.

Online condolences may be left for the family at www.mcintirebradhamsleek.com

Memorial Contributions: 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to be made to one of Herb’s favorite organizations: The Wilderness Center, Friends of the Wayne County Park District (c/o Barnes Preserve), Nuhop, and/or Trinity United Church of Christ.


The family is hosting calling hours and a reflective walk on Friday, September 30 from 4-7 p.m. at one of Herb’s favorite places, Barnes Preserve Pavillion (3396 Sylvan Rd, Wooster).


A celebration of Herb’s life will be held at Trinity United Church of Christ (150 E. North St., Wooster) on Saturday, October 1 at 11 a.m.


Herb spent his life sharing his profound knowledge and endless joy of learning with others. I am so fortunate to have benefited from this gift. He will be dearly missed.
My heartfelt sympathy to you all. Jim Trogdon

Herb was an inspiration and beautiful soul. He was a man I admired for his work in environmental education, but also for his gentle spirit, his positive, contagious enthusiasm, the energy and focus he brought to the many organizations he was involved with. He was a tireless advocate for getting students outside and engaged with their world, and the world is better for it.

Janet and family, my heartfelt condolences for your loss. It was an honor and a privilege to have known Herb and call him a friend. His smile could light up a room and he will be greatly missed by everyone who knew him.

To the Broda family. Please accept my sincere condolences. What a wonderful human being. Always kind to everyone! May he Rest In Peace. Dianne Hange

Our prayers will be with all of you as you learn to live without Herb.
Lorraine and Tim Boreman

We are so sorry for your loss. It was a blessing to have met this family.

Janet, Emily, Matt and Mike, so sorry to hear of Herbs passing if ever I had a hero it was Herb Broda. The OCOEA conferences, the trips to the Taft campus of NIU for the spring colloquiums, and the" Winter Snow Out We Go" weekends in the snow belt of Northeast Ohio. Are times I will cherish forever. Herb was one of the kindest most lever headed people I ever met. A true gentleman and a true scholar. Jo and I send our sincerest condolences and love.

Herb will be truly missed. He was my principal and I was able to work with him in many areas as I too became an educator. May his family and friends be comforted by Gods grace and love. ❤️

Back in the fall of 1976 Herb visited my classroom at Congress Jr. High for the first time and made an impression that lasts to this day. As I got to know him and had the chance to see him teach he became my educational role model. He was energetic, enthusiastic, positive, and well prepared. He was intelligent without being arrogant and was never condescending. I never stood in front of a classroom after that without a little bit of Herb coming through in some way in the lesson. He was a good person who touched many lives and he will be missed.

Herb will be greatly missed. Among the many ways Herb enriched lives was he long-term deep involvement as a board member and leader at The Wilderness Center. As with the schools, Herb helped to shape the environmental education provided to thousands of school children through The Wilderness Center’s programming.
Herb was a mentor to me while I served at Executive Director of The Wilderness Center starting as far back as 1981. His passion for teaching, education, nature, and family may never be matched.

Over 50 years ago, I remember my first day at Apple Creek Elementary and meeting a smiling, caring, intelligent, down-to-earth, energetic, personable principal. Herb made a lasting impression and the impact he had on me and countless others is an impressive legacy. Janet, getting to know you was a double bonus. My sincere condolences to you and all your family. I know how he treasured family.

Janet & family you are in our thoughts and prayers.
Herb and I spent many meaningful hours together in the early days of outdoor education & trips to Kent.
Roger & Sue Chenevey

Janice and Family, I was sorry to hear of Herb's passing. Herb was one-of-a-kind with his love of education and passion for learning. The twelve years that I spent at Tri County Education Center was the most rewarding as an educator. Herb made a
difference in the lives of teacher, their students and in college

It was absolutely my privilege to have gotten to know Herb and to be of service to him for so many years. He was a man who left the world a much better place for having been part of it. I know he will be missed by many.

Herb was loved by all of us at Ashland University. His inspiration lives on in the many students who were lucky enough to learn from him. Our prayers with all of you... Maria Sargent

I am sorry to hear of Herb's passing. My condolences to his family and friends. I remember first meeting Herb at an EECO conference in the early 1990s, and as everyone has said he was kind, passionate, an enthusiastic educator, and ardent supporter of EE in Ohio. I continued to run into Herb at conferences and other workshops over the years and enjoyed every interaction I had with him. I had not seen Herb in years. He will be missed by all of us in EE.

Herb's Family, I am so very sorry for your loss.
I met Herb at several trainings for Soil and Water District educators. I loved his books so much that have used them as required reading materials in my summer workshops for educators seeking CDE credits. He was an inspiration to so many people and he will be missed. Sending prayers for all of you during this very difficult time.

