Paul A. McEnderfer, 85, of Harrisonburg, passed away December 1, 2016, at his home.
Mr. McEnderfer was born April 1, 1931, in Denver, Colorado, and was the son of the late Paul M. and Hazel Roberts McEnderfer. A violinist throughout his childhood, he earned a B.A. in violin performance from Oberlin Conservatory.
After college he was stationed in Europe with the 7th Army Symphony, and returned home to complete his Master’s degree in violin performance at the Eastman School of Music, where he met his wife Sarah of 34 years.
Mr. McEnderfer’s life was shaped by his passion for music. He shared this passion with the college students he taught at James Madison University Music Department for nearly 30 years, where he helped jump-start the string program and student orchestra. Previously he taught and conducted orchestras at Ohio Wesleyan, Furman University, and state teacher’s colleges in Pennsylvania and Nebraska.
In the midst of his teaching career, he worked toward a PhD at Boston University, where he studied with noted violinist Roman Tottenberg and played with the Boston Pops, the Boston Ballet Orchestra, and at Tanglewood.
He shared his music outside JMU at the annual Bach Music Festival at Eastern Mennonite University, and at various local events through a quartet he formed with other musician friends.
First Presbyterian Church was his spiritual home, and another avenue for expressing his love of music through choir and violin. He also served the church in various leadership roles, and was an active member and teacher in the B.F. Wilson Men’s Bible Class.
During his retirement, he traveled to Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, spent time with his grandchildren, and pursued a lifelong talent in woodworking by learning to build violins at the Violin Craftsmanship Institute at University of New Hampshire.
His wife, Sarah D. McEnderfer preceded him in death. He is survived by a son, David McEnderfer, Harrisonburg; daughter, Katharine M. Roberts, Concord, Massachusetts; and three grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m. Saturday, December 10, 2016, at the First Presbyterian Church with Rev. Dr. Jon Heeringa officiating.
Burial will be private in the Woodbine Cemetery in Harrisonburg.
In honor of Mr. McEnderfer’s life, the family requests that donations be made to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank, Salvation Army of Harrisonburg, and First Presbyterian Church on Court Square.