Thomas Gregory Van Horn, 70, died Sept. 12, 2015, in Louisville, Ky. Born March 10th, 1945 in Marshalltown, Iowa, he was the son of the late Catherine A. Yeager and Mark C. Van Horn, and brother to the late Marcia C. Van Horn.
Tom received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, in 1968, a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics from Penn State University in 1972, and a Ph.D. in Soils and Land Use from Purdue University in 1985.
He grew up in Iowa, where his best childhood memories involved his Aunt and Uncle's farm and his years at Luther College. He later moved to Pennsylvania, Ontario (Canada), and Indiana, moving to Lafayette in 1978, where he married Deborah A. Hedrick. They divorced in 1986. He was a Boy Scout troop leader (even after his son stopped attending), a faithful driver of children to soccer and gymnastics practice, and an amateur architect. He worked for 20+ years as a City Planner for the City of Lafayette, where he took great pride in assisting with the revitalization of the Downtown.
He retired in 2010, after which he promptly decided to become a hippie and grow a ponytail. He was always quick to volunteer for a variety of events for the city and his children's activities, including Dancing in the Streets, A Taste of Tippecanoe, the Jefferson High School Haunted Mansion, and had the t-shirts to prove it. He spent his retirement years immersed in studying history, researching his family's genealogy, and drawing various versions of his "dream house," both big and small.
He had recently moved from Lafayette to Louisville to be closer to his daughter Erin. He was a member of Faith Presbyterian Church in West Lafayette for more than 30 years, where he served as an Elder, sang in the church choir, and played with the hand bell choir. After church he would often turn right out of the parking lot and take a "Sunday Drive," much to the objection of his children.
Tom Van Horn was a loving father and is survived by his son Kyle W. Van Horn (wife Kim Bentley), and daughter Erin J. Van Horn. His first grandchild is due in March. A memorial service was held at Faith Presbyterian Church in West Lafayette on Oct. 10, 2015. Donations may be made to Faith Presbyterian Church.