Monday, December 11, 2006

TRAGIC DEATH OF JULIAN AND FIONA HORTON IN NAIROBI CAR CRASH; PAT RICHER INJURED


An incredibly sad day for all who knew Julian and Fiona Horton, who were tragically killed today (approximately 1am Sydney time), in a car crash in Nairobi, Kenya, when a truck hit their safari vehicle head on.
Aussie expat creative Pat Richer (ex Publicis Mojo Sydney), who worked under Horton, was also in the truck and was injured.
(The latest information is that Pat Richer has a fractured vertibrae in his spine, and his condition is serious but not critical. He's conscious and has spoken to his mother in Australia. A fourth passenger, believed to be the agency's Coca-Cola client, is in a very serious condition.)
Julian Horton had been creative director of McCann-Erickson, Nairobi since August last year, and before that, had a two year stint at JWT as creative director - Unilever Asia Pacific, based in Bangkok. Before that he was creative director at FNL Communications, Sydney for three years (originally joint CD with Mike Miller).
Previous stints since he started his career in 1992 included Sydney agencies Mojo Partners, Euro RSCG, DDB, DMB&B/WMO and George Patterson.
Horton was born in Houston, Texas and came to Australia when he was three. He lists a few non advertising achievements as highlights of his career: he completed an Olympic distance triathlon (Bundeena - 2 hours 26 minutes); performed a 5 minute stand up comedy act in the Melbourne Comedy Festival; and wrote "Deflated", a finalist at Australia’s premier short film festival Tropfest.
Julian and Fiona leave an only daughter, Jessica (18), who has just finished her last year at school in Australia.
The CB Blog will advise as soon as we hear news of a service or memorial.

51 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's very sad news. Julian was a great guy. Puts a lot of things in perspective. Tragic.

5:25 PM  
Anonymous Garry Horner said...

Anyone like me,who had the pleasure of knowing and working with Julian, will be tremendously saddened to hear the terrible news of he and Fionas untimely passing.

Julian was a unique talent who was never afraid to push himself and the boundaries. Like so many of his oF mates, I will miss his sense of humour,his passion and most of all his unwavering friendship.

It is indeed a dark day for all of us.

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Patsy Peacock said...

A tragedy, he was a true gentleman, a fantastic advertising professional, and one of the nicest couples you could ever have the pleasure of meeting. Please send all the prayers and love you have to their daughter Jess, parents, families and friends.

6:01 PM  
Blogger lynchy said...

Emails to Lynchy from prominent ad people on hearing this tragic news:

Really really sorry to hear that. A great guy who will be very much missed. Should there be an opportunity, please pass my condolences and best wishes to his family.
Anthony Freedman
Managing Partner
Host
Sydney

How very very sad.
Heart felt condolences to all the family.
Darryn Devlin
Creative Partner
Kastner & Partners
Sydney

It's tragic news and all who knew them are pretty shocked and devastated.
I hope you can dedicate your next issue to them.
Having worked with him and knowing how well he was regarded in the industry I am sure it would be
a fitting tribute.
Rob Martin-Murphy
Creative Director
The Furnace
Sydney

You have floored me with this news.
I got to know Julian when we worked together at Mojo. We shared a similar sense of humour and a good old fashioned StGeorge v Cronulla rivalry. We had some great and silly laughs.
He was smart, funny, talented and always fun to be around.
To think of his daughter, alone is just too tragic.
Thank you for alerting me.
Adam Lance
Creative Director
Lowe Hunt
Sydney

A truly sad day indeed. Julian was a kind joyful spirit who leaves this
world in a better way than the way he found it.
Cos Luccitti
Creative Director
De Pasquale
Brisbane

6:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Incredibly sad news. Julian was indeed a top bloke. My heart goes out to his family and loved ones.

6:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very, very sad news. Our hearts go out to his family and friends during this time.

8:04 PM  
Anonymous jason bruckner said...

No way. Shattered. The death of Julian and Fiona is mind numbing. I'm shaking as I type this. A terrible day.
Jason Bruckner

8:12 PM  
Anonymous Sunder said...

It has been an honour to know both Julian and Fiona. Their untimely demise has left all of us in Kenya in shock. Julian was, without doubt, one of the nicest guys around. We will miss him terribly.

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh man, how sad. I was lucky to meet Julian once and was inspired by not only what he was doing in advertising but also for what he was doing outside the industry.

My thoughts and prayers are with the family.

vgl.

8:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How very very sad.

Everyone says nice things about you when you're gone, but in Julian's case, they all said they same nice things about him when he was still with us.

