Thomas Ralph Eversole

Thomas Ralph Eversole

Thomas Ralph Eversole, 75, formerly of Stillwater, OK passed away May 25, 2020. He was born August 16, 1944 in Hollywood, California to Ralph Wilson and Arlene Louise (Bordwell Kunz) Eversole.

Tom graduated from Paramount High School, California in 1962 and received his Associate of Arts degree from Long Beach City College (1966) and his Bachelor of Arts from California State University at Long Beach (1968).

Tom moved to Lawrence in 1971; he married Ann ImMasche Richardson in 1973 and they later divorced.

Tom had a lifelong love of music that began at age 7 when he learned to play the piano. As a young man he played at Shakey’s Pizza parlors in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA and in later life was both a solo pianist and a sideman piano player for local bands, including “Little Joe and The Wisemen” of Lawrence, KS. He was classically trained at California State University but could play any genre. He featured with the Freddy Martin Orchestra in Hollywood, CA in the early 60’s and played receptions for Lillian Carter (mother of President Jimmy Carter), Bob Dole, and Nancy Kassebaum in the 70’s and 80’s.

Tom was also an expert piano technician, tuner, rebuilder and restorer. He worked freelance as Eversole Piano Service from 1971 to 2003 tuning and restoring pianos for people all over the Midwest and later became Piano Technician for The University of Kansas (2003-2013) and performed the same duties at Oklahoma State University from 2014 until his death. Tom learned to tune the traditional way, by ear with a single tuning fork, and never used an electronic tuner to aid him. He once estimated he had tuned more than 22,000 pianos in his lifetime. Artists he tuned for included Johnny Cash, Sonny & Cher, Natalie Cole, Harry Connick, Jr., Elton John, Tori Amos, Herbie Hancock, Winton Marcellus, Arlo Guthrie, Ben Folds, and The Doobie Brothers.

Tom received the “Larry Award” in 2012 for outstanding contributions to the Lawrence, KS community

Tom is survived by his daughter, Elizabeth Ann Eversole of Lawrence, KS; brother, Richard Eversole and his wife Maureen Godman of Bainbridge Island, WA; nephew, David Eversole and his wife Teri Eversole of Mobile, AL; niece, Laura Arsenault of Falls Church, VA; nephew, Elias Kyle “Eli” ImMasche and his wife Liberty ImMasche both of Fort Collins, CO; sister-in-law, Sonia Margolin ImMasche of Fort Collins, CO; and step nephews and nieces Kate Godman (Poulsbo, WA), Lucy Godman (Worthington, OH), Pete Godman (Seattle WA), Phil Lal (Orlando, FL) and several grand nephews and nieces, cousins and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ralph and Arlene Eversole and his former wife, Ann Eversole.

There will be no formal services.


19 Condolences

  1. Susan Elkins and Jack Winerock on May 27, 2020 at 9:21 am

    Dear Elizabeth,
    We were so sorry to hear about your father’s death. We remember him fondly, and Jack always liked chatting with him at School of Music. He recommended Tom to many piano owners. When you were young, I remember hearing that you often had movie dates. I thought that was so wonderful. He lived not far from us when he lived in Lawrence, and whenever we drive by, we always remember him. May his memory be a blessing.
    Susan Elkins and Jack Winerock

  2. Dolores Palmer on May 27, 2020 at 9:37 am

    Dear Elizabeth,

    So sorry to hear of the death of your father…my tuner and piano tech for years. When I was giving you lessons there was no money changing hands. I gave you lessons and Tom kept my pianos tuned. It was he who told me about the 1936 Steinway A that sits in my living room today. He was a very talented man, and in many ways. The piano world has lost one of its best.

  3. Chris Lin on May 27, 2020 at 5:50 pm

    To whom it may concern,
    I used to be stationed at Murphy Hall working as a janitor for KU Facilities Operations many years ago. I am stunned to hear this news. Please accept my condolences. He was a gentle giant. A good soul. Whenever I had a rough day at work, he had a way to brighten my day. I will miss the interesting conversations I had with him. A legend in his own right. Correct me if wrong but I recall one conversation where he tuned a piano for Ben Folds Five when they made a tour stop in Lawrence. C.L.

  4. Susan Oxandale-Turrentine on May 28, 2020 at 1:56 am

    Dear Elizabeth,
    So sorry to hear of the passing of your dad. I have fond memories of him as we were growing up. He was also the pianist at my wedding in 2007.

    Susan Oxandale-Turrentine

  5. Larry Mallett on May 28, 2020 at 10:20 am

    I remember Tom fondly and was surprised to hear of his passing. I hired Tom as the Piano Technician at KU and later kept in touch with him when he was at OSU. He was a friendly man that always seemed to have a smile on his face. My condolences to his family.

