Obituary: John Eichinger

Beloved father, longtime CSULA professor, traveler, athlete

On Tuesday, January 3, John Eichinger, most loving and deeply beloved husband and father of two children, died at the age of 70 after battling pancreatic cancer for more than a year.

John was born October 16, 1952 in Los Angeles to Robert Eichinger and Janice Fischer. He earned his Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University in 1990 and worked as a professor at Cal State Los Angeles for more than 30 years. There he was appreciated for his contributions to the field of science education, the work he did with his students who went on to teach others, and for his generosity and friendship to his colleagues. He retired from CSULA with the status of emeritus professor.

He married Danube Adams on December 10, 2000. They raised identical twin sons, Wolfe and Bjorn, now successful college students working toward completing their bachelor of science degrees.

“John had an extraordinary passion for life,” his family shared. “His curiosity, his need to explore new territory, and his drive to learn was lifelong.”

He traveled widely throughout the U.S., biked from the Canadian border to Mexico twice, and even hitchhiked (which he absolutely told his boys not to do) his way across much of the country as a young man. His travels extended to Europe and Japan. In Peru, he hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu. Never one to sit still, throughout his life he tested and pushed the limits of his fitness with running, cycling, rowing, and hiking. He ran the seven mile race up Mt. Baldy just weeks before his cancer was discovered, trying to beat his previous time.

In academia, he would dive into studying each new focus of interest that his curiosity would lead him to, writing and discussing aspects of whatever he found that could enrich his work and expand his thinking. Creating art was yet another joy; his wire sculptures, clay work, and paintings can be seen decorating his home.

However, his greatest, deepest love and commitment was always to family and friends.

He spent hundreds of hours camping with his boys, Wolfe and Bjorn, walking the Joshua Tree National Park desert, teaching them about all the plants and animals. They studied tide pools in Carpinteria and learned about the forest surrounding Mammoth Mountain. They hiked into the Sierra Nevada with all their gear for a weekend of experiences they would never forget. There were multiple family trips through Colorado and New Mexico; one summer was spent learning California history, with actual hands-on gold mining involved.

In addition to his time with his boys were the numerous events over years, birthdays and holidays spent finding joy with his extended family. But his love reached beyond family. “Nurturing relationships was important to John,” his family said. “He not only lived for his family, but made sure to hold his friends close, a mark of which was that many of them considered him their best friend. His love for those who were part of his life was deep, strong, and heartfelt.”

He was preceded in death by his father, Robert, and mother, Jan.

He is survived by his wife, Danube, and his sons, Wolfe and Bjorn.

A celebration of life will be held at The Woman’s Club of Claremont, 343 W. 12th St., from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, February 11. The open house event will include finger foods and refreshments. Friends and family are invited to email photographs to be included in a presentation to

“If attending, please bring your memories,” his family added. “If you can, either write or print out special memories and/or thoughts that you have of John. We are creating an album of memories for his boys to keep.”


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