Tom Moult

9:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An absolute tragedy. Had the pleasure of working with him ... a true gentleman, talented, honourable, with a wonderful sense of humour. Thoughts with his daughter ... also with Pat and the other Passenger for a speedy recovery, of course. Please let us all know when the the many, many people in the Industry, that would wish to, can pay our respects.
Very sad news,
Corrine Long
Producer
Republic Films

11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, I am still reeling from the news. This is truly a dark day. Julian and Fiona were a beautiful couple and leaving behind their daughter Jess is so terribly sad.

It was great to know them. Julian has inspired me in many ways and I am sure that I am not alone feeling this way.

I agree with Rob that there should be some sort of dedication to their memory. Maybe “Best and fairest”.

Go well mate!!

Matt Smith

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A true gentleman. He'll be sadly missed.

Matt Cramp

8:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A huge loss. Julian was so talented, such an individual character, and yet so normal... he was a grounding personality in a sometimes unreal industry. Love and support their family, and daughter Jess...

Kelly Fletcher

8:47 AM  
Anonymous Scott Walker said...

Why is it always the ones who live life with such vigor whose lives are cut so short. We'll miss you mate. My heart goes out to Jess and the rest of the Horton family.

8:51 AM  
Anonymous Jessica Horton said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. I will advise as to funeral dates, etc.
If any of you would like to contact me, please send e-mail to jess.horton@gmail.com
Thank you all once again

10:28 AM  
Anonymous Rodd Chant said...

Via an email to Lynchy...

I just read about Julian...that is such tragic news. He was a genuine guy...a really nice bloke. Such a sad loss. I caught up with him last year in Singapore, he was always in such good spirits and had such a positive outlook. My thoughts go out to his family.

Rodd
--
Rodd Chant
EVP, Executive Creative Director
DRAFTFCB New York

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is so tragic and sad. Julian and I shared many a good time and laugh at DDB, and in the years that followed. I watched his career progress in awe. His quick wit, intelligence and love for his wife and family will be the things I remember most. This is just so terrible.

Condolences to his daughter and family and hope for a speedy recovery to the injured.

Mel Coenen

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Steve Samuel said...

The last time i saw Julian was for my 40th in Bangkok. Always enthusiastic about life, he took us to all the best places to celebrate in the back of a tuk-tuk. He was such a great human being. Always happy and full of stories and laughter.

11:51 AM  
Anonymous Adam Wells said...

Jess

Like you with me, you don't know me either, but I knew your Dad.

He wasn't a best friend or anything, but I've known him for at least 15 years. The first 5 perhaps to say g'day to, the others I count as friend years. He was both a client and a friend, and he even starred (OK, featured) in a commercial I produced for Singapore Airlines in 2001.

To read your email was such a shock young Jess. Your email was both composed and mature but spoke of such tragic news.

It is many people's loss, but yours the greatest.

I can speak of your Dad as a wonderfully mild-mannered, gentle man - SMART - with a wicked sense of humour. Mostly I can remember him as a kind fella, who was respected and showed that respect to all around him. Never above his position, Julian was never comtemptuous of anyone - yet he remained so respected and liked by his peers.

If you ever talk of the name Julian Horton - there is n'er a mention but words of a man both gifted and humble.

I am so saddened by your news of Mum and Dad, and while you don't know me, I offer my family's love and wishes.

I will always do my part to speak well of your wonderful Dad.

12:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My gosh.

What terrible and totally unexpected news.

Julian was always great to everyone he met.

When i arrived in Australia he was always kind and welcoming to me whenever i ran across him.

His wicked sense of humour and sharp wit was always tempered by an extremely fine, erudite and intelligent mind.

He also followed his heart and his adventurous soul.

What a shock.

He has been taken from the world far too early.

Please pass my condolences on.

Yours.

Jay Furby.

1:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terrible news - he was one of the good guys. Puts our world into perspective. Very, very sad.

1:21 PM  
Anonymous Noah Regan said...

An email to Lynchy from Noah Regan, Saatchi & Saatchi, Sydney:

Terrible to hear about Julian Horton. I think your tribute to him and the letter you printed of his is the best thing I have seen on the Blog. Tragic, but so inspiring. It's a fitting tribute to such a wonderful, talented and funny individual. When I was starting out Julian was always really happy to give me the time of day and have a chat.

1:31 PM  
Anonymous KIERAN FLANAGAN said...

Like all of these posts, our experience of Julian was that of a true gentleman. One of the good guys.

So Julian we salute your kindness, warmth, wit and intelligence. We are sad that it takes such a tragedy for the good things about you to be written and shared, although the measure of your respect was always self evident.

We also had the pleasure of Pat Richer's company, when he worked with us. Pat, we hope you recover, emotionally and mentally... our thoughts are with you.

Kieran Flanagan and the Kindred team.

4:22 PM  
Anonymous Richard Horton said...

Dearest Jube

You were my hero and an incredible friend and companion. I love you and Fiona with all my heart and will miss you constantly. If it is at all possible, please let me know that you and Fiona are OK. Otherwise, I'll look forward to the day we get to be together again mate.