Herb is certainly and deservedly applauded for being smart, accomplished and inspiring. I will especially remember him as a kind-hearted man. He blessed everyone he came into contact with.

To all of Herb Broda's family, When I first graduated and became a teacher he was a very strong influence for me. He was so knowledgeable and motivating. it was an honor to know him and a privilege to talk to him about educational topics and strategies. He was a Great man . I pray for the family as they go through this very tough time.

Tonight, while doing online tutoring, I used the “Mad, Sad, Glad” activity with my student. Then it dawned on me, it was Dr. Broda who gave me that review strategy. I can say a thousand wonderful things about Herb, but I think he would be most delighted to know one of his simple but effective ideas lives on in an educator’s lesson plan. So Herb, Dr. Broda, I’m mad that the world goes on without your wisdom, sad that a new generation of teachers will not hear your words, but oh so glad I knew your kindness and felt your joy in learning from every moment of everyday.

Both of my parents went to school with Herb and when I met him, he couldn’t have been a nicer man. My deepest condolences to Herb’s family and friends.

Herb was a special man with special gifts and the insight and kindness help others profit from those gifts. It was an honor to work with him.

Janet and family: we are so sorry to read of Herb's passing. He was so instrumental in John's career - always the encourager. He truly was One of a Kind. Our sympathies to you and your family.

I am so sorry to hear of Herbs passing. He was a great person and a wonderful educator. He contributed to education in so many ways and I am privileged to consider him
A close friend for over thirty years. My sincere condolences to Janet and the entire family.

Thinking of you Janet and family during this difficult time. Herb was a great mentor and good friend. To say he had a positive impact on many is an understatement. He created excitement and love in learning and had that rare gift to be able to instill that in everyone who heard him speak, sat in his classes, worked with him, read his books, or heard about his excellence in education.
Always “Herb” never “Dr. Broda”, he lifted up all around him.
He will be greatly missed but will continue to inspire us all.

I went to high school with Herb and never saw him again after graduation, since I live far away in Austria.In our senior year, we were both involved in Arena Fair summer theater in Wooster and I still have the note he gave me wishing me good luck in my role as Little Eva In Uncle Tom's Cabin. He was kind and thoughtful even back then.I wish I could have had the opportunity to thank him for his friendship. At least now I have the opportunity to give my condolences to his family.

God Bless whole family in this may they all realize how many people Herb helped.

Janet and family, I was a music teacher/choral director at Dalton High School back in the seventies and the thing I remember about Herb was that he always inspired, mostly with words but also by presence and by creative thinking. If Herb was there, something good was going to take place. His love of field, fauna and family always came through in everything he did or dreamed up or suggested. His encouraging spirit was something I truly appreciated. He was and will continue to be an inspiration. Please accept my deep sympathy.

Dr. Broda was certainly an example of a single person who made a substantial difference in the world! His love of nature, education, and family will be seen for many generations through the lives he touched. I had the privilege and honor to work with him at the Wayne County Board of Education (now Tri-County ESC) as his Administrative Assistant. I learned so much from him and highly treasure that time working with him. My condolences to his family. Know that "Dr. B." was a hero to many and an inspiration to all.
Julie Leathers Stahl

Both of us had the good fortune to work with Herb as fellow teachers and community members. One especially fun memory is recalling a silly Outdoor Ed. field trip back in the 90's at the McMillens' in Shreve when Herb and Paul recreated a skit of the Three Billy Goats Gruff. They had as much fun as Brenda's 1st grade class. They were hilarious. I also had the pleasure of working with Herb on the Buckeye Book Fair committee. All the superlatives have already been shared by others, but we can simply say our lives are better for knowing him and we are so sad and sorry for your loss.

Herb and I were Wooster High School speach team members and he was always very nice and friendly. I have heard things about him over the years and it sounds as if he never changed. My condolences for your loss.

My dear, dear "growing up" best friend and family, My heart breaks for you all. The few times I was in the presence of Herb I always left feeling he was such a kind, positive, caring, intelligent person. I wish I could be there for you, Janet, the way you were there for me a few months ago when Mom passed. Love to you all

I am so sad to hear about Herb's passing. He was a warm and caring mentor who modeled the importance of keeping students first in our work as educators. He made a big impression on me and will be missed!

My sincere condolences to the entire family. Besides having the joy and honor of being Herb's teaching partner for about two decades and learning so much from him, my real joy came from being a friend. He will be missed.

He was my 6th grade teacher in Apple Creek elementary it was his 1st year teaching he was so nice & he make you laugh he was a great teacher my thoughts & prayers are with you

Add new condolence

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.