Houston Chronicle Obituary for John Moore…And a Few Family Pics

On Monday night, May 18, 2015, the Lord swept Marcell “John” Moore, the dearly loved patriarch of our family, to Heaven, after he’d overcome enormous health challenges for years, valiantly cheating death again and again. We are blessed beyond words that he fought courageously to live against all odds and we count dear every moment we had with him. After a number of hospitalizations over the previous year, we are deeply grateful to God that John was home, surrounded by family in the days and hours leading to his passing and at the time he took his last breath. A man has never been more loved by his family than John Moore and due, in such large part, because he taught us well and loved us well. The great affection he fostered among us kept us all close, living life together and laughing, particularly at him. He was the star of the family and could hold the floor like no one else. We were audience to continual stories and anecdotes retold with tremendous color, flair, and no little exaggeration. None of us has to wonder how he felt about us. We were told often how much he loved us.

His is a household name in Houston, Texas. Down any freeway in this city, you can still see the words “Call John and Get Moore” on plumbing trucks and most Houston residents could sing the jingle from the commercial in a heartbeat. He started John Moore Plumbing Company in 1965 with one set of tools in the back of a black van on Vogue Lane and, in his tenure, the company serviced 750,000 homes. The company was sold in 2004 but not until he’d managed to mark the plumbing industry in Houston with a gentleman’s handsome face and winsome way. His hospital room and home were graced continually by countless friends and business associates.

Born in Houston on January 8, 1934 to Marcell John Moore “Red” and Mary Moore, John loved this city and never lived a moment of his life outside the area. He leaves behind his wife of 62 years, Mary “Sue” Pereira Moore, whom he adored and constantly called “my bride.” Perhaps nothing conveys how lovely she was to him like the fact that he did not feel nearly so called to become a Catholic priest once he set his sights on her. Needless to say, his change in vocation from future priest to future king of plumbing is one to which we – his children – owe considerable thanks.

Alongside his wife, John was a devoted Catholic and his faith in Jesus Christ grew dearer and dearer to him. They were members of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Houston for many years then, after moving to the country beside their son and daughter-in-law, they became members of Saint Anne Catholic Church in Tomball, Texas. He was preceded in death by his brothers Ronnie Moore and Pat Moore and leaves behind one sister, Etta Heemer. John and Mary’s two beloved children, Marcell John Moore III (“Duke”) and Nalda Jean Moore Presnell each preceded him in death. Our consolation in the loss of a family man we can never replace is that he holds the two of them in his arms this very moment.

Left to recount endless stories about him are his son, Keith Moore and his daughter-in-law Beth Moore of Tomball, Texas, his daughter Tina Moore Carroll and his son-in-law John Carroll of the Woodlands, Texas, and his daughter Mary Moore Meadows and his son-in-law Mike Meadows of Waco, Texas. If it sounds like from our locations that leaving Texas would have been an almost unpardonable sin, we say with a grin that perhaps, then, you understand our family. We stick close. And we are so glad he insisted on it. John had no greater joy in his life than his six grandchildren, all of whom adored him. Tearful farewells were said to him by Amanda Moore Jones and her husband, Rev. Curtis Jones, Melissa Moore, Ben Meadows, Joe Meadows and his wife, Chauntell, John Taylor Carroll, and Hannah Carroll. Their tremendous attentiveness and help to their grandfather and grandmother enabled Hospice to oversee his care but primarily and confidently leave John in the hands of his family until the Lord took him home. John also had the privilege to love and be active in the lives of his two great-grandchildren, Jackson (9) and Annabeth Jones (6). He ended his life here having the joy and satisfaction of knowing that two more great grandchildren would be born into our family this year. We have smiled saying that God knew it would take the addition of two people to comfort us in the loss of the one big personality we will miss deeply.

We are grateful for the doctors and the nurses at Tomball Regional Hospital who knew him well from his many visits and loved him. We are also inexpressibly grateful for the last four years of his life spent in the fresh air of the country where he sat atop every conceivable John Deere on wheels and ruled the roost. These woods and neighbors will never forget him. We don’t plan to let them.



