Joe Lee Moore, age 77, died reluctantly after a courageous battle with COVID on Monday, December 21, 2020, surrounded by caring and compassionate people. He leaves behind his wife who adored him, Mary Stone; his beloved children and their spouses; Joshua and Beth Moore, Ross Moore and Tim Chambers, his grandchildren; Justin, Leila, Colin, Luna, and Fennia, his first wife and dear friend, Susan Moore; and his devoted sister and her husband, Nancy and Steve Innis. He has left more friends in all walks of life than could be counted.
Joe was born on September 11, 1943 to James H. and Juanita Moore in Newport News, Virginia. James and Juanita moved the family, including Joe’s older brother James (deceased), to the drier climate of Duncan, Oklahoma in an effort to protect Joe from life threatening asthma. Joe’s early years were still spent getting wet and muddy playing in the creek behind his house in Oklahoma.
Joe spent his grade school and high school years in Duncan, but developed his lifelong love of learning after reading a book on Greek mythology. He went on to attend several colleges and universities, earning a degree in Theology from Harding University and later a degree in Education from Ohio University. Joe enrolled in his last college class at age 70.
Joe was supremely multi-faceted. He would write cards and letters to people in calligraphy. He was going be a preacher like his father, but became an elementary and middle school teacher instead, repaired guitars and banjoes, knew how to tie all kinds of knots from his days in the Navy, and did beautiful woodworking creations. He made up hilarious nicknames for all of his friends, students and wild cast of characters. He always had busted fingers and knuckles from his home repairs, taught 5th graders how to start a fire with flint and steel, enjoyed saying words incowreckly (yes misspelled on purpose), and sang and strummed songs to his students and family. He could repair anything with either duct tape or gorilla glue.
He taught swim classes, coached basketball and was a distance runner in the little town of Woodsfield, Ohio for 30 years. As an avid motorcyclist Joe then went on to his next career, teaching people to ride motorcycles for both the state of Ohio and Harley-Davidson. Joe believed in empowering people with education and skills.
Joe was a humble man, never one to talk about his many abilities or his education. He once filled out a job application as having only completed school up to the sixth grade in order to get a job as a janitor when he needed work. Since his final year as a school teacher was at the elementary level, when asked, he would tell people that after all those years of schooling he still only made it to the fourth grade.
He was a generous and focused listener, making you feel like you were the most important person in the room long after walking away from a conversation with him. His warm acceptance of others, the ornery twinkle in his eyes, and his irreverent sense of humor combined with wanting to always include others, resulted in deep and lasting friendships with beloved neighbors who often gathered on the deck for Joe’s famous coffee. More than any other attribute, Joe believed in and demonstrated unconditional love to his children and others, saying, “There is nothing you could ever do that would make me stop loving you.”
Joe Moore knew how to love.
His courage guided…
His acceptance nurtured
His kindness to ALL instructed
His artistry and perception inspired
In lieu of flowers or donations please consider in loving memory of Joe:
Stand in the street waving goodbye to your spouse each morning. Leave an outrageous tip for your server; get hot coffee and a danish for your valet driver, fix someone a bubble bath, greet those who collect your trash with cheers, whistles and a cold beer, leave treats and thank you notes for your mail carrier, say a heartfelt thank you every chance you get. Love hard.
No funeral will be held at this time, due to COVID, with great hopes of a gathering to celebrate Joe’s life when his favorite flowers bloom in the spring.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joe L Moore, please visit our floral store.