Ithaca: Thomas Eisner passed away in his sleep on Friday, March 25th, at his home in Kendal at the age of 81. He was born on June 25, 1929 in Berlin, Germany. His parents, Hans E. Eisner and Margarete Heil, fled Germany with their two children in 1933. They lived first in Spain, but decided to leave Europe and settle in Uruguay. To ensure their children a better education, the Eisners immigrated to the United States. Tom's undergraduate years were divided between Champlain College in Upper New York and Harvard, where he also completed his PhD in 1955. His first and only job started at Cornell in 1957, where he remained until his retirement in 2006. Tom suffered from Parkinson's Disease, but persevered in writing 3 books, and making beautiful pictures of flowers and shells on a color copier after he was no longer able to hold his camera. He never lost his love for music, even though playing the keyboard became impossible in the end. Tom loved his family dearly. He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Maria L?bell; three daughters, Yvonne (John Brice), Vivian and Christina (Joe Brown); and six grandchildren, Nicholas and Melissa Brice, Ryan, Alexandria and Brigette Kragie and Anya Hess. He is also survived by his sister, Beatrice Gil Zorrilla in Buenos Aires; and nieces and nephews and their families. Tom would like his family and friends, his collaborators and colleagues, his fellow musicians as well as all the students he taught and counseled, to know how much he appreciated their support for his passion and enthusiasm for all things live and beautiful. Natural science was pure enjoyment to him and he tried to make it a popular pastime. He had hoped to leave a better world behind. Bangs Funeral Home will be in charge of a private burial in Greensprings Natural Cemetery. A celebration of Tom's life will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate contributions to the Finger Lakes Land Trust, 202 East Court Street, Ithaca, NY 14850, one of Tom's favorite organizations.
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Published by Ithaca Journal on Mar. 28, 2011.