Deceased June 29, 2013

View alumni profile (log-in required)
Read obituary

In Memory

The College recently learned of the passing of Thomas M. Stanback III. Tom died peacefully on June 29, 2013, in New York City, in the company of close friends and family and listening to his beloved music. Throughout his life he expressed his deep passion for music with his virtuosity on a wide range of instruments. Yet Tom also faced, and overcame, a constant stream of personal and family challenges. He was a loving and supportive husband and father, often sacrificing to help those he loved limitlessly. He also worked generously with music and autism nonprofits.

Music was at Tom’s core, an inseparable part of his being. His widow, Micki, recalls she married him in part because he was a brilliant musician. Tom could play any instrument he picked up. Former Amherst bandmates still marvel at his fluidity with guitar, violin or piano. Kevin Daring ’71 recalls a wonderful guy whose musical talent set him apart, relating that he could perform the William Tell Overture by tapping on his teeth, his cheeks and even his forehead, and adding, “I cannot hear Rossini without lamenting the sheer genius of Tom Stanback.” Micki says, “Tom was hearing music all the time—it’s how his mind worked.” John Paul Jones ’72, who shared a house in North Hadley with Tom, Kevin and Dick Sandhaus ’71 during senior year, never forgot Tom’s encouraging words about his composing and songwriting.

Tom’s gifts to his children, Emily and Charles, evidenced his great love for them. He helped Emily become an accomplished cellist and Charles to walk again after back surgery doctors said would leave him permanently paralyzed.

Gifted musician, loving father and husband, generous friend—Tom is sorely missed by all those who knew him. The music is a little less sweet with his loss.

Eric Cody ’72