  6. Allyson Eskitch on May 28, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Tom’s passing. He was such a talented pianist and technician, but also so very kind and generous. He always seemed to have such a positive outlook on life and was so supportive of all the students and musicians he worked with. He will be missed by so many. My heart goes out to his family and all who were close to him.

  7. Melissa Warren on May 29, 2020 at 10:56 am

    dear Elizabeth
    I’m sorry for your loss. Your dad always spoke about how he thought you were the best daughter ever. I know he loved you very much.
    He touched many lives through his music and his work and will be missed.

  8. Nancy Hawkins on May 30, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    I am so sorry to hear about Tom’s passing. Tom helped my husband, Alan, former KU bassoon prof, and me find our Zimmerman grand many years ago, and then he helped find a buyer many years later when we downsized to a smaller home. One of my favorite photos is of Alan (who was playing his alto sax) and Tom on piano at Matador playing for my 50th birthday party; what a great guy he was! Tom was the best of all in his technical skills and his improvisational talent, but his greatest talent was his humanity!

  9. Susan Fuller on June 1, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    I will always treasure the memory of my dear cousin Tom. Growing up listening to him play the piano was the most wonderful pleasure. We went to Disney Land one time many years ago. He sat down at the piano in the ice cream parlor on main street and brought the house down beating out some honky tonk. People lined the street outside to listen.
    He is forever in my heart. Love surrounds him for all eternity
    Love, cousin Susan

  10. Richard Hardin on June 1, 2020 at 2:14 pm

    Tom was a jolly soul whose piano tuning visits to our house were especially welcome for his little concerts that came at the end. He lived for a while in our neighborhood where he introduced us to his little dog, Pancho. We will never forget him.

  11. John Taylor on June 1, 2020 at 6:14 pm


    I am so sorry for your loss. Tom was a wonderful person and cousin, and I have many great memories of the times we had together. I am sad that we didn’t have the opportunity to spend time with Tom and his family through these many years.

    Love, your cousin,


  12. John Taylor on June 1, 2020 at 6:17 pm


    I am so sorry for your loss. Tom was a wonderful person and cousin, and I have many great memories of the times we had together. I am sad that we didn’t have the opportunity to spend time with Tom and his family through these many years.

    Love, your cousin, John

  13. Kenna Heim on June 1, 2020 at 7:52 pm

    Dear Family of Tom,
    My father was Kenneth Heim who was also a piano tuner and knew Tom quite well. Tom came to my father’s services and shared some kind memories of my dad who was 93 when he passed. My sympathies are with you in your loss.
    Kenna Heim

  14. Elizabeth Smith on June 2, 2020 at 7:22 am

    I extend my deepest condolences to Tom’s family. I feel lucky to have known him just a little. He was unfazed and so skilled at taking apart the complicated workings of our antique player piano, tuned it perfectly every time, always stayed for a chat, and then played us some lovely classical or ragtime music. He was an icon in the Lawrence community and will be missed very much.

  15. John Yeradi on June 5, 2020 at 11:59 am

    I am so sad to hear the news about your Dad. He was a dear friend. We loved to talk about basketball. He
    was such a sweet guy with so much talent. I’m going to miss him .Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help you in any way.

  16. Andy Hause, Lied Center on June 6, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    We want to let you know how much Tom meant to us and how sad we were to hear of his passing.
    He was the tuner for the Lied Center for many years and we loved him! His skill level, patience and adaptability were second to none! He thought us much about the care and feeding of pianos. We called him T-Bone! and we looked forward to seeing him every time he came to tune. And knowing I am a K-Stater, he would always finish tunings with the K-State fight songs.
    He will be deeply missed.
    What a great person, so glad we got to know him!

  17. Sheila Markley on June 9, 2020 at 1:46 pm

    Dear Elizabeth,
    Our friendship with your father began in our quest to own our first Steinway. We consulted for over an hour by phone before we ever met in person, which led to a long and wonderful friendship. We enjoyed many meals and conversations. Tom was a gentle giant. We loved him. dearly.

  18. Ruthi and Patrick Rapp on June 13, 2020 at 8:09 am

    What a wonderful guy lost to this world. We met Tom when he came to tune our piano after it had been moved to its new location just prior to our wedding 40+ years ago. After treating us to his beautiful playing skills, we invited him to play at the little wedding reception we were having in our townhouse and he graciously accepted for “tips only”! The day was made more lovely by his playing and particularly thrilling for my parents who so appreciated and admired musical talent. We were honored to know such a gracious man.

  19. Violinifer on August 16, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    I looked up Tom today to see if I could call him since it is his birthday. I had many chances to play my violin at Tom’s gigs, only a few I myself came up with. We had some great times playing old standards. We liked playing Christmastime is Here, the one from Charlie Brown. He got an old convertible once and took my brother to ride up and down Mass Street on a Saturday circa 5 p.m. What a great guy. I know he hung out with Scott and Karen Carpenter in college. I am glad I looked him up today so I could share a special side of him, a different angle. Thanks Tom. You’re the best.

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