Here are a few random pictures of our branch of the Moore family with our beloved Big Pops:

This is one of my favorites because it captures both Keith and his dad’s expressions when Keith shows him a document that proves their ancestors were in Texas while it was still a Republic.

With Keith



This one doesn’t show what a lovely woman Keith’s mother is but I had to include it because this is Big Pops taking completely over when we built our two houses out in woods so thick with vines and brush that we had to hack our way into it. He was in his absolute element overseeing the development of the houses and yards and water wells. Here with his blueprints.





Here he is with our Jackson not long after we moved in. We four generations were so blessed to do a tremendous amount of life together. Not many kids get to know their great grandparents as well as Jackson and Annabeth did. We consider it a gift beyond price.


With Jackson


Here with Annabeth the first year we lived in the woods:

With AB


With me on the gator. He took a gator ride seriously. The first two years we lived in the woods were dream years for us with him. His health stayed pretty stable and, as he had a natural God-given inclination to do, he ran the place. And we let him. He never got off the saddle of some kind of John Deere.

on gator

I love this one so much because it shows him a bit younger. This is Amanda with both her grandparents at her wedding. You can see what a beautiful woman Keith’s mom is in this picture. Not to mention that first grandchild in that wedding dress.



These next two are very recent. Big Pops with Melissa. Good grief, he was crazy about her. He loved his six grandkids to no end. Amanda and Melissa were his first two.




This last one is not the greatest picture but it is a classic. Amanda, the eldest grandchild, had the foresight to plan an evening for the grandkids to come over to his house and celebrate him. Lover of Ireland that he was, she chose St. Patrick’s Day, his all-time favorite. We knew he wouldn’t be with us for long. He was nearly on his deathbed even then. The grandkids told him their favorite memories with him and he reciprocated with stories of his own. It was the greatest night. We laughed our heads off and partied to high heaven. The only sad part is that two of the grandkids were missing with the flu. I hate that they weren’t part of this night. We will remember it forever. Ben (top) and Joe (left) Meadows, the young guys in this picture, are two of the finest young men I have ever known. The tender care these two gave their grandfather in his last days and hours and countless previous times was just astounding. They spent night after night in the hospital and at his home, holding his hand and tending to every conceivable need. Joe is a paramedic and he single-handedly enabled us to take care of our loved one with a minimum amount of oversight from Hospice over the last forty-eight hours. It was just family. A tremendously sacred time.

On St Patrick's Day


Thank you so much for indulging us. People process grief different ways. I mostly write. Well, and of late, play hymns on my new antique piano. I’ve never been more grief stricken over losing someone of such advanced years, even knowing it was coming. He was just such a force in our family. Such a wonderful handful of a man. He could be the biggest mess. So much fun. And he was good and ornery. Just one of those kinds of people who can never be replaced. I feel like a gigantic meteor hurled straight through these woods and left a huge, gaping hole. I had the privilege to be loved like a blood daughter to my father-in-law. Thirty-six years is some substantial bonding and, what it doesn’t provide, living right next door does. He told me continually how much he loved me. I would not have traded this exact father-in-law for all the stellar dads in the world. I will miss him every single day.



403 Responses to “Houston Chronicle Obituary for John Moore…And a Few Family Pics”

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  1. 1
    Jerrilyn says:

    Oh, Beth, this gave me chills. What an incredibly beautiful tribute to a beautiful soul. I love the photos of him sprinkled throughout, but especially the last one with his grandchildren. God bless you!!!

