Timothy R. Thornton, the chief executive officer and president of Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., died Sunday, June 23, 2019, as the result of a bicycle accident. He was 64 years old.
“This is a huge loss for the Greensfelder family,” Greensfelder Chief Operating Officer Heather L. Henry said. “Tim was an inspiring and widely admired leader and will be greatly missed. His passion for the firm and its people was contagious.”
Mr. Thornton graduated from Washington University School of Law in 1980 and joined Greensfelder in 1981. He focused on serving clients in the construction industry and was well-respected among construction attorneys throughout the nation, as a fellow of the American College of Construction Lawyers and member of numerous other legal and trade organizations.
“It is very hard to lose such a great person, friend and colleague,” said Andrew W. Manuel, leader of Greensfelder’s construction practice group. “Tim built lasting relationships on both a personal and professional level with our construction clients, experts, co-counsel, and opposing counsel that we will strive to continue.”
In 2016, Mr. Thornton became Greensfelder’s first CEO after previously serving as a board member, president and highly respected partner during his 38 years with the firm. While serving as CEO, Mr. Thornton’s vision for the firm led to progress in numerous areas, including the growth of Greensfelder’s Chicago office, furtherance of the firm’s diversity initiatives, and the implementation of a new strategic growth plan. In 2017, Mr. Thornton was honored by Missouri Lawyers Media as a top “Law Firm Leader.”
Mr. Thornton’s vision for the firm was one where all employees were given the opportunity to achieve their highest potential, diversity of leadership was paramount to future success, and clients and community were at the forefront of Greensfelder’s business model. He believed that Greensfelder employees were the firm’s biggest asset and frequently referred to them as “family.” He was known as a great leader, and an even better person.
“His leadership has been invaluable in helping chart the future of Greensfelder,” said Vincent J. Garozzo, past firm president and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. “Having someone as well-respected as Tim leading the push was important in uniting the firm to achieve big goals.”
Outside of the office, Mr. Thornton was passionate about spending time with his family and cherished the time he spent with his wife, Terry; his children Patrick (Emily), Meaghan (Bryan), and Katie; and his granddaughter. He was an avid athlete and cyclist and had a love for U2 music.
Successor leadership of Greensfelder will be announced at a later date.
Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C., founded in 1895, is a full-service law firm with offices in St. Louis, Chicago and Belleville.