Thomas Patrick Chorlton

Obituary
1 entry
  • "I didn't know Tom but I love to sit behind him in church..."
    - Barbara Miller
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Thomas Patrick Chorlton CHARLESTON - Tom was born February 26, 1946, in Kansas City, Missouri. Nine months later, he was adopted by the late Wes and Bette Chorlton, He was a graduate of St. Louis University and earned his master's degree from Webster University. He was a Professor of American History at College of Charleston. During the past 10 years, Professor Chorlton taught classes in the Political Science Department of the College of Charleston. His subjects included American Government, Contemporary Political Issues, the Politics of the American Revolution, the American Presidency, and LGBT Politics. He inspired countless students to get involved in the political system, constantly reminding them that "Democracy is a Participatory Sport." He is also the author of "The First American Republic: 1774-1789," a book John Bicknell, columnist for Roll Call newspaper, said "gives life to long-forgotten figures of American history who deserved to be remembered." Before relocating to the Charleston area, Professor Chorlton taught history and government at the Lake Campus of Columbia College in central Missouri. He received his B.A. in Political Science from St. Louis University in 1968. Following graduation, he served as a Peace Corp education volunteer in Rabai, Kenya. Tom earned his M.A. degree in Governmental Administration at Webster University in 1977. Tom was also very involved in local, state, and national politics. In 1975, he worked in Washington DC on the staff of Congressman Melvin Price (D-IL), Chair of the House Armed Services Committee. From 1982-87, he served as the founding Executive Director of the National Association of Gay and Lesbian Democratic Clubs (the forerunner of today's National Stonewall Democrats). In 1988, he ran for a seat on the City Council of the District of Columbia. Professor Chorlton traveled extensively, visiting six continents and over 50 countries. He had a larger than life personality and engaged with people from Khartoum to Kathmandu, Easter Island to the Arctic Circle. At 360 pounds, Tom proclaimed himself "the world's largest gay vegetarian hymn-singing agnostic." He was also a passionate advocate for animal rights and enjoyed celebrating Spoleto Festival, live theater, and entertaining friends with stories told over dinners and red wine. Tom's life will be celebrated in a memorial service at St. Michael's Church, 71 Broad Street, Charleston SC on Tuesday, January 14th, at 2 PM with inurnment in the churchyard. A pot luck reception will follow in the church hall. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made by check payable to the Tom Chorlton Memorial Fund, PO Box 1892, Folly Beach SC 29439. A memorial message may be sent to the family by visiting our website at www.jhenrystuhr.com. Visit our guestbook at www.legacy.com/obituaries/ charleston

Published in Charleston Post & Courier on Jan. 12, 2014