Eldor Clemons Quandt Jr. died Wednesday, April 26 at the age of 83 in Portage, Michigan.
El was born to Eldor Sr. and Esther (Bartsch) Quandt on August 22, 1939, in Mayville, WI. Members of his family include his children Kari (Rhys) Roberts of Fort Collins, CO and Cynthia (Steve) Jovanovich of Lemont, IL; his grandchildren, Oliver, Zoe, and Megan of Fort Collins and Carter and Keegan of Lemont; his brother Richard Quandt of Fond du Lac, WI and sister Marlene (Ralph) McClure of Bayside, WI; as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Wayne, his sister-in-law Kathy (Richard) and brother-in-law Jack (Marlene).
"Eldie" grew up in Mayville, WI on the Quandt farm, which still remains in the family today. He and his siblings knew hard work and learned early in life that chores had to be done every day. In attending Mayville High School, El played on multiple sports teams and lettered in football, baseball, and basketball. He talked often about remaining in touch with teammates and coaches and made all attempts at going back for every high school reunion.
Dr. Quandt received his B.S. in Geography from Valparaiso University in 1961. He then attended Kansas State University for his M.S. in Geography and graduated in 1963. He joined Western Michigan University's Geography Department as an instructor in 1967 and then as an assistant professor in 1969. El went on to obtain his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in Geography in 1971. He became an associate professor in 1978 for WMU and then accepted the position of Chairperson in 1986 which he held for the next 14 years until his retirement in 2000. He had well over 15 different publications in his career and was credited with helping to develop the Travel and Tourism program at WMU. El also guided trips for the department to places such as the Dominican Republic, Haiti, and Brazil. After retirement, Eldor continued to stay active and involved in the domain of tourism and travel. El assisted with the feasibility study for the Kalamazoo Air Zoo, worked for 15 years with the Convention and Visitors Bureau on the "Yes there is a Kalamazoo" campaign, and had a part in so many other impact studies, reports, and presentations both for Kalamazoo and the state of Michigan. As if that was not enough, El decided to obtain employment on multiple cruise ships. He was the geography liaison for passengers, teaching them about the culture, economics, and geographical information on the areas they traveled. This included places such as Panama, Cuba, and Norway.
El had many other passions as well. From being on the third base line as a coach, to standing at the finish line as a fan, El always encouraged his children to embrace a challenge and enjoy the competition. He also practiced what he preached. El had a drive to stay active throughout his life. He ran dozens of races, including many marathons. He was even able to run a few marathons with family, including one marathon with each daughter. El enjoyed time on the tennis court and golf course, as well, but his passion later in life turned to bicycling. He enjoyed many long and short adventures on his road bike, both alone and with family. Exercise brought him great joy and satisfaction and he continued to bike even a few days before his passing.
Eldor's faith in God was a constant throughout his life. He was baptized and confirmed at St. John's Lutheran Church in Mayville, WI. Once settled in Kalamazoo, El became a member at Zion Lutheran Church and participated in many different roles and activities. His passion for life and learning and his love for those around him are a testament to his relationship with his God.
While El had many accolades in life he was most proud of his family. He led his daughters to find success and to build their own loving families, including 5 beloved grandchildren. Grandpa Q was always ready to throw the ball, shoot some hoops, play some cards, read a book, or most especially take them out for an ice cream cone. He showered them with love, attention, and humor, and their lives are richer for having him as their grandpa.
Memorial contributions in Eldor's name may be made to Western Michigan University- Foundation Attn: Gift Processing 1903 W Michigan Ave Kalamazoo, MI 49008 (use code D312 in memory of Eldor Quandt) or by going to https://secure.wmualumni.org/s/give?funds=D312
or the Mayville Athletic Booster Club.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, May 6, 2023, at 11:00 am at Zion Lutheran Church 2122 Bronson Blvd. Kalamazoo, MI 49008, with visitation taking place from 10am until time of service. Arrangements entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services 3926 S 9th St Kalamazoo, MI 49009. To leave an online condolence, please visit