  2. 2
    Valerie says:

    My prayers & thoughts are with your entire family. Wow, he sounds like an amazing man!
    My daddy (also born in Jan. 1934) went to be with Jesus in January of this year. He was a pastor & preached his last sermon in Nov. just before he became ill. Like your family, we were with him at his bedside at home when he passed. It’s a beautiful & comforting thing when they know Jesus and we can rest assured we will all meet again one day. It’s sure difficult here because we miss our loved ones, but it will be a wonderful day of celebrating together one day. I heard your message recently on Life Today about how Mr. Moore went around blessing each of his children & spouses at the restaurant. That is a precious memory that I’m glad you all have. God bless you all & again, my hugs & prayers are with you. Valerie (Oklahoma)

  3. 3

    Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your family in such a tender way. So precious. Your loss, but heaven’s gain. Praying for comfort for you all.

  4. 4
    Wendi Coats says:

    SO sorry for your loss. Praying for the family’s peace.

  5. 5
    Kayla Moore says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  6. 6
    Susan Smith says:

    What an amazing testimony to a, clearly, amazing man. Sobbed my way through this and said many an Amen and Thank You, Jesus, for His Mercy and Grace to the Moore Clan.

    Hugs and prayers, as always!

  7. 7
    Nancy says:

    Dear Beth, Praying for you and your whole family during these sad days.
    Love to think of him rejoicing with Jesus and his family members in heaven!
    Love you so much!

  8. 8
    Jaime says:

    As I sit here in tears….you and your family are in my prayers! So very sorry for your loss.

  9. 9
    Mary G says:

    Dearest Beth,
    What a beautiful tribute to a most wonderful man. I’m so sorry for the loss to you and your family of a true patriarch. The Holy Spirit has been laying you and your family heavy upon my heart the last couple of days. I pray that Jesus will be near to all of you as you walk thru this valley of sorrow. Love you, Mary G.

  10. 10
    Martha Salters says:

    Oh my Beth..such a wonderful tribute to your precious one. Love and prayers for each one of you as you say …not goodbye…but we will see you soon!!!

  11. 11
    Pam says:

    Exquisite tribute.
    I love you Beth Moore. My heart is with you & yours.

  12. 12
    Gail says:

    Can only send prayers of love, care and comfort to each one of the family. Family… such a precious gift from Our Father, and one day we will enjoy that gift again, but in a much better way! May Jesus be close to each of your hearts, and know we care and love you Beth!
    God bless you each one!

  13. 13
    Dolly King says:

    To the Moore family. I am so sorry for your tremendous loss, but thankful for the marvelous memories of the past and the sure hope of the future. May you experience the peace and comfort that only our Father God can give.

  14. 14
    Fran says:

    My goodness gracious what beautiful words of love on this page. I join countless others praying for all of you as you feel the loss of such a great man. The beauty of legacy lives on. Thank you Jesus for all he poured into each person within your family.

    So much love, grace, and tenderness to you all.

  15. 15
    Carol VanderWal says:

    So very sorry for your family’s loss. Thank the Lord for eternity!

  16. 16
    Pamela McDonald says:

    What a touching, beautiful tribute to a life well-lived. Praying for your family as you adjust to life without this dear person.

  17. 17

    Beth, this is such a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law. My grandmother died five years ago on Memorial Day weekend and the first thought I had as we wept over her passing is that the world is less beautiful without her in it. I understand the gaping hole you describe. I will pray for you and your family. It’s never easy saying goodbye, but I know you will continue to find comfort in the love you shared.

  18. 18
    lisa Vogt says:

    Tears. Maybe the best eulogy I’ve ever read.

  19. 19
    Joy Cravens says:

    Thank you for sharing this man….and your heart with us.

    Praying for all of you.


