Articles & Archive 

A Tribute to our Founding Father, Merle Moore
By: Clint Moore, President
Rodeham Moore Descendants Association


The most important part of the program in this reunion is our tribute to Merle, remembering what Merle meant to so many of us. What he did in bringing the family together, recording history, preserving and protecting it for generations to come.

My first encounter with Merle was October 1997, when I showed up in Mooresburg after talking with Merle the month before. My father had past away in February 1997. My late mother had left a file of the Moore ancestors with my father who had never given it to me, or my brother. It went back to William Moore, the first son of Rodey but didn’t go any further. I spent time over the summer trying to get beyond that and ended up in Patrick County, Virginia talking to the Historical Society there. They told me I needed to talk with Merle Moore up in Winchester, so the rest is history. The next thing I know is I’m flying across the country from Texas to a town called Mooresburg, Tennessee. That sounds pretty interesting and as I am about to meet a whole bunch Moore ancestors that I’ve never known. I showed up here on a Friday evening. Priscilla had some Halloween function going on that night but she had a room so there was no problem. I met Merle and Grace the first morning there, saying hello, etc. Since the reunion did not start until evening, I told them that I was going to drive up three hours north to Prestonsburg, Kentucky, to look at the battle field and turn around and come back by about 3 o’clock. Everybody wished me well and off I went thinking that nothing big is going on until around 4 or 5 o’clock. I get back about 3 o’clock, walk in and everybody has grins on their face. Merle walked up to me, puts his finger in my face, and says "you are it", turns around and walks away. I’m like I’m what? Joyce repeats Merle and says "you are it". They had all met during the afternoon to figure out how they were going to go forward, and, based on Merle conversations with me and his recommendations, I had been drafted. That is how I became President and the brunt of another Merle story.

Merle’s passing is a moment in time that when the reality of it sinks in, it renews our faith in life and how we all continue on life’s journey in Gods plan for us, much as this was Gods plan for Merle. Merle brought us all together, as we would not be here tonight and carrying on for generation to come, doing the good work we’re doing, if it had not been for his incredible leadership. Let me now read you his obituary:

Merle D. “Elmer” Moore, 82, of 214 Chalcedony Lane, Winchester, Virginia, died on Friday, May 16, 2003 at his residence. Mr. Moore was born on October 1, 1920, in Monaca, Pennsylvania, a son of the late Hale and Stella Haines Moore. He was an Electrical Engineer for the U. S. Department of Defense. He was a Rural Mail Carrier in the Winchester area. He was a Genealogist and a Historian. Mr. Moore was married to Grace Sagerin April l, 1946 in Hagerstown, Maryland. Surviving with his wife is one daughter: April Holliday and her husband, Gary, of Winchester, Virginia, one brother Glynn, of Winchester, Virginia, two sisters, Marjorie McFarland and Betty Rickard of Winchester, Virginia, two grandchildren, Logan Holliday and his wife, Elaine, and Patience Lofthouse and her husband, Tucky. Four great-grandchildren, Alex Lofton, Haley Lofthouse, Kevin Triplett and Kyle Holliday. A graveside service was on Monday, May 19, 2003, at 2 P.M. at the Mt. Olive Cemetery in Hayfield, Virginia. Officiating was Rev. Daniel Hesse. The family received friends at the graveside. Memorial contributions may be made to the Blue Ridge Hospice, 333 W. Cork St., Winchester, Virginia 22601. Arrangements were by the Giffin Funeral Home in Capon Bridge, West Virginia.

President Clint’s newsletter remarks to the membership on the passing of Merle:

Dear Family,

He is gone, our founding father and most dedicated Moore family member, Merle Moore, has past on to be with our Moore ancestors that have gone before him. Merle was a bright shining light in the fog of history for so many of us. Without his decades of dedication, persistence and herculean effort we would not know the richness and importance of our Moore family history. Yes, it is true he had help from others who shared his zeal and zest for the answers for our family history. Merle went above and beyond the call of family duty in an effort that we may never see again by one family member. To Grace and his family our hearts go out to them in this sad time as they cope with the loss and their continuance without him. I can only hope that they will find some comfort in knowing how much we all also miss him so very, very much as well. Perhaps if there is one small joyous thought in our loss, knowing that Merle is now with Rodey and Liz and knows all the family ancestry back to Adam and Eve. Just imagine the twinkle in his eye and the glee in his heart knowing all that he knows now, if only he could share that new found knowledge with us in this world. Alas, it is up to us to find those paths now without him. We must find inspiration in his example, and impart dedication and share his enthusiasm to future Moore generation that will carry on his and all our legacy of this great American family. May Merle now rest and may we find renewed energy from the memory of his example in leading the family forward. Thank God for Merle Moore.