Paul A. McEnderfer

Harrisonburg, Virginia


December 1, 2016
Harrisonburg, Virginia


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Kyger Funeral Home, Inc. Obituary

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.

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So saddened to hear of this loss. I was one of his students at JMU and valued him so much as a friend and amazing person. We had many great conversations. Sending our love and prayers out to his family, he is missed.

David and Katherine and family - I am so sorry for the loss of your Dad, Grandpa and friend. I remember the last time I saw him was when my dad was so very sick. He came out and played for Dad at the Hospital. He also shared a lot of memories of him and dad when they were kids. I will always remember him with the fondest memories. I am so glad I had a chance to spend time with him and get to know him. He was a very special man and uncle.

David, Katharine and family - my condolences to you on Paul's passing. I knew him from First Presbyterian Church in the BF Wilson Sunday School Class. Paul was always a gracious, loving, caring person and a wonderful instruction in the class. He was certainly one to emulate and I am honored to have known him. Cherish the memories during this difficult time.

David and Katherine- So sorry I could not attend the service;I of course remember him well; our son David emailed me and remembered him as always friendly, helpful, and a good teacher. Best wishes in your loss and grief. John Lyon

I have wonderful memories of him during the years we did performances with the First Pres choir. I enjoyed him so much. My thoughts are with you all.

Cathy Slusher

David & Katharine- I am very sorry to hear about the loss of your father, Paul. Our thoughts are with you. Sheila & Mike

He was a good man. I always enjoyed his company and feel very lucky to have had him as my uncle. He's in a better place now, and full of joy.

Paul was first a great teacher and mentor to me, and then later became a good colleague. He had a fine, positive impact on his students and the (then) Department of Music at JMU. He will be missed, but his legacy will live on!