  20. 20
    Jeanette Dahm says:

    Dear Beth, my heart breaks for you and your family to have given your precious father in law back to God. He sounds like an amazing man. But it also brings me joy to hear you speak with an enormous amount of love for him. Your lives were truly formed and blessed by God. To see how a Godly family loves and lives life is a blessing to the world when so many sad things are being modeled as family and so many children do not feel that parental love . It is an honor to hear about your father in law and share with you during an immensely sad time in your life. You are loved, consoled , and prayed for by all the women whose lives you have touched. Much love being sent your way. Jeanette Dahm

  21. 21
    Punky Tolson says:

    Oh, Beth, thank you for sharing this and for sharing your life with us! I have the biggest lump in my throat and my eyes are at flood level. Your words of blessing and eulogy over your father-in-law are absolutely beautiful and so full of the love that you, and his family, have for him. I’m praying God’s comfort to surround each one of you as you mourn, laugh, cry, and celebrate this fine man and his life well-lived. I’m personally grateful for his legacy of faith and the impact it has on the Kingdom through you and yours. Gosh, looking at those sweet pictures… he reminds me so much of my own sweet-yet-ornery daddy. Isn’t it good to know we will see them again. Praise the sweet name of Jesus! Much love to you! xo – P

  22. 22
    LISA HYDE says:

    So sorry for your loss. I will pray for you and your family as you both grieve and celebrate Mr. Moore’s life. May the Holy Spirit cradle you all with His unfailing love.

  23. 23
    Carolyn says:

    What a tribute to a Godly man! Weeping in your loss but rejoicing in his homecoming! My daddy decided to go home this past February after living on this old earth for 86 years. He was born on his farm, lived all 86 yrs on his farm, and died on his farm. My two nieces, who are nurses, along with a little help from Hospice allowed him to remain in his home till he died. Like you, we were right there loving him all the way to heaven. He was a Godly man who taught us there was nothing more important then your relationship with God and the importance of family. Miss him like crazy but happy that he and momma, who died in 2012, are together again in the presence of God. Prayers for your family as you walk this life without him.

  24. 24
    Pam Burkham says:

    Precious Beth, Keith, Amanda, Melissa and all “Moores”,
    In my heart I felt something was “up” in a personal way when there was no post from Beth for some time after her return from England. Though I have not met any of you face to face, those of us Siestas feel we know your heart. We mourn with you, ache with you, even shed tears with you in the passing of your dear loved one. I know without a word from you that you can actually feel our prayers and there are tons of them this minute being offered to our awesome, loving God. Please know we hold you close in our hearts.

  25. 25
    Barbara Severns says:

    My heart and prayers go out to you all. Although this is a difficult time, He is with you all and to have that is greater than we realize at times. May His presence abide with you. In Him …

  26. 26
    Jaye H Decatur, Al says:

    My prayers are with you all especially during this time.

  27. 27
    Betty M says:

    Dearest Beth,
    Just got back from my first ever visit to TX and loved every minute of it. Daughter had conferences in San Antone so we were there a week and got soaked by heavy rain more than once. Hope to visit that pretty Hill Country again and esp enjoyed the LBJ TX White House tour.
    Life goes full circle and we are waiting anxiously of word that our first grand baby is due any minute! I heard that I was gona be grandma while driving to your Billings event last Oct and you spoke on fittingly enuf… Blessing!
    My condolences to you on a life well lived and a great reunion on that Grand and Glorious Resurrection Day.
    Love and blessed comfort from our Lord and Savior at this time of remembering and grief!
    Betty M

  28. 28
    Connie Best says:

    What a lovely tribute. I am so sorry for your loss.

  29. 29
    Barbara says:

    Condolences. You & your family are in my thoughts & prayers. May Mr. Moore RIP God Bless.

  30. 30
    Crystal Frank says:

    Sweet Beth –

    Praying for you and hoping your entire extended Moore family knows they are well loved from us! Have prayed for him over the years as you have shared and have loved “getting to know” them as you have shared on this blog.

    Will continue to uphold all of you in prayers. Love you and mourn with you over your loss!

