Died July 19, 2009 at Bronson Hospital, Kalamazoo. Woody was born on November 13, 1933 the son of Katherine and Elwood Ehrle of Clifton, NJ. His family owned and operated a florist and nursery business in Clifton for over 30 years. Woody’s earliest botanical training was from his grandfather, George L. Ehrle, who, in 1925, produced the world’s first double-flowered “Baby’s Breath,” now the florist standard all over the world. He graduated from Clifton High School in 1950. Woody earned a B.S. Degree in Ornamental Horticulture from Rutgers University in 1954, an M.A. degree in Botany from Columbia University in 1955, and a Ph.D. degree in Botany from Pennsylvania State University in 1958. He was Professor of Botany at Geneseo State University, Geneseo, NY from 1958-68 with a sabbatical leave taken at Cornell University to study Radiation Biology in 1965-66. He was Associate Director of the American Institute of Biological Sciences in Washington, DC from 1968-71. Woody was Dean of Arts & Science at Mankato State University, Mankato, MN from 1971-75. He was Academic Vice President at Indiana State University in Terre Haute, IN from 1975-80. Woody was Academic Vice President at Western Michigan University from 1980-83. He returned to his first love, teaching people about plants, in 1984 and was Professor of Biological Sciences at Western Michigan University from 1984 until his retirement in 1999. Woody received the WMU Alumni Association’s Teaching Excellence Award in 1995. He wrote two books and had over 150 scientific and academic papers published in 20 different journals. Woody taught classes for the Michigan State University Extension Service Master Gardener Program and the training program of the Michigan Federation of Garden Clubs. His more than 8,000 herbarium specimens are housed in the State Museum in Albany, NY and the Hanes Herbarium at Western Michigan University. While President of the Michigan Botanical Club, Woody began his big tree work with Paul Thompson in 1992. He became Michigan’s Big Tree Coordinator in 1994 and continued traveling the state measuring trees and giving big tree talks to many groups. Woody received the Distinguished Service Award of the Michigan Botanical Club in 1998 and the Forestry and Parks Association Award for Meritorious Service with Michigan’s Big Trees in 2002. He served for a number of years as Chairman of the Board of the Hanes Fund, established “to facilitate the study of Michigan plants.” The fund makes about 20 grants per year for this purpose. He enjoyed gardening in the summer and chopping wood for his fireplace in the winter. With his wife, Nancy, Woody loved traveling and enjoyed 19 cruises to many parts of the world. Woody leaves his beloved wife of 52 years, Nancy Decker Ehrle; three sons: Erik (Jean-Deceased) of Cincinnati, OH, Ben (Susan) of Valparaiso, IN and Royce (Lisa) of Aurora, CO. He also leaves a grandson, Aaron; and four granddaughters: Jessamine, Emily Rachel, Emily Josephine, and Celia. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Donald. Cremation has taken place. In accordance with Woody’s wishes, there will be no visitation, funeral or memorial services. Memorial contributions may be made to the Michigan Botanical Foundation, C/O Patrick Fields, 5349 North Canal Road; Dimondale, MI 48821-8712. Please visit Woody’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a memory or sign his guest book. Life Story Funeral Homes, Betzler – Kalamazoo; 6080 Stadium Drive, 375-2900. To My Father. By Georgia Harkness A giant pine, magnificent and old Stood staunch against the sky and all around Shed beauty, grace, and power. Within its fold Birds safely reared their young. The velvet ground Beneath was gentle, and the cooling shade Gave cheer to passerby. Its towering arms A landmark stood erect and unafraid As if to say, “Fear naught from life’s alarms.” It fell one day. Where it had dauntless stood Was loneliness and void. But men who passed Paid tribute – said, “To know this life was good. It left its mark on me. Its work stands fast.” And so it lives. Such life no bonds can hold – This giant pine, magnificent and old.