302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

Reverend Thomas Short

Thomas Crawford Short, in his 83rd year, died on August 1, 2018.

He was born in Baltimore, Maryland. He was the first of two children born to Hall N. Short and Dorothy E. (Cahall) Short. He was reared in Perryville, Maryland and graduated from Perryville High School in 1954. During his youth he became an Eagle Scout and he captained the Perryville High School basketball team which won the Maryland State Championship in 1954.

He attended Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland where he received a B.A. Degree in 1958. Three years later he graduated from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC with a Master of Sacred Divinity Degree. In 1986 he received his Doctor of Ministry Degree from Palmer Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Short was a member of the Peninsula Delaware Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church and served churches in North East, Maryland; Seaford, Delaware; New Castle, Delaware before becoming the pastor of Aldersgate Church in Wilmington, Delaware where he served for 17 years, retiring in 1999. After retiring he taught homiletics in the Course of Study Program at Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC for 12 years. He was the author of three books and numerous articles.

He was a member of the Wilmington Rotary Club for 30 years and active in the Boy Scouts of America for over 60 years. He received a variety of awards for his leadership in the church and community, including a coveted Distinguished Eagle Scout Award given to adults who achieved the award of Eagle as a youth and went on to distinguish themselves as community leaders. From scouting he also received the Silver Beaver Award. In Rotary he was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. He founded the Dunkle/Mackey Endowment Fund which provides preaching seminars for clergy. His hobbies included tennis, fishing, walking, gardening, and shooting pool. In 2011 Tom and Mary moved to Cokesbury Village in Hockessin, Delaware and he was happy and active in that community until the time of his death.

Tom is survived by Mary Catherine Hornbarger, his wife of 60+ years, and three children: Donna Marie (husband, Ron Barnwell), Curtis Hall (wife, Charlene), and Leanne Russell (husband, Reinder Vanderschoot). He is survived by five grandchildren, 5 great grandchildren, and his sister, Lee Hayward.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 11:00 am at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 2313 Concord Pike, Wilmington, Delaware.

For memorials and in lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Thomas C. Short Scholarship, Wesley Theological Seminary, 4500 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20016 or Boy Scouts of America, Delmarva Council, 100 W. 10th St, Suite 915, Wilmington, Delaware 19801.

Funeral Services

Celebration of Life, August 25, 2018 at 11:00 am at Aldersgate United Methodist Church.

Visitation with the family will follow the service.

Burial will be private.


