Jeffrey John Horner

Born March 22, 1958

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.



  • Visitation with the Family Tuesday, March 29, 2011
  • Mass of Christian Burial Wednesday, March 30, 2011


  • Rite of Committal, via escorted cortege

Jeffrey John Horner

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January 24, 2012

I am indeed saddened to learn of Jeff's passing. He was one of my most stellar students and friends during and following his Vanderbilt years. I was blessed to have this wonderful Christian as part of my life and his wife. We send our love and prayers to his family: Love in Christ: Sam and Melanie Hirt-Vanderbilt University Campus Director-1.24.12

Sonya Rousseau

December 10, 2011

I have thought of Jeff often this year. He was an individual I admired greatly while I was growing up, and I know he was important to his family and many friends. My hope is that good memories of Jeff will help to dispel the darkness left in the wake of his death.

Tori Thomas Mannes

September 22, 2011

Laurie and Family,
I was surprised and saddened to read of Jeff's passing in the Vanderbilt alumni magazine, and I wanted to offer my condolences for your terrible loss. Seeing Jeff's photo with his obituary brought back wonderful memories of the outgoing, fun-loving guy I knew when I was a little sister to Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Jeff was a friend to all and will truly be missed. My deepest sympathies on your loss.

September 16, 2011

Dear Laurie,
I think of you often for all the many reasons: your loss of Jeff and my/your loss of my dear "best friend" and your Dad, Bob Cooksey. May they both rest in peace. My thoughts are always with you and your family. I still go back to the delicious birthday lunch you prepared for Bob in your home. That was was my first meeting with you and Jeff and family. Both of you were very gracious hosts and Jeff was so easy to talk to and seemed always interested in others. He will be missed by so many. I hope you are doing well, Laurie, and never forget I am always thinking of you as the sweet daughter that her Dad loved so very much!

June Buongiorno, Houston, Texas

Tim Kebbe

September 15, 2011

Dear Horner Family:
I was incredibly fortunate to be at Vanderbilt with Jeff-and a fraternity brother of Jeff's-in the late 1970's. He was a wonderful person, full of the juices of life. He was a mentor in times of strife, a leader and an enormous amount of fun. Jeff helped define the great experience I had at Vanderbilt.
My thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Kirsten Cohoon

May 24, 2011

Your husband/father was a wonderful man. A man that I think of often as the epitome of a good mentor and a great lawyer. Though I have not had the pleasure of seeing him in many years, he still holds a place in my heart. I am so sorry for your loss. Kirsten Cohoon (former Bracewell attorney)

Katrina Grider

April 18, 2011

Dear Laurie:

May God enfold you and your children with his Divine love, Eternal peace and Infinite comfort. Jeff made me smile with his great sense of humor. God Bless you all.

Kevin Harris

April 18, 2011

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Horner family and friends. I was friends with Jeff when we both lived in Greece. I had not kept in touch but my parents stayed in touch with Jeff's parents.

Michael Wiesenthal

April 17, 2011

I will always remember our lunches together in the Heights. My thoughts and prayers are with you

Maria & Faysal Haddad~~~ Smoothie Island

April 13, 2011

To Laurie & family
Our prayers go out to you. In time you will find peace as you have faith in the good lord. May god bless you in this difficult time.