Love
Your brother Rich

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julian was my mentor after award school some years ago. He helped me write some of my first ads and encouraged me to dig deep.

He would have never known how much he has influenced my career and to some extent me as a person.

What a tragedy.

Mark H.

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Mike Miller said...

Working with Julian was a true pleasure.
Loosing Fiona and Jules is still uncomprehensible.
My prayers go out to Jess to help her through the most difficult time in her life.
Miss you both.

12:34 AM  
Anonymous Mike Miller said...

Via email from his creative partner at FNL, Mike Miller

This is tragic news, I'm still dazed by the whole idea of not seeing them again.
I'm in the UK at the moment and found out in a mist of jet lag. If you need help to put together a tribute I'll be back next Monday.
I'll miss them greatly.

Mike Miller

9:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I never knew the man, or his work.
But it is truly sad that the man responsible
for the most illuminating, enriching piece of writing
I've seen posted on the blog, is no longer with us.
No wonder the tributes have flowed so freely.

10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julian was one of the first people I met when I came to Sydney. He bowled me over with his warmth, kindness and humour. It seems to me that he enriched everyone he met and I count myself very lucky to have been among those who had the pleasure to know him. It feels important to share the sadness and shock that I’m feeling. It feels fitting to be open and forthright in honouring someone who cared so much for so many people and brought such warmth and love to their lives. My deepest sympathies to both Julian and Fiona’s families and, of course, to Jess. I am simply so very, very sad for you all.

Sarah Keogh

2:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Behind every good man there is a good woman... Fiona was that woman, a wonderful wife and mother who stood by and encouraged her man with pride and love.
I met Fiona and Julian almost 3 years ago in Bangkok, together they enjoyed life to the fullest... the glass was always half full! If every married couple could strive for half of what they had together, it would be a blessing. Fiona and Julian had love, companionship,respect and strength whilst maintaining indiviuality.
While this tragedy is devestating for all left behind, they are together in their next adventure!
They are forever in our hearts and never forgotten.
Princess Jess, Mrs. Lee, Mr and Mrs Horton, Annabelle, Richard, Colleen, Dianne, Robert, Ben and Sam our hearts are with you forever more xxx
Lynn and Andrew Mitchell and Family
Singapore

2:49 PM  
Anonymous Damian Linklater said...

I’ve been struggling with this entry for days. The necessary brevity of a blog entry makes it difficult to not seem trite, and I do not want this message to appear as grief in shorthand. Because to say what I actually want to say would take reams. Jess, all your Mum’s and Dad’s friends are thinking of you and share in your grief and shock. For the first time I can recall it saddens me to remind someone that they’re not alone. The fact that Julian, my old friend, had until so recently been sitting at my old desk, driving those roads I know so well, and seeing all the marvellous sights of Kenya which have been for so long permanently scored into the fore of my mind – the fact that we’d shared this – comes as absolutely no consolation whatsoever. Hell, Julian – we were smack bang in the middle of a conversation.

- Deepest sympathies, Damian Linklater.

2:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

julian, you always inspired me to live more fully. to take the bite and to relish it.

the world seems a little dimmer right now.

all my love, thoughts and condolences to the horton family.

david schroder

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Robert Lee said...

Thanks for all the kind comments, I am Fiona's big Brother and Jess' Uncle and Julians brother in law. I would like to get a compilation of some or all of Julians work for Jessica to keep can anyone assist? Perhaps someone can put a DVD together. I can be reached at robdlee@bigpond.net.au.
If you come to the service ( once arranged) please introduce yourself.

8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know Julian very well..more a friend of a friend when I worked in the industry in Sydney..but a warm, funny man with alot of talent and alot of modesty. Will fondly remember 'rooming' with Julian during a stag weekend in Newcastle. Happy times. God bless you and Fiona. Would very much like to contribute to a memorial fund or some other fitting tribute.

stevie rooney
bbh

11:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jules,

You spent some of your time as our boss and the rest of it making us laugh. We’ll always treasure mucking about in the office with you and Mike, watching you run in that awesome Batman singlet, and getting mercilessly thrashed by your foosballing genius. You were our saviour. You and your beautiful Fiona will be sorely missed.

You are the original “dude”.

Nathan & Luke

12:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fiona was my little sister and now that both are gone we only have Jess to remind us of them all.

We cannot believe the tragedy that has befallen us at this time however we must think of the future.

I would like Jess to have some or all of her father's work - is it posssible that someone out ther can compile a DVD for her.

If you can help contact me at robdlee@bigpond.net.au

I keep the Buddha in my heart & the Buddha blesses me. They have only transited from one life to another.

Robert

4:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Julian,

You had the rare abilty to engage with people from all walks of life, energising those around you with your good grace, wit and that laugh.

