Cover photo for Thomas Horton's Obituary
Thomas Horton Profile Photo
1955 Thomas 2022

Thomas Horton

May 9, 1955 — November 15, 2022


Thomas Jeffrey Horton, aged 67, passed away surrounded by his family on Tuesday, November 15, 2022.

Tom is survived by: Karen Mackey, his beloved wife of 39 years; their four children: Allison (Jeffrey) Piedmont, Betsey Horton, Bobby Horton, and Caroline Horton; two grandchildren: Ryan and Andrew Piedmont; and siblings Robert Horton, Jr. (Lori Lowrimore), William (Sandra) Horton, and Nancy Horton (John Mudry). Tom was preceded in death by his parents Robert Horton and Lillian Brandow.

Tom was always passionate about academics – both learning and teaching. He was born in New York City but moved to Chesterland, OH as a child. During his time at West Geauga High School, he traveled to Lebanon as an exchange student. He earned his B.A. from Harvard University in 1977, majoring in biological sciences. Following a year teaching in Puerto Rico, he earned his J.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Law in 1981. He completed his MALS in American Studies from Georgetown University in 2007.

During his 28-year career as an antitrust attorney and complex litigator, Tom served as a law clerk for Judge William K. Thomas, U.S. District Court Northern District of Ohio, and Assistant Special Counsel for the State of Rhode Island. He held partnerships at international law firms Howrey & Simon and Orrick, Herrington & Sutclife and served as a Trial Attorney at the Federal Trade Commission and the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice. He also led a memorable campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives for the Democratic Party in Virginia in 1996.

In 2009, Tom transitioned to a full-time academic career as a Professor of Law at the University of South Dakota. He held visiting professorships at the Chinese Youth University for Political Science in Beijing, China, the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and the South Dakota Trial Academy. His more notable achievements and awards include Johnson, Heidepriem & Abdallah Trial Advocacy Fellow; the Belbas-Larson Award for Excellence in Teaching; and 3-time John Wesley Jackson Award for Outstanding Professor of Law. Tom was loved and admired by his students, colleagues, and peers. He will be dearly missed by the Law Community.

When not at work or school, Tom was an avid nature lover, dedicated Cleveland sports fan, patron of the arts, and active member of the local community. He attended movies, plays, musicals, concerts, sporting events, museums, and historical places of interest with his family. He enjoyed reading history books, running, and playing the drums. His favorite memory was taking drum lessons with the legendary Joe Morello.

Tom’s greatest love was spending time with his family and pets. He was an ardent supporter of his children’s artistic, educational, and athletic pursuits. He especially loved their summer vacations to Montauk, NY and traveling by train to explore new destinations. He was their greatest teacher and cheerleader. He loved them very much.

There will be a celebration of Tom’s life at the Historic Congregational Church on Tallmadge Circle in Tallmadge, OH, on Saturday, November 26 at 11:00AM Eastern / 10:00AM Central with a reception in the Old Town Hall to follow. A celebration at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, SD will be announced at a later date. Contributions in Tom’s memory can be made to the Knudson School of Law at the University of South Dakota or any animal/environmentally-friendly charity of your choice.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas Horton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Saturday, November 26, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Service is to begin at 10:00 AM Central time/ 11:00 AM Eastern time

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