February 15, 1933 - March 3, 2020
To honor his wishes, no services will be held. For those who wish to honor his memory, contributions may be made to Lucia Harrison Geography Scholarship at Western Michigan University, c/o the funeral home.
Age 87, passed away on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. Val was born in on February 15, 1933, the son of Walter V. and Marie M. (VanDenHeed) Eichenlaub. Val received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Western Michigan University, his Master of Arts degree from the University of Michigan, and his Ph.d from Ohio State University. He was appointed to the Department of Geography at Western Michigan University in 1962, attained the rank of Full Professor, and remained there until his retirement in 1992. His fields of specialization were meteorology and climatology. His focus in research over the years were on the effect of the Great Lakes on the climate of the surrounding area, particularly the effect on winter snowfall. His research in this field culminated in a textbook, Weather and Climate of the Great Lakes Region, which has been a popular textbook for introductory classes in meteorology and climatology. Also, while at WMU, along with three other researchers, he helped produce the Climatic Atlas of Michigan, which was a monumental effort which took about ten years to complete. This has been recognized as one of the finest state atlases ever produced. His books were published by Notre Dame Press. He served for one year as an instructor and assistant track coach. During his undergraduate years at Western, he was one of the school’s best short distance runners. He leaves behind his beautiful wife, Donna, and her two daughters, Lisa (Kubiak) Ryder and Amy (Kubiak) McCarthy, son-in-law, Dennis Ryder and two grandsons, Terry and Tyler Ryder. Donna was by his side for 27 years, providing a wonderful home and loving care, especially in his final few years. He was incredibly lucky to have such a kind, loving woman in his life. He was preceded in death by his parents.