    Jacqueline Gatcomb writes,
    Tom is truly unforgettable as are his books and sermons.
    08/02/2018 02:57 pm
    Jane B Crouch lit a candle and writes,
    Tom was not only a good friend, he was my pastor and next door neighbor while in North East, MD. He officiated at our wedding on October 19, 1963. Tom was "one of a kind" and will be missed by those of us that were privileged to know him. Jane Balog Crouch
    08/03/2018 11:29 am
    Sue Beeson lit a candle and writes,
    Mary and family, So very sorry to hear the news. Even though I’ve never met your husband, I have enjoyed learning about him through our discussions about your family. Sending thoughts and prayers. Sue Beeson
    08/03/2018 04:20 pm
    Scott j. Hurst lit a candle and writes,
    Sending prayers to the family from the Hursts’ of Sykesville Md. The passing of Tom is a great loss and will be a time of rememberance for us. Known to us Hurst kids as Uncle Tom we will always remember him and been lucky to been close.
    08/03/2018 04:35 pm
    Jonathan Whitcomb writes,
    It was much sorrow that I hear that Tom has passed on to the next world. May God Bless his and your souls in this difficult time. He was a friend to me in Rotary and he will me missed.
    08/03/2018 11:17 pm
    Charlene Lambert lit a candle and writes,
    Mary, you have been such a good friend and role model for me and many others. If there is anything I can do, please let me know. We will see you at the Celebration of Life service on the 25th.
    08/04/2018 11:23 am
    Judy & Steven Vickers lit a candle and writes,
    We will miss talking to Tom on the beach at Starboard Tack in OCMD. Loved his leadership and friendship. Condolences to the family.
    08/04/2018 02:16 pm
    David Fleming lit a candle and writes,
    A great Rotarian, Tom’s smile was always genuine, his heart was immense, and his humor was always bubbling just below the surface. One of those people who just make you feel good when they come into a room. You’ll be missed, my friend.
    08/04/2018 05:59 pm
    Carol Maguire lit a candle and writes,
    Mary and family so very sorry for your loss but happy you were blessed with so many wonderful years together. Hugs
    08/04/2018 08:21 pm
    Jim and GloriaBrashesr writes,
    I remember Tom when he preached at Bethany Church for our Commitment Sunday. It was an honor to have him preached that day. It was also an honor for me to have his dsughter Dónna on my staff and to have her family atBethany for many years. All of you will remain in our prayer God BlessYou Jim and Gloria
    08/05/2018 02:11 pm
    James Scott writes,
    Mary and family, Please accept my sincere condolences. Tom and I were fellow K.A.'s at Washington College. I have fond memories of us playing intramural basketball going up for rebounds. A great guy. Jim Scott Class of '59 Vero Beach FL
    08/07/2018 06:57 am
    Henry Chisholm writes,
    We are so sad --- what wonderful memories of the Asbury Methodist Church in New Castle ----Donna and Curt -- will never forget how much you gave to the music program at William Penn High School during those years and our concerts at the church -- love you guys so much --- hugs to Mary,our good friend --- Tom and I had so many wonderful conversations together -- will miss him so much ---
    08/08/2018 07:08 am
    Fritz and Peggy Horisk writes,
    Although Tom is no longer with us in person, Fritz and I carry so much of what he taught us not only from the pulpit but also from his teaching our Sunday School class while we were members of Aldersgate United Methodist Church. He taught us the importance of worship and hammered away at celebrating the gift of grace. We learned about Saint Fiacre from Tom and became people that are recognized by others for emphasizing more vegetables in our daily menus. We learned from Tom that we are all prejudiced and need to confess that and ask God to build within us better hearts. Fritz and I now live in Staunton, VA and have been here for 12 years, but we carry in our hearts Tom's words from God every day of our lives. He still lives on.
    08/08/2018 11:02 am
    Amanda Pyle lit a candle and writes,
    He was my absolute favorite part of going to church each sunday during my youth. One the most openminded, warm and caring individuals I've ever met and will be truly missed. Mary and family, you are in my thoughts during this rough time. He will always be in my great memories. Love, Amanda
    08/08/2018 02:50 pm
    Eunice FOUNTAIN writes,
    Mary and family, sorry to hear of Rev. Short's passing. When I was a student at Del Tech - Wilmington I was introduced and became friends. As Mary and I pursued our studies, Tom offered me support and encouragement so many times. What an example of the love of Jesus. May the memories you share of Tom's love of family be of some comfort.
    08/08/2018 07:01 pm
    Please accept our condolences. Tom and I served for many years with the Boy Scouts, and his presence will be greatly missed. Unfortunately, we will be out-of-town on the day of the memorial services.
    08/09/2018 04:34 pm
    Carl & Martha Book writes,
    You were a true friend and leader, and we enjoyed many a tennis match together. You will truly be missed by many people! Thank you for sharing the true message of Christ with so many during your time on earth.
    08/10/2018 10:12 am
    Joseph Mullin writes,
    Reverend Short was one of the best men I have ever met. I am certain that I overspent many a Friday evening at his home in Penn Acres while he was pastor at Asbury Methodist Church. He became a confidant, an inspiration, and a guidepost for my life. Through hundreds of conversations ranging from theology to sports to music, Reverend Short revealed great patience, concern, and compassion that only comes from holiness and grace. With fondness I remember him and Mrs. Short dressed in their tennis whites and celebrating Wimbledon when it was in television. He introduced me to Thomas Merton and I still have one of Merton’s books which he gave me now 42 years ago. Whether enjoying his insights in private conversations or as he put up with Phil Stewart, Bill Holloway, George Harvilla, Harry Bridge, Marie Sabatino, Billy Reynolds, and the whole lot of us crazy William Penn High School students from 1973-1977, Reverend Short and indeed his entire family were models of joy and love. I do and will always miss him.
    08/12/2018 10:26 am
    Jan Rohrbough
    08/17/2018 02:23 pm

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