Obituary Listings

Herbert Forest Teichman

February 27, 1930 January 14, 2019
Herbert Forest Teichman
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Obituary for Herbert Forest Teichman

Herbert Forest Teichman, 88, of Eau Claire, died Monday, Jan. 14, 2019, at Hanson Hospice Center, Stevensville.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Bowerman Funeral Home, Eau Claire, where friends may call beginning at 11 a.m. Burial with military rites by the North Berrien Military Rites Team will be in Caldwell Cemetery, Eau Claire. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Eau Claire Community Church, or the Michigan State University Southwest Research and Extension Center (online at https://givingto.msu.edu/ways-to-give.cfm), Benton Harbor. Online messages may be left at www.bowermanfuneral.com.

Herb was born Feb. 27, 1930, in Benton Harbor, the son of William W. and Leona L. (Dahnke) Teichman. He and his wife, Liz, owned and operated Skyline Orchards and Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm near Eau Claire. He was widely recognized as an innovator and early leader in the agricultural tourism industry.

As a youth on his family’s farm, Herb watched his mother, Leona, and Mrs. Stanley Johnston can experimental varieties of peaches to help her husband, Dr. Stanley Johnston, superintendent of Michigan State University’s (MSU) South Haven experiment station, with his research. Herb was also present when his dad sold the first bushel of Red Haven peaches at the Benton Harbor Fruit Market.

After graduation from Dowagiac Union High School, Herb attended Michigan State University for a year before hitch-hiking to the San Joaquin Valley region in California to work in fruit crops for a season. Shortly after he enlisted in the US Navy. Upon graduation at the Great Lakes Naval Academy, he received the American Spirit Honor Medal and was voted as Honor Man by his company. He served aboard the U.S.S. WASP (1950-1954, Pacific 7th Fleet World Cruise), and was present when Chiang Kai-shek, then-leader of the Republic of China, spent four hours on board the ship to watch simulated air war maneuvers in Formosan waters.

Upon discharge from the Navy, he and his new bride Liz began farming with his father, “Bill”. Herb and Liz eventually purchased the farm from Bill and Leona. After the purchase of a bulldozer, Herb bought nearby properties, cleared and planted more fruit trees. In the 1960s he worked with Michigan State University Extension and George Friday on the mechanical harvest of cherries and apples. In the early 1970s, his family opened the farm to the public for pick-your-own fruit harvest. His desire was to share the bounty of the land with others who would enjoy and respect it. In 1975, after hosting a successful cherry pit spitting contest at a local festival, he held the first International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship on the farm. The “Pit Spit”, now in its 45th year, became globally recognized by media outlets worldwide. Other innovations were the “Family Tree” rent-a-tree program, and a heritage apple orchard in 1976 to preserve apple varieties from the past. At its peak, the farm boasted over 250 varieties.

Herb served on numerous boards of directors and committees over the years, including the local school board; Chamber of Commerce (1969-1972); Michigan Cherry Research and Marketing Committee - Red Tart Cherry Information Program (1990-1998); Michigan Plum Committee (1979-1981); National Apple Institute, Michigan Delegate (1966-1975); Blossomtime (1978-1981); Michigan Agriculture Marketing Association Cherry Division (1978-1990); MDA Pesticide Advisory Committee (1978); Berrien County Bicentennial Committee (1976); Michigan State Apple Commission (1966-1975); and the Michigan State Travel Commission. He was a life-time member of the Michigan State Horticulture Society, and held memberships in the Southwestern Michigan Tourist Council, West Michigan Tourist Association and
International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association. Among his awards were the American Spirit Honor Metal, U.S. Navy; Company Honor Man, Great Lakes Naval Academy; Special Tribute, Governor William Milliken for contributions to tourist industry and fruit promotions, State of Michigan,1980; Ambassador of Michigan Tourism Award, 1986; Business Man of the Year Award, Berrien Springs/Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce, 1994; Michigan Agricultural and Natural Resources Product Pioneer Award, 1995; Distinguished Service Award, Michigan State Horticultural Society, 1996; Very Cherry Promotion Award (Herb & Liz Teichman), Leelanau Enterprise, 2005; Berrien County Farm Bureau Agricultural Promoter of the Year, 2006; Michigan Farm Bureau Agricultural Promoter of the Year, 2008; Jefferson Award, NOAA National Weather Service, 2011; Dick Hagemeyer Award, 45 years of service, NOAA National Weather Service, 2013. He spoke at numerous conferences and speaking engagements world-wide.

He is survived by his wife, Mary E. “Liz” (Zindel) whom he married June 13, 1954, in Moweaqua, IL; daughters, Lynnell (Grant) Sage of Morrice and Cynthia (Glen) DeValk, Eau Claire; son, William F. (Monica) Teichman, Eau Claire; grandchildren, Katherine Sage, Alexis, Olivia and Will Teichman, all of Eau Claire; sisters, Emily R. Foster, Niles and Judith L. Teichman, Point Reyes Station, CA; brother, John W. (Marcia) Teichman of Traverse City; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother-in-law, John O. Foster.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

19

Jan

11:00 AM 1/19/2019 11:00:00 AM - 1:00 PM 1/19/2019 1:00:00 PM
Bowerman Funeral Home

6635 East Main Street, Eau Claire, MI 49111
Eau Claire, MI 49111

Bowerman Funeral Home
6635 East Main Street, Eau Claire, MI 49111 Eau Claire 49111 MI
United States

Funeral Service

Saturday

19

Jan

1:00 PM 1/19/2019 1:00:00 PM
Bowerman Funeral Home

6635 East Main Street, Eau Claire, MI 49111
Eau Claire, MI 49111

Bowerman Funeral Home
6635 East Main Street, Eau Claire, MI 49111 Eau Claire 49111 MI
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Caldwell Cemetery Final Resting Place

7021 East Main Street
Eau Claire, Michigan 49111

7021 East Main Street Eau Claire 49111 Michigan
United States

Memorial Contribution

Eau Claire Community Church

6706 East Main Street
Eau Claire, Michigan 49111

Michigan State University Southwest Research and Extension Center

Benton Harbor, Michigan 49022
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