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.