Norbert C. Soldon, 79, a longtime West Chester University professor, died Wednesday, Dec. 14, at Chester County Hospital of complications from a fall.

For 34 years, Dr. Soldon taught courses in modern British history, European history, and teaching methods at West Chester University. When he retired in 1999, he was named professor emeritus.

"He was passionate about making a difference in the lives of his students," said a daughter, Sherry L. Soldon.

Born in Nanticoke, Pa., Dr. Soldon graduated from Greater Nanticoke Area High School in 1950.

He earned a bachelor's degree in 1954, and a master's degree four years later from Pennsylvania State University.

He earned a doctorate from the University of Delaware in the late 1960s after serving with the U.S. Air Force in Alaska.

Dr. Soldon taught history and philosophy at Brandywine High School in Delaware, and also coached tennis there before moving on to the college level.

His wife, Alice A. Eberle Soldon, said her husband made history come alive by telling stories about war or interesting figures from the past.

"I never heard of a student that didn't like him. He had a dry sense of humor," she said.

Many of the students he mentored went on to teach, his wife said.

During his tenure, Dr. Soldon wrote and edited several books, including Women in British Trade Unions, 1874-1976.

Dr. Soldon lived in West Chester, where he was a member of the Church of the Holy Trinity.

He enjoyed traveling and was a dedicated Pennsylvania State University football fan and a lover of Spanish water dogs, his wife said.

The two, married 52 years, were introduced by a friend when they were at Penn State.

Surviving, in addition to his wife and daughter, are daughters Shawn Alice and Sarah E. Soldon-Marsho; and three granddaughters.

Services are past. Interment was in Birmingham-Lafayette Cemetery, West Chester.

Memorial donations can be made to the Chester County Library, 450 Exton Square Parkway, Exton, Pa. 19341.

Contact staff writer Bonnie L. Cook at 610-313-8232 or bcook@phillynews.com.