Herbert Edwin Ellinger, (Herb to his friends and family) passed away peacefully on Thursday evening, May 25th, 2017 at his Friendship Village residence where he was active in various activities and committees. He was born March 16th, 1921 in Spencerville, Ohio, to Clarence and Beatrice (Matthews) Ellinger. He had two siblings, Russell Ellinger and Carol (Ellinger) Fulton; all of whom are deceased. While his family lived several generations in Allegan County, his father, who a pastor, moved his family several times to various states. While Herb's father was serving in North Dakota, Herb spent several summers on a ranch. He grew up as a real cowboy. From a young age he was passionate about aircraft and flying. By 1942, he moved to Kalamazoo, MI. to serve as a flight instructor in a WWII pilot training program, for the then Western College of Education (now Western Michigan University). Shortly, he was hired to teach in Western's aircraft technology department. He spent 41 years at the University-before retiring 1983. In the mid-1950s, he started an automotive technology program that blossomed into a nationally recognized program within the automotive industry. He was a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers and the National Association of College Automotive Teachers. After he retired he was an educational speaker for automotive engine sealing. Herb wrote a textbook called Auto Mechanics that became the best-selling textbook in Prentice Hall's college and technical division. He wrote a number of other texts and became Prentice Hall's editor for automotive textbooks. Shortly after he came to Kalamazoo he meet Christine Verkow. He married her in 1942 and had 52 years with her until she passed in 1995. They had two children, Dr. Robert S. Ellinger and Kay (Ellinger) Rice. With her husband David Rice she had Herb's two grandsons, Matthew and Daniel and there are two great-grandchildren, Elina and Elizabeth Rice. Herb was a long time member of the First United Methodist Church in Kalamazoo. Herb and Christine both became very involved with Christian Missions both in the Methodist Church and with GO International. They travelled to Congo, twice to help at Samuteb Hospital. There, Herb worked on airplanes, vehicles, small engines and whatever else needed to be fixed while teaching the mechanics how to do further repairs. While there, Herb and Chris became close friends with Dr. Glen and Lena Eschtruth. After Dr. Glen died in the conflict in Zaire, Lena came back to the United States and remained a close friends. In 1997, two years after Chris's death, Herb married Lena. In doing so, he gained three (step) daughters, Martha, Susan, and Caroline, 6 (step) grandchildren, and 12 (step) great-grandchildren. Service June 1st, 3 PM in the Kiva at Friendship Village. In lieu of flowers, please send memorials to Westwood United Methodist Church for Samuteb Hospital in Congo. For obituary and condolences, please see Herbert's personalized page at www.langelands.com.