PATRICK KELLY THORNTON, went peacefully to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ on January 15, 2012, after a courageous fight against cancer. Pat lived a life wrapped in the love of Jesus. His family cherishes the memories of his faithful love for all, which was rooted in Jesus' faithful love for him.
Pat was born in Houston, Texas, on July 1, 1958. Pat excelled in all sports growing up in Bellaire. He attended Pershing Junior High and Lamar High School, where he was a member of the Varsity basketball team. After graduating from Southwest Texas State University, Pat earned his J.D. from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, his LL.M. from the University of Houston Law Center, and a Master's Degree from Rice University.
In addition to his private law practice, Pat was considered one of the prominent sports law authorities in the United States and the world. Pat authored two books, Sports Law and Sports Ethics for Sports Management Professionals, and was working on two other books at the time of his death. Pat was a respected professor and lecturer at Rice University, the University of Houston, the South Texas College of Law, and Houston Baptist University. Pat was recently selected as the Academic Director for the Masters of Laws program in International Sports Law for the Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia in Madrid, Spain. Pat taught sports law and intellectual property law all over the world, including Russia, Australia, and Vietnam, and was greatly admired and loved by his literally thousands of students.
Pat also served in the Texas Army National Guard as a JAG officer from 2005 to 2010. Pat was honored to have served in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina as a part of the overall recovery efforts. For his exceptional meritorious service, First Lieutenant Thornton was awarded the Army Commendation Medal.
Pat is survived by this devoted wife, Alison; and their two sons, Samuel (age 9) and George (age 6); and his parents, Jack and Jennie Thornton. Pat is also survived by his loving sister, Candy Gibson and her husband Brad, and their children Melissa and Nic. Pat is also survived by his sister, Deborah Towns, and numerous uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, and former students too many to name.
Friends are invited to a visitation with the family from 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM, Wednesday, January 18, 2012, at the Settegast-Kopf Company at Sugar Creek, 15015 Southwest Freeway, Sugar Land (Williams Trace Exit). Funeral Services will be held at 2:00 PM, Thursday, January 19, 2012, at Christ United Methodist Church, 3300 Austin Parkway, Sugar Land, with a reception following the service at the church. Graveside Services will be held at 11:00 AM, Friday, January 20, 2012, at Conroe Memorial Park Cemetery, 1600 Porter Road, Conroe, Texas 77301.