Howard A. Nollenberger, a criminal justice professor who had real-world experience as a federal parole officer and a Lucas County jail official, died Sunday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue. He had emphysema, his wife, Millie, said. He was 81.
The Rossford resident retired in 1991 after teaching nearly 20 years at the University of Toledo community and technical college at Scott Park.
"He brought an academic perspective [and] practical experience," said his son Skip, a former student. "He was very relaxed and open and available for questions, and he liked to see his students perform well."
After class, he pursued his own studies and received a master's degree and a doctorate from UT.
A 1948 graduate of the former Pemberville High School, he received a bachelor's degree in 1952 from Ohio State University, where an elective in criminology sparked his interest in the field. He was a fighter pilot and instructor in the Air Force afterward and served in Korea. Back in the United States, he was a federal parole officer with assignments in Denver, Cheyenne, and Detroit.
In 1968, he became coordinator of a new program in police science at what was then Penta County Technical College -- now Owens Community College.
He was hired in 1970 by Lucas County Sheriff William Metzger and, in 1971, became director of corrections and planning at the former county jail. In 1972, he received an award from the correctional officers association for his innovative approaches.
"Dad connected with everybody. He could talk with the prisoners, with the guards," his son said. "He had a genuine desire to help. I think that's what drove him into probation and parole: These people are human as well."
Mr. Metzger was defeated in 1972, and Mr. Nollenberger left for UT in 1973.
Surviving are his wife, Millie, whom he married June 21, 1969; son, Howard A. "Skip" Nollenberger, Jr.; daughter, Leslie Reisner; sister, Jane Grove, and four grandchildren.
The family will receive friends from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the Sujkowski Funeral Home of Rossford.