Eileen Rose VanTassell PhD

August 29, 1939April 4, 2013

Eileen Rose VanTassell PhD August 29, 1939 ~ April 4, 2013 Lansing, MI Retired professor of Entomology taught Natural Science at Michigan State University. Earned her Bachelor of Science at Catholic University of America (Washington, DC), earned her P.H.D. at Cornell University (New York). Loved all animals, plants, snakes and especially beetles. A constant gardner, loved reading, politics, eating out and visiting with her many friends and colleagues. She held a black belt in Karate and taught “stick fighting”. Eileen was a beloved and respected member of the Potawatomi Nation, with many friends and adopted family. Preceded in death by her parents, Katharine and Phillip VanTassell, she leaves her only sister, Alberta Cuff (Berta), two nieces, 3 nephews and many great nieces and nephews. Her beautiful smile will be missed by all. A memorial service will be held Tuesday April 9, 4 pm, at the Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home, 900 E. Michigan Ave., Lansing. The family will receive friend at the funeral home 1½ hours prior to the service. Those desiring may make contributions to the American Cancer Society, 1755 Abbey Road East Lansing, MI 48823, in memory of Eileen Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at


  • Visitation Tuesday, April 9, 2013
  • Memorial Service Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Eileen Rose VanTassell PhD

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Ronald Woodhouse

May 7, 2014

My first class at MSU was hers. Fresh out of the Navy, I was very conservative, she was a member of New MOBE, the anti Viet Nam War group. She explained how each person's world view made their political reality. She was an inspiration. She gave me confidence, without which I would not stayed in college. I will never forget her.

Charley Honey

April 18, 2013

Eileen was one of my profs on my first day at MSU in 1970. She sashayed into class with a long ponytail and a big smile, and I knew we were in for an adventure. She made learning science a fascinating trip, opening my mind to new ways of looking at things. Thereafter she was a great friend to my sister, Maureen, and to the whole Honey family. I will never forget her kindness on the day of my father's death. Blessings on your way, Eileen. I have lighted a candle for you.

Maureen Honey

April 18, 2013

Eileen was my dear-heart friend-like-a-sister for over forty years, and I grieve her loss mightily. We met at Dusty's for lunch every time I visited Michigan to see my family, at least twice a year, and her love sustained me for the intervening months. Living in Nebraska, I could not make the service, but my heart and spirit were there in the roses I sent. I didn't know Eileen's middle name was Rose, but I knew I wanted to send roses, a sixth sense. She was a beautiful woman and warrior who will forever be with me.
Maureen Honey
Lincoln, Nebraska

Mary Harvey

April 9, 2013

I knew Eileen in the seventies from a women's group. She influenced us in her quiet, positive way. I will always remember her kindness and especially her friend 'Hister', the first snake I ever touched.

Joyce Ladenson

April 9, 2013

Eileen was one of the first supporters of the Michigan State Women's
Studies Program in the early seventies. Her voice was always comitted and passionate helping to achieve recognition for the program.

Marsha Walsh

April 9, 2013

I was a secretary in the department at MSU where Eileen taught Natural Science for many years. She was always kind to me. RIP Eileen.

Karen Knight Novinger

April 9, 2013

Eileen, you taught me to breathe deeply, to make every moment count, to move with fluidity, and to think seriously about my impact on the world. Thank you. Love you. Will remember you always.

Marcus Sigh

April 8, 2013

Eileen was my teacher, my friend and my family. She is remembered, with love, as one of the real ones.

Pat Dyer-Deckrow

April 8, 2013

I met Eileen back in the early 1970s when I transferred my junior year to U of M. She was most welcoming and was a wonderful friend, respected role model and elder. I will join many who will miss her.

Becky Murthum

April 8, 2013

Dr. Van Tassell was a quiet but friendly voice for students and emerging issues at MSU. She was always supportive and kind in my interactions with her, and she was 'the favorite prof' many, many, students. Her door was always open and she was always helping someone. As was already written--- she will be missed. Peace to all who knew her.