Brother Edmund Styrna
ORONO and NAPLES, Fla. – Edmund Styrna, 87, died Oct. 31, 2008, at a Bangor hospital. He was head track coach at the University of Maine for 30 years and a three-time All-American athlete.
Edmund was born Jan. 4, 1921, in Nashua, N.H., the son of immigrants from Lithuania who worked in local mills. When Edmund was a student at Nashua High School, his older brother joined the track team and brought home a hammer to practice throwing. Young Ed started playing with the hammer, teaching himself how to throw. Eventually, he discovered a unique, heel-toe technique that later earned him distinction, and became adopted with success by other hammer throwers. In the years to come, he excelled in both hammer and javelin events, and became a three-time All-American athlete – first at Nashua High, next at Seton Hall Prep and finally at the University of New Hampshire. He was the first to win both the hammer and javelin throws at the IC4A meet in New York. He was also proud to have won the hammer throw events at Penn Relays.
During World War II, Edmund served in the Pacific theater in the Army Air Corps. His coaching career began at Dartmouth College in 1948, where he was assistant track coach for nine years. He became head track coach at the University of Maine in 1956. His ardent insistence on correct technique and love of track and field led his teams to many victories. Edmund’s UMaine track teams won 130 dual meets, lost 52 and had five ties. His teams also won 30 state championships and six Yankee Conference championships. Edmund was inducted into the University of New Hampshire Sports Hall of Fame in 1982, the Maine Sports Hall of Fame in 1993 and the Nashua Sports Hall of Fame in 1997.
Edmund spent his retirement years playing golf, enjoying his time in Florida and rooting for the Red Sox. He was predeceased by his wife, Beverly. Surviving are two daughters, Sandra Griffin of Las Vegas and Orono and Susan Boyce of Bradford, N.H.; and five grandchildren. Relatives and friends are welcome to call 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5, at Brookings-Smith, LaBeau Chapel, 72 Main St., Orono. A memorial service will be held 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, at Church of Universal Fellowship, 82 Main St., Orono, with the Rev. Lorna Stuart, celebrant. The family invites relatives and friends to share conversation and refreshments in the Church vestry immediately after the service. Those who wish to remember Coach Styrna in a special way may make gifts in his memory to the University of Maine Foundation, Edmund Styrna Scholarship Fund, 2 Alumni Place, Orono, ME 04469. Condolences to the family may be expressed at www.BrookingsSmith.com.