Thomas J. Horner Jr, age 84, of Overland Park, KS passed peacefully on August 12, 2017 with family members by his side. He was lovingly called “Grit” by his family. The origin and meaning of the name are subject to much family debate.
Tom was born and raised in Johnstown, PA to Thomas Horner, Sr and Mary Lape Horner, where he lived until leaving for college to play football at William & Mary in Virginia. The next several years included twists and turns that took him to Colorado Springs. It was during his time playing Army football at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs that he met the love of his life, Jackie. They fell in love, were married and moved to Lawrence, KS where Tom finished his college education and continued his football career at the University of Kansas. He was drafted after college by the Chicago Cardinals football team and he spent the next couple of years playing football for the Cardinals and the New York Giants. Realizing he could better provide for his family with a real job he left football and went to work for the Arthur Andersen accounting firm in Kansas City. They stayed in Kansas City for the rest of their lives raising their family of 5 children and growing a successful family business.
Tom was always a hard worker. Whether it was training for football, working in the steel mills as a young man, or growing the business, his work ethic was exceptional. He spent many years working long hours building a business that would not only provide for his family but for the next generation. While he was very busy with work, he always made time for his family. You could find him on the YMCA football fields in the fall and the 3 & 2 baseball diamonds in the summer coaching his kid’s teams. He loved spending time with family and friends at his Platte City farm where many Thanksgivings and Independence Days were spent. Tom was one of the most generous people you would ever meet. He loved sharing his farm, KU Basketball tickets, and his suite at the KU football games. He never met a stranger and was always ready to give to anyone in need.
Tom and Jackie were faithful members of Christ Church Anglican. They loved the regular worship services, their small group, and their many church friends. Tom especially enjoyed his time serving on the Christ Church Endowment Board.
Tom is survived by his two daughters, Becky Nichols (Larry) and Debbie Williamson (Rick), and three sons, Tom Horner III (Shelly), Dana “Gus” Horner (Beth), and Brock Horner (Barb), his grandchildren Jordan Frederes, Daniel Nichols, Jackson and Mackenzie Adriano, T.J., Justin, and Jake Horner, Christopher (Shannon) Horner, Margaret Horner, Brock Horner, Andrew Barth, David (Jill) Barth, Kate (Stephen) Moore, several great grandchildren, and his sister Frankie Bock of Johnstown, PA. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Jacqueline Anderson Horner in January of this year and his grandson, Tyler Frederes.
Services for Tom will be held on Thursday, August 17th at 2:00pm at Christ Church Anglican, 5500 W. 91st Street, Overland Park, KS 66207. A reception will be held at the church immediately following the service to greet the family.
The family requests no flowers and memorial contributions may be made to Christ Church Anglican, 5500 W 91st Street, Overland Park, KS 66207 or Williams Education Fund (Kansas Athletics), 1651 Naismith Drive, Lawrence, KS 66045-4069.
Tom will certainly be missed. When our families lived close, we celebrated a lot of great times. The pool parties, engagement parties, and just being Friday night! We miss Grit and Whitey so very much. I am sure they are with my dad in heaven having a drink by the pool. Love to all of you.
A great example of the way a good life is to be lived.
We send prayers to lift your sarrows in this time of need!
A great example of the way a good life is to be lived. Thoughts and prayers are with his family.
I am proud to have known Tom Horner. Tom will be greatly missed to all that had met him. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
A great man and a great leader. I am proud to call him a friend and lucky to have served on the MMHA board with him. RIP.
Tom and Shelly,
What a wonderful tribute to your Dad with such a beautiful obituary. Tom, I remember your Parents at SMW Football parties at their home and I always loved how fun, kind and generous they were to all of us VIkings. I know that all your memories will comfort you and bring you peace. Love to all!
Karen Nash LaBruzzo
Condolences to all the family. Gus and Beth my dear nephew and niece may Tom’s memories be with you.
Although Tom and my paths haven’t crossed for a number of years, we were great friends at Arthur Andersen when we were both rookies. After leaving Arthur, we joined forces in an abortive attempt to purchase Wrights liquid smoke. We were unsuccessful. It’s a shame we would’ve been great partners. We both coached football for the YMCA program and also 3and 2 baseball. He will be missed by all whose lives he touched. A really great guy
Sing with the Angels my friend.
You will be missed by all.
Favorite baseball coach ever!
I’m sorry for your lose but happy for his gain. He’s up there holding Mrs Jackie’s hand and they are both walking together. That’s the image I see and though I only knew then for a year I feel in love with your parents…who wouldn’t. He always told me stories of his younger years and wanted to always go to work when I was there. Thanks for allowing me to get to know him. You all are so fortunate to have had wonderful parents. God bless all of you through these difficult times ahead.
I am proud too have had the experience to know a man like Tom,he was well liked and loved by many and had a special way to treat people he met to make them fell comfortable around him,we will miss him greatly, he can join up with all of his friends and wife now, and be at peace forever.My condolences go out too all of the family and our prays are with them.God Bless you all
I am so sorry for your family’s loss. Now it really is just my mom, Fran, left. She appreciates so much that you keep her in your thoughts. Tom was lucky to have all of his children close by and I am sure you will miss him dearly. My thoughts and sympathies are with you.