Tom was a valuable mentor and friend during my time of study at KU (1987-1980). He and Linda were especially friendly to our young family, including having us in their home, welcoming us to their church, and helping us in every way he could. One of my fondest memories of Tom is watching (and listening) as he played trombone in my doctoral recital rendition of the Stravinsky Octet for wind instruments. With his busy band director schedule, he could not play as frequently as he might have liked, but he was at the top his game for every rehearsal and performance.
In times of difficulty, Tom was encouraging and always met me with a smile and a hearty greeting. (I can hear him as I write this.) He was willing to chat as friends do, and he was also willing to close the door to offer professional advice in my early career. He travelled to Bolivar, Missouri (about three hours each way) to hear some of my doctoral recitals, and he was eager to do so.
God blesses us in many ways, and Tom and Linda are among those blessings for me and my family. May family and friends rejoice in their memories of this wonderful man and in the knowledge that he is experiencing love and peace that is beyond our understanding.
Mr. Stidham went to be with God a few days ago. He will be highly missed as a teacher, mentor, friend, story-teller, jokester, and band-dad. His legacy and legend will be told for decades.
Obituary for Tom Stidham