Thomas "Tommy" Thorneycroft Beeson
Passed away at home on Sunday, October 13, 2013. He was 87 years old. Tommy was born in Florida on March 23rd, 1926 to English immigrants, Tom and Lottie Beeson. He moved to San Francisco that year to the Fillmore District. Growing up there during the depression, he went to John Swett Elementary School where he established his lifelong love of music. He was drafted into the Navy while in high school and saw action as a Navy Coxswain delivering men and supplies with his landing craft (Higgins Boat) in the Pacific Theatre. He saw action at Saipan, Tarawa, Iwo Jima, Okinawa and he was among the first boats to land on mainland Japan. After the war, he became a professional Jazz musician, playing the double bass and singing. He performed in venues throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area such as The Sweetwater (original), Sabella's, China Smith's and Bix. He notably played (or was associated) with Bob Scobey's Frisco Jazz Band, The Duxbury Trio, Larry Vukovich, Vince Guaraldi, Monte Budwig, Bryce Rhode, Lee Charlton and many other Jazz greats.
He moved to Mill Valley in 1967, a year after opening his barber shop, Thorneycroft's Tonsorium at 14 El Paseo. His shop was often the scene of spontaneous jazz sessions in between cuts throughout the 60's, 70's, 80's and into the 90's... He is survived by his son Thomas Beeson Jr. (Stacy) of Oakland, his daughter Deborah Border of Sonoma, his son Todd Beeson of Mill Valley, and his granddaughter, Jennilee Border of Gilroy, CA. He has rejoined his dear wife Joan, brother Basil, grandson Adam Border, son-in-law Steve Border and his beloved dog, Bogie!
A memorial will be held at The 2AM Club on Miller Ave in Mill Valley on Saturday, November 16, from 2 to 5 p.m. Jazz starts at 3 p.m., Everyone is welcome!