Jeffrey John Horner, age 53, died on Thursday, the 24th of March 2011. Jeff was born on the 22nd of March 1958, in Omaha, Nebraska. He soon moved to Hanover, Indiana, where he spent his childhood years. In high school, Jeff was elected class president and lettered in five sports. He was also class valedictorian. He enjoyed a memorable childhood living on the Hanover College campus among the foothills of Southern Indiana.
Jeff then ventured to college at Vanderbilt University, where he majored in history and graduated summa cum laude in 1980. He was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa academic honorary. He also served as president of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity and president of the Intramural Board. Jeff cherished his time at Vanderbilt, and remained active in college activities throughout his life.
After college, Jeff attended law school at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he graduated in 1983. He received the Sion Bass Smith honorary scholarship, served on the Virginia Tax Review and, more importantly, was appointed a softball commissioner. A law school clerkship in Houston convinced Jeff to move to the Bayou City.
Jeff moved to Houston in 1983 and never left. He joined the law firm of Bracewell and Patterson (later Bracewell and Giuliani LLP), representing educational entities. He became known as a national expert in the area of educational law. He served as the head of the firm's Public Law Section for several years. In 1995, he served as chairman of the TASB Council of School Attorneys, the statewide organization for school district lawyers. In 1998, Jeff was president of the Education Law Association, a national school law group. He also served on the NSBA Council of School Attorneys Board of Directors from 2005-2009. In 2003, ELA honored Jeff by giving him the McGhehey Award for excellence in education law. He published over 50 articles, books, and monographs on education law. Jeff also served as the firm's hiring partner for four years.
Of greater importance, Houston is where Jeff started and raised his family. He married Laurie in 1990, and their children were born soon thereafter. He could not be happier for or prouder of his family, and he cherished the time spent with Laurie, his family, and close friends.
Jeff was also active in civic affairs. He served on the South Texas College of Law Board of Directors for nine years. He also served as an adjunct professor at South Texas for many years. He held the position of board chairman for the Faithful Fathering Initiative in Texas, a group which advances father issues. He remained true to his alma mater by serving as Houston Vanderbilt Club president in 1992, and was a member of the Vanderbilt Alumni Association Board of Directors from 2006-2010. Jeff was a long-time member of the Houston Club, and served as vice president in 2006. He was also a long-time member of The Houston Country Club. He was an active participant in the Post Oak Little League, serving both on its Board of Directors and as Secretary/General Counsel. Jeff attended St. Michael's Catholic Church for many years.
More importantly, Jeff loved the simple things in life. He enjoyed the company of his wife and kids, jogging and playing basketball for exercise, coaching youth sports teams, a semiannual birdie on the golf course, and an occasional drink with friends and family. He also traveled extensively, and lived in Greece for eight months as a child. Jeff tried to enjoy each day as if it were his last.
Jeff was predeceased by his daughter, Lillie Anne Horner. He is survived by his loving wife, Laura Horner; his children, Alec, Emily and John Cameron Horner. He is also survived by his parents, Anne and John Horner; his sisters, Joanne Woerner and Heather Hohlt and her husband, Dwayne; and his brother Scott Horner and his wife Jenny.
Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from five o'clock in the afternoon until eight o'clock in the evening on Tuesday, the 29th of March, at Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.
The Mass of Christian Burial is to be offered at ten o'clock in the morning on Wednesday, the 30th of March, at St. Michael Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Road in Houston, where the Rev. Sean Horrigan is to serve as celebrant.
The Rite of Committal is to follow, via an escorted cortege, at Memorial Oaks Cemetery.
In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests contributions, in honor of Jeff, be directed to the Post Oak Little League, 914 Briar Ridge Dr., Houston, TX, 77057; Vanderbilt University, PMB 407727, 2301 Vanderbilt Place, Nashville, TN, 37240; or to St. Michael Catholic Church, 1801 Sage Rd., Houston, TX, 77056.