Thomas Andrew Eschenfelder
Resident of San Jose
Feb. 17, 1954-May 21, 2020
Thomas Andrew Eschenfelder passed away peacefully after a nine year battle with renal cell carcinoma on May 21, 2020. He loved teaching and using music education as a vehicle to teach lessons about life. Seeing the sparkle in a young person’s eyes as they discovered new ways to tell their musical story was his daily inspiration.
Tom was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, to Andrew H. Eschenfelder and Jean R. Eschenfelder. The family moved to California in 1967. While at Saratoga High School, Tom began both teaching drums with the San Jose Rebels Drum and Bell Corps and marching with the Santa Clara Vanguard. He continued to march with the Vanguard while earning his first Bachelor’s degree in psychology from UCSB. He returned to direct the Santa Clara Vanguard B Corps and serve as Percussion Instructor at Westmont High School as he earned a second Bachelor’s degree in music, as well as a teaching credential, from SJSU. He then entered a 29-year teaching career at Andrew Hill High School, where he taught concert band, choir, piano, marching band, jazz band, IB Music, guitar, and musical theatre. Throughout his adventures, Tom practiced his lifelong passion for music and for drumming by performing with touring rock and roll bands, community theatres, and big bands.
Tom is survived by his wife Joan, his daughters Cindy and Lin, his father Andrew, his sister Sue, and his loving extended family, friends, and students. His laughter and warmth will be missed. Peace and love.
A celebration of life is pending. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Andrew Hill High School Music Department, which can be made online at https://tinyurl.com/AHHSmusicdonation or by sending a check to Andrew Hill High School, made out to AHHS c/o Music Dept/ASB.