Although it's been over 8 years since we have lived in the same country, you were a constant in my life and I was privileged to have you as a friend.

I will miss you greatly and will pray for your family.

Nick Darken

9:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In this industry we often come across cynics and egos, but seldom do we find genuinly nice people, I feel honoured to have shared part of my career with Julian, a bloke who’s company I always enjoyed, whether it be running, drinking or in the office.
Julian and Fiona you will be sadly missed, my heart goes out to your family at this very sad time. God bless you

3:12 PM  
Anonymous The Khilji Family said...

Dear Julian & Fiona,

We were blessed to have you as our friends. Thank you for being in our lives.

Zac, Vickie & Cameron Khilji.

5:03 PM  
Anonymous damian totman said...

Overwhelming stuff.

Four days now and I still struggle to comprehend the finality of it all.

The world seems sometimes so unjust.

The fact that I have Julian's omnipresent & vivacious laugh playing on a loop in my head makes it a little easier.

Damian

9:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This very sad news has been so hard to accept...Julian and Fiona were such kind, warm and easy going people. In just a few moments and with just a few words we became instant friends - spending a whole week together on vacation in India. Their appreciation for life and all that it had to offer was apparent in all that they said and did. We are saddened that we will not have the opportunity to entertain them in NY – a trip they promised to make one day.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you Jessica.
Alvin, Sonia and Anjali Mohan

9:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On Monday, I thought it was the next installment of my email chat from Jube; it was his email address. But it was from Jess.I've been in quiet, outraged shock ever since. Don't know how many times I've read that email. Jube and Fiona were the most positive, funny, generous, mischievous and gentle souls one could ever hope to count as friends.Talk about the good die young. I'll miss them forever. 'Condolences' doesn't even make a dint in how I feel for Jess, Annabelle and their families.
Jon Kenyon

2:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Awful news. Julian had time for everyone, one of the nicest people you could meet in the industry.

9:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My heart-felt sympathy goes to Jess, and to the families of Julian and Fiona as we try reluctantly to comprehend this enormous tragedy. You are all in my prayers, along with the recovering survivors.

Jacquie Lenart (friend of Nikki and Richard Horton)

2:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Terribly tragic news.

Julian was talented, kind, funny, generous and articulate.

He will be sadly missed by us all.

Michael Faudet

12:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like so many others I was really sad to hear the tragic news of the death of Julian and Fiona.

It's many years since I saw Julian - primary school in fact. Although I didn't know him really well back then, I know that he was always a laughing, happy, laid back kid. He idolised his big brothers - you could see it in the way he watched them. And he adored his little sister.

Richard, he'll never be far away - he'll be in every memory, tear and laugh, and I'm sure he'll be walking with you through every step of your life.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and Nikki, Matthew, Annabelle, your mum and dad and Jess.

I wish I had known this amazing man who is spoken of so highly and loved so obviously.

Justine Bennett

2:11 PM  
Anonymous C Y Gopinath said...

Julian and Fiona's lives crossed ours uniquely --- we (my wife Shilpa and I) were moving from Nairobi to Bangkok just as they were making the move to Nairobi. Julian came first, and a mutual friend put us in touch. when we went househunting in Bangkok, Fiona was a great help.

Julian had a bit of unresolved Hemingway in him, as he once told me. Fiona joined him in Nairobi, a month before we left. She was happy to be back with Julian, who'd narrowly escaped a gang attack on his house in Ngong, but I got the feeling she would be none to upset to see the last of Nairobi.

They were two warm and genuine people --- no pretensions, all heart, and good fun to hang out with. It will be a while before our eyes are dry again.

Gopi (and Shilpa)
Creative Director
Path

2:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shattered....

I am currently traveling in India, so only heard the news via text message last night....I cried myself to sleep and again this morning.

I began my advertising career with Julian in the George Patts mail room. He was and still is one of mankind's true "gentle...men". His heart was pure, he was passionate about everything he did, he always filled the room with laughter and he will be sadly missed by all.

My heart and love go out to Jess and the rest of her family.

To Julian and Fiona....I'll see you in my dreams.

Love

Simon

6:15 PM  
Anonymous Rua Perston said...

Awful news. I didn't know Julian, but spent a great couple of days with Pat Richer in Nairobi. Get well soon mate. My thoughts are with you guys right now.

8:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Eighteen months on and the loss is still uncomprehensible.

I miss my dear friends and am reminded of them by the simplest day to day things that we so freely shared. Dinner at Becasse , a dry martini, Pooky pie, an old Bette Davis film, a sixties sing along sound track or a night at the Boatshed.

The streets of BKK seem quiet without you but I still expect to bump into you on Soi 11 or Soi 13. I visit all the old haunts and remember how much fun and laughter we shared.

I really miss you guys.

G

3:19 PM  

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