Thomas H. Wilson

August 7, 1960October 25, 2022
Obituary of Thomas H. Wilson
Thomas Howard Wilson died peacefully in Houston with his family at his side on Tuesday, the 25th of October 2022. He was 62 years of age. Tom cherished his family above all else. His family began and ended with his wife, Kathryn, and he loved his sons, Marshall and Merrick, deeply. He was honored to walk his younger son’s bride down the aisle, a moment that he lived for, not only to witness his son’s marriage but also to gain Maddie as his daughter. He loved his country. He was dedicated to his work, both his clients and the non-profits to which he gave so much of his time and energy, and all who worked with him. Tom did not let cancer win. He was fully engaged in all aspects of his life until his final days. He kept an active legal practice, sustained strong friendships, welcomed a puppy to the family, watched the Astros head to the World Series, again, and reveled in watching Tennessee whip Alabama two weeks ago – GO VOLS! Tom was born in Belle Fourche, South Dakota on the 7th of August 1960, the youngest of Constance and Howard Wilson’s seven children. Growing up in the small town of Newell, South Dakota, he loved camping and fishing in the Black Hills. He graduated from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa in 1982 and received his JD from the University of Tennessee College of Law in Knoxville in 1985. Tom came to Houston to practice law at Vinson & Elkins LLP where he met Kathryn – she was right down the hall. With her by his side, and with the arrival of their two sons, he had what he needed to be successful in all aspects of life. Tom was proud to spend his entire legal career in the firm’s Employment, Labor & OSHA section and to mentor other lawyers as a partner in the section. Being an attorney was an incredible source of pride for Tom, not only because he excelled at his work, but also because he understood that lawyers make a difference in the world. He believed in the right for everyone to be treated with respect and dignity. Putting his beliefs into action, he led the effort to create an International Human Rights Committee at the State Bar of Texas and served as the first chair and continued to serve on the committee for the rest of his life. He also served as an officer of the Human Rights Law Committee of the International Bar Association for many years, during which he advocated for his beliefs around the world. Not only did Tom bring his passion for human dignity to the legal profession, he devoted thousands of hours to sharing his talents with Houston entities invested in making Houstonians’ lives better. Believing all people deserve quality healthcare, he served on the boards of three non-profit healthcare centers: Good Neighbor, Vecino, and San Jose Clinic. Believing all people deserve the opportunity to live with genuine purpose, he volunteered tirelessly for decades at The Brookwood Community, a home and workplace for functionally disabled adults, and at The Briarwood School, an institution for students with learning differences. As Chair of both Boards, Tom was passionate about ensuring that Brookwood and Briarwood were well positioned to continue providing their needed services in an ever-changing world. Tom always asked what more he could do to make these organizations and Houston stronger. He did more than work; Tom was a man of varied enthusiasms. A master of craft cocktails, he shared new and sometimes wild concoctions with his close friends. He was a world traveler, visiting thirty-one countries, including Austria for his honeymoon and China to visit his future in-laws. He loved constructing model boats, and his home office remains full of galleasses, caravels, and sailing yachts. He was a prodigious reader, with an impressive home library and a towering stack of novels and histories on his bedside table. He personally decorated the exterior of the house for all holidays, and the July 4 display was as impressive as that for Christmas. And he always found a reason to set off fireworks, the bigger the better. Throughout it all, his happiest moments were with Kathryn, his wife of 33 years. Her support and love were instrumental in all his accomplishments. He was also enormously proud of his sons, Marshall of Nashville and Merrick and daughter-in-law Maddie of Guangzhou, China. He encouraged them to follow their own paths and was immensely proud of their independence and achievements. He gave them the greatest gift by modeling what it is to be a good husband, a good father, and a good member of the community. It bears repeating, he loved his family beyond measure; daily he showed his family how much he loved them through his actions, large and small. Tom is survived by his wife and sons; daughter-in-law, siblings Kirk Wilson and his wife Joyce of Martin, South Dakota, Kathy Nikodym and her husband Bob of Littleton, Colorado, Mary Wilson of Chicago, Illinois, Corinne Iwan of Philip, South Dakota, Tim Wilson and his wife Pam of Salina, Kansas, father-in-law Charles W. Hall and his wife Anne of Houston, brother-in-law Charles W. Hall III of Taos, New Mexico, his sister-in-law’s family, Brian and Charlotte Grove and their children, and many nieces and nephews. Tom was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Briana Funk, mother-in-law Mary Louise Hall, and his sister-in-law Allison Grove. The family would like to extend special thanks to the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, and in particular Dr. Robert Wolff and his extraordinary team and colleagues. Friends are cordially invited to gather with the family and share remembrances of Tom during a memorial reception to be held from two until four o’clock in the afternoon on Saturday, the 29th of October, in the grand foyer for Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston. At a later date, the family will gather for a private inurnment at Glenwood Cemetery. In lieu of customary remembrances, memorial contributions in his name may be directed to The Briarwood School Endowment at (, The Briarwood School, 12207 Whittington Dr., Houston, TX, 77077; to The Brookwood Community at ( or by mail 1752 FM 1489, Brookshire, TX 77423; or to the charity of one’s choice.

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Past Services

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Memorial Service