University scientist William Nord killed in biking accident

by Joanna Dornfeld

William Nord, a scientist at the Soil Testing Laboratory on the St. Paul campus, died Aug. 13 while biking to work. A car struck him as he crossed Highway 280 on Broadway Avenue. He was 45.

The State Patrol responded to the accident. Nord was pronounced dead on the scene.

“What I will remember most about him was his wit and his wonderful sense of humor,” said Star Hormann, junior scientist in the soil, water and climate department.

Hormann was Nord’s friend and colleague for 20 years.

“He liked to know how things worked and liked to solve puzzles,” said Roger Eliason, a scientist in the soil, water and climate department.

Nord began working for the University in the department of soil, water and climate in 1979, two years after graduating cum laude from Moorhead State University. He worked with soil surveys for 15 years, conducting soil experiments.

Nord then worked with the University through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agriculture Research Service in the Plant Science Research Unit for about two and a half years. He
managed experiments about the effects of nitrogen in soil.

Most recently, Nord worked for the University’s Soil Testing and Research Analytical Laboratory analyzing data. He tested plants and soil for chemicals.

“He donated a lot of time to the University over the years,” Eliason said. “He kind of worked until the job was done.”

Nord was honored at a memorial service Aug. 17 at the Washburn-McReavy Funeral Chapel.

He is survived by his wife Pat; his parents Arne and Lois of Princeton, Minn.; and siblings Jan, Ron, Mark and Scott.