Dr. Thomas "Tom" Holland Eberlein

Born: Tue., Feb. 19, 1957
Died: Wed., Oct. 25, 2017

Time of Visiting

2:00 PM to 6:00 PM, Sun., Oct. 29, 2017
Location: Prosser Hall in the Camp Hill Borough Building

Service of Remembrance

4:00 PM Sun., Oct. 29, 2017
Location: Prosser Hall in the Camp Hill Borough Building

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Dr. Thomas “Tom” Holland Eberlein

A Passionate and Inspiring Teacher -

Dr. Thomas “Tom” Holland Eberlein, age 60, of Camp Hill, PA, and formerly of Cleveland Heights, OH, passed away at home peacefully in the presence of loved ones on Wednesday, October 25, 2017, after facing brain cancer with a strong and positive spirit.  Tom was born on Tuesday, February 19, 1957, to Jean Eberlein (Lamp) Nicholls and the late Otto Peter Eberlein.  In addition to his father, Tom is preceded in death by his nephew, 1LT James A. Garvey.

Tom’s survivors include his loving and devoted wife, Kristina Machusick; his two children: Tessa Eberlein and Gus Eberlein; his step-children: Cara Meglio and her fiancé, Haider Shamsuddin and Seth Kodner; his mother, Jean Nicholls and her husband, Robert; his six siblings: David, Barbara, Tamara, Sam, Willy, Jennifer “Freddie”; his former spouse, Kelli Kauterman; his many nieces, nephews, and in-laws; and his adoring dog, Rufus, and cats: Larry and Stormy.

Tom graduated from Cleveland Heights High School as part of the class of 1975.  He went on to graduate with his bachelor’s of science degree from Case Western Reserve University and then to earn his doctorate in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.  Penn State University became Tom’s professional academic “home” for the span of his three-decade career at both the Schuylkill and Harrisburg campuses.  Over the years, “Dr. E” served as a program chair and was a dedicated and inspiring professor in the chemistry department, his true calling and passion.  He coordinated the American Chemical Society’s local Chemistry Olympiad Competition at Penn State Harrisburg for 18 years.  Many colleagues and students alike considered Tom a mentor.  In addition to science, Tom’s interests were astronomy, yoga, bird watching, hiking, kayaking, listening to music, and playing bass guitar.

Family was important to Tom and his last trip, to witness the total eclipse of the sun, was spent with many of them.  Plans began in 2014 and involved traveling to Charleston and then boating away from shore to experience totality in all its glory.  Tom was a beloved son and a devoted father.  More than anything, he strove to provide a strong and supportive foundation for his children.  His tireless focus was to teaching them everything he could and helping them become their best possible selves. 

All are welcome to join Tom’s family for a time of visiting on Sunday, October 29, 2017, from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m., with a service of remembrance to begin at 4:00 p.m.  It will be held at Prosser Hall in the Camp Hill Borough Building, 2145 Walnut Street, Camp Hill, PA 17011; Sheikha Yasmin Haut and Dr. Libby Tisdell will officiate.  Cremation and interment will be private.

Contributions in celebration of Tom’s life can be made to Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), 1717 Rhode Island Avenue, NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036, www.ABC2.org/join-us/donate, or to a memorial scholarship fund to be established in honor of Tom’s life at www.YouCaring.com/TomEberleinsLegacy-992239. Gardeners or garden lovers are invited to participate in a flower pot-luck by bringing a hand-picked or hand-chosen bouquet to the service.

Tom’s family has entrusted his care to Myers – Buhrig Funeral Home and Crematory in Mechanicsburg, (717) 766-3421.  Read Tom’s full obituary, view his memorial video and portrait, and sign his official guest book at Buhrig.com.

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Condolence Booklet

Deb Mandour & Bob Kefauver
   Posted Thu October 26, 2017
Tom, Your beautiful light shines eternally.
Kris, Your love for each other was visible for all to see. Thank you for this gift in our world of need.
Children and Family, Our sympathies are with you.

"And Death shall have no dominion" - Dylan Thomas

Yasmiin Haut
   Posted Thu October 26, 2017
Tom radiated goodness in so many ways. You could feel it in his warmth and in his family relations. He made my beloved friend Kristina so happy. I miss him and mourn with his family and friends at his transition into the ethers.

Dave Ralicki
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
Tom...thank you for the great times and great memories canoeing and climbing. Mostly though, thank you for showing me what patience and love looks like with kids and spouse. Thank you for your friendship.

Darlene Ralicki
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
Tom, it was my honor to have known you and your beautiful soul. You loss in our community is deeply felt and you will be missed.

Kris, my heart aches for you, and I send you love, light, and peace as you say goodbye to your love. Your strength is inspiring. Let Dave and me know what we can do to help you at anytime. xoxo

Gail Frassetta
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
Tom was always kind and caring. I loved giving and getting a hug from him. His energy was prevalent and is now a part of the stars he so loved to look at.

Kristina, my heart aches for your loss. The love you and Tom shared was beautiful and encouraging to see. I love you both.

Cheri Privor
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
Barbara, my deepest and heartfelt thoughts go your way. My prayers and positive energy to your family. May this time be full or love and wonderful memories.



