Carolyn and Roger’s story is one of friendship, grace, and gratitude. They married in 1960 and came directly to Dallas to start their life together. Roger worked at Neiman Marcus and later founded The Horchow Collection, the first luxury mail-order-only retailer. After selling the company to Neiman Marcus at the height of his success, he pursued his lifelong dream of producing a George Gershwin inspired musical and became a Tony Award-winning Broadway producer.
During 49 years of marriage, they cherished time with their daughters and were loving and generous grandparents to their five granddaughters. They built a remarkable network of friends and acquaintances. Carolyn passed away in 2009, followed by Roger’s death in 2020, and they both passed away due to complications from cancer. Lizzie, Regen, and Sally fondly remember the life lessons they learned at their family’s dinner table.
We are a very tight knit family, and I think our dinner table chatter is a big portion of what guided our psyche as a family. We were all aware that Mom did a lot of hands-on volunteering and served on various boards. Dad also served on boards, so there were often conversations about what was happening with their philanthropic work. After Dad worked hard to build his company, our parents made sure we knew how lucky we all were and how important it is to give back. He always told us to start giving when we finish our schooling, and to give back to the institutions that helped form us and community organizations that were doing good work.Regen Horchow
“Mom and Dad were gregarious and always had many friends,” added Lizzie. “Because of Dad’s business and because of who they were, they developed friendships all over the world – in every port, in every city, and in every country. Their friends were kind, creative people who came from places like India, China, and Italy and would end up at our dinner table. My parents made new friends easily, and they were really good at keeping old friends.”
Roger first connected with UT Southwestern in 1987, when he joined the Friends of the Center for Human Nutrition to raise money for fellowships, and for which he later served as president. Carolyn and Roger became longtime benefactors of the Foundation through their many gifts to support endowed academic positions, special building funds, and transformative research. Carolyn co-founded UT Southwestern’s Women’s Health Symposium in 1999 with her close friend, Pat Patterson. The annual event is now dedicated to her legacy. As a member of UT Southwestern’s Art & Interiors Committee, Roger shared pieces of his own art collection to help enhance the Medical Center campus. He also served on the Steering Committee of the Building the Future of Medicine campaign.
The Horchow family has created a legacy of generational service that both inspires and builds a community. Innovators like the Horchows who have joined us consistently in the journey to better serve more in our community are those who have made this tremendous progress come about.Kathleen Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation
“Our parents instilled in us this interest in helping others from the very beginning of our lives,” said Sally. “To have the opportunity to give to anyone needing help is incredibly satisfying, but it also feels like we are honoring their memory. When they were alive, I was completely influenced by watching my parents have that same experience. They had many friends who were on the faculty of UT Southwestern, so it was really gratifying for them to see the direct impact of their gifts.”
Carolyn and Roger felt it was important that Dallas have a top of line health care community. The sisters know their parents would be proud to see how much has been accomplished and how UT Southwestern has grown in world renown.
Like their parents, the Horchow sisters continue to invest in the communities that are important to them with their time and treasure. In 2020, their father’s estate supported research and clinical work at UTSW, including the Peter O’Donnell Jr. Brain Institute. The Horchow Family Trust made a gift to support the third tower of William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital that serves as the clinical home for the O’Donnell Brain Institute. In addition, Regen made a gift of stock designated for UTSW’s President’s Advisory Board because “it was the most tax efficient way to give a gift.”
Lizzie has held board positions throughout North Texas and currently serves on the boards of The Dallas Foundation, the Hoblitzelle Foundation, the Visiting Nurse Association, and UTSW’s President’s Advisory Board where she served as inaugural Chair. She was a member of the SWMF Board of Trustees from 1997 to 2015, serving on the executive committee and as nominating committee chair, and is currently an Honorary Trustee. She has volunteered in the community and at The Hockaday School throughout her life.
I enjoy serving on boards and I like connecting with others who like to help people. I get the most satisfaction when I can be hands-on when helping others — pack boxes, deliver meals, give blood – it makes me feel better, especially when I see what our world has gone through this past year.Lizzie Horchow Routman
Regen has spent most of her life focused on the lives of young children, including elementary teacher, school counselor, head of early learning program, and, for the past 30 years, as civic leader for a variety of North Texas organizations serving young children and their families. As Chair of Early Matters Dallas, Regen is a local leader and advocate for issues impacting the healthy development of young children. She has held many leadership positions on boards including United Way, Commit, Child Care Group, Dallas Assembly, Planned Parenthood, and The Hockaday School. She also serves on the Yale Child Study Center Executive Advisory Board and UTSW’s President’s Advisory Board.
I like working at the strategy level to come up with ways to make the widest impact. Most of the things that I get to do are interesting and fun for me, and I’ve learned so much. I feel like I get far more out of my engagements with the various entities than I give.Regen Horchow
Sally followed in her father’s footsteps, working in Broadway production offices in New York. She also worked as the executive assistant for Steven Spielberg, wrote travel and style articles for the New York Times, and helped market the re-opening of the Getty Museum. For the past 10 years, she has been back to producing Broadway plays and musicals, splitting her time between Los Angeles and New York. She volunteers for Meals on Wheels and serves on the boards of the Vineyard Theatre in New York and the Yale School of Drama.
One major influence in my life was to have the opportunity to take all kinds of music, art, and theater courses in the schools I attended. Because it is no longer an option for many public schools today, I support arts organizations that provide early art education for kids, including supplemental programs to public schools without arts programs.Sally Horchow