Jim and Jamie Garvey
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
With love and deep sympathy to all the Eberleins.

Judy Lenick
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
I worked with Tom at Penn State Schuylkill. I remember Tom as a kind, friendly and intelligent man, who always had a smile on his face, and always made time for conversation. My regards to his family.

Ken Johnson
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
Devastating news to hear of Tom’s passing. Tom was such an important and influential person in my life from elementary school through my teens. He was one of the smartest (an Eberlein trait to be sure - what a family of achievers!), most inquisitive (teaching himself Russian on a lark), most competitive (pencil fights in Mr. Olson’s science class to establish who was the best test taker), funniest and silliest (the star of more than one of my 8 mm dramas) people I’ve ever known, not to mention being absolutely fearless (and not just the jumping over the campfire event...). I’m truly fortunate to have been a part of his life. Please accept my deepest condolences.

Nancy and Eric Olson
   Posted Fri October 27, 2017
So pleased that our Larry and Stormy gave Tom so much comfort. We could not have asked for our better home for our pets.

Nancy and Eric

Victor Rodriguez
   Posted Sat October 28, 2017
I was one of the many students at Penn State Harrisburg that had Dr. Eberlein for general chemistry (Chem 100 I believe). I will never forget the class we were learning about chirality. I asked a questions about enantiomers because at the time, it looked the same to me. I still couldn't wrap my head around how they were "different". So I asked him "Dr. Eberlein, they are the same (pointing to the examples he drew on the white board that I don't remember exactly what he drew)! If they are not the same, then what does the other chemical structure do?" His reply was, "Well, this one chemical causes cancer and the other cures cancer". I still have never forgotten that answer and it has been more than 10 years since I had his class! Dr. Eberlein, you will surely be missed and the legacy that you leave will continue to shine in your students that cross various career fields and industries because of your passion and spirit in teaching chemistry. Please accept my condolences, we lost a great one.

Jeff & Sheri Mason
   Posted Sat October 28, 2017
"A wound is the place where the light enters" - Rumi

We met Tom at Bube's Brewery years ago and I was so happy that our friend from high school, Kris, had found such a good man. May the light he brought into the world find entrance into the hearts of all who grieve his passage.

Dr. Charles Cantalupo
   Posted Sat October 28, 2017
Dr. Thomas Eberlein was a great colleague of mine when he taught at Penn State Schuylkill. I remember him fondly and express heartfelt condolences to his family. He generously shared his creativity and good nature, which I particularly appreciated and can recall as if it was yesterday.

Karl Steinberg
   Posted Sun October 29, 2017
Tom was a great friend, a brilliant scholar with a razor-sharp wit and a kind spirit. So many memories of adventures and fun. All love and support to his family. Wish I could be there in person for the memorial. I'm glad I got some opportunity to talk to him meaningfully during his illness, and I wish I'd had more. I'll miss you, my dear friend.

Amanda Nicholls & Gabby Steveson
   Posted Sun October 29, 2017
We are extremely sad we were unable to attend the services in person. It is with a heavy heart we say goodbye to Tom, as he has been a part of my life for 34 years as a very dear stepbrother. Words cannot express the level of sorrow I feel for the entire Eberlein “clan”. Rest in heaven, Tom.

Alex Langhans
   Posted Sun October 29, 2017
My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I was a student of his at Penn State Schuykill in 2003/2004. I always thought he was a brilliant man. I just wanted to share that something this morning led me to click on the obituaries on Pennlive today, which I have never done before. Finding his name caused me to pause and remember him. I think my fond memories of him doing large square roots in his mind faster than I could by calculator is my favorite story to tell people since I had him. Anyways, I just wanted to share that his energy brought me here and I wish it was on different circumstances. God bless.

   Posted Sun October 29, 2017
Dr. E was my chemistry professor for my first year at Penn State Harrisburg. I then had the pleasure to work with him for the next year as his teaching assistant. Dear Dr. E, you will be truly missed. I hope it is always sunny up there.

William Nicholls
   Posted Sun October 29, 2017
God Bless Tom and his entire family. While I didn't know him well personally, I thought that he was a really nice guy when I did see him. I know that he was a very devoted father and husband. I have heard many good things about Tom from my father Robert Nicholls. It is so sad that he passed so young.

Christina Siu
   Posted Mon October 30, 2017
Dr. Eberlein was a beautiful soul. He will be missed.

Christine Davies
   Posted Tue October 31, 2017
I was so sad to hear of Tom's passing. I didn't know him but I've known Tessa for 6 years and can think of no greater testament to his character and spirit then to have raised such an amazing person. My prayers go out to Tessa, Gus, Kristina, Cara, Seth and all of Tom's family and hope that you find comfort in your memories of Tom.
Christine Davies, Fredricksen Library

Chief Kevin Stoehr
   Posted Wed November 01, 2017
As recently retired Chief of Police at Penn State Harrisburg, I interacted with Tom many times over the course of my 20-yr career. Tom was a dedicated member of the PSH community. He always had a smile and kind word for everyone. I am so sorry for his passing.....he was a friend and a true gentleman. Godspeed Tom.

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