  31. 31
    Michelle Cheney says:

    Beth, my prayers are with the Moore family. I too, had a father-in-love that loved me like his own. My life would have been so lacking without his influence. After preaching the good news of Jesus Christ for almost 60 years and leaving behind a faith legacy unlike no one I know, he met the love of his life face to face almost two years ago. What a hole his absence has left, BUT what stories and love and family love we share because of his presence in our lives. I know it will be no different for your family. I was so touched by your nephews staying with him. Again, our family is much the same. What a precious precious gift grandparents are! My granny lived with us for all mine and my sisters growing up years. Blessed. I apologize for carrying on about us when I just want you to know I am praying for all of you. So thankful this is not the end. 🙂 Blessings to all the Moore family. Special prayers for Mr. Moore’s ‘bride’. 62 years is a lot of living with someone to then be without them.

  32. 32
    Karyn Reardon says:

    Beth and family ,
    I recently relocated from Houston missing it terribly and I follow you on Twitter. I have done your bible studies for years and like most have adored you.
    I pray you are comforted by your memories until you see him again. The bigger the blessing the bigger the loss ..
    God bless you for all you do to lift others, may you be lifted today and thank you for sharing your gifts and this sweet story with the world.
    Karyn Reardon

  33. 33
    Lynn Watson says:

    What a wonderful tribute to your father-in-law, Beth. I feel like I’m part of your family and I loved every word, every picture. Blessings and prayers

  34. 34
    Amber Moon says:

    Such a beautiful tribute. Thank you for sharing with us.

  35. 35
    Mimi Eppler says:

    I am so sorry to hear about Mr. Moore. You have painted such wonderful picture of your father-in -law, he loved and was loved back. Thank you for sharing this news with us. Prayers for you and your family.

  36. 36
    Melinda Fowler says:

    What a wonderful post of a life well lived. You and your family are in my prayers. I am so thankful you have such a close and supportive family! It is beautiful to see what a blessing such deep love can be!

  37. 37
    Yanna Westmoreland says:

    Through you, we loved him too. Happy for Heaven’s gain.

  38. 38
    Avayd Ann Lacy says:

    Thank you for sharing his life with us. I’m SO very sorry for your loss. ((((hug)))

  39. 39
    Deb Mountsier says:

    Beth, The Lord has used you mightily in my life! May He wrap you in His tender care as you and your family grieve and rejoice! What a beautiful tribute to His life! What treasures you all have to hold on to!! You are all in my prayers. May the God of comfort fill you with His love, joy, and peace during this time.
    Love from your sister in Christ, Deb
    (Pastor’s wife in Mason, Ohio)

  40. 40
    Terri Mulvin says:

    Our prayers are with your family but it sounds like you have such great loving and fun memories and a future in Heaven for sure!!

  41. 41
    Regina says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart with the world. What a blessing it is to share in your life!

    2 Corinthians 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort.”

  42. 42
    Susan McEachern says:

    What a legacy! I am inspired.

  43. 43
    traci rivard says:

    To say that I am sorry for your loss seems like an understatement. Thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute to Mr. Moore. I felt the immediate push to make my family ties stronger. May God bless you and your family and may your faith carry you through these tough days ahead.

  44. 44
    Dawn Edgell says:

    Prayers of comfort and peace for you all. What a beautiful tribute indeed.

  45. 45
    Madge Pentecost Williams says:

    Dear Beth,

    Thank you for sharing your loving tribute with us. What a wonderful man! May you and your family members each grieve fully and be comforted deeply by each other, by all who love you and by the precious Holy Spirit. Your deep pain is such blatant evidence of your deep love for this special man.

    With compassion,

  46. 46
    Dawn Detmer says:

    What a beautiful tribute and an honor to know him if only through your eyes. May the peace of God that passes all understanding help sustain you during this difficult time and through the difficult times ahead as you navigate life without your beloved.

  47. 47
    Bobbie Lutz says:

    What a beautiful gift you’ve given your family and all of Mr. Moore’s family & friends with this tribute. I remember seeing him and his bride at many of your Tuesday night Bible studies, what an encouragement they were to me. All the stories you’ve shared before have stuck with me because they always reminded me of my Daddy…personality, orneriness, and love of family. My prayers are with you all as you celebrate the life of this amazing giant of a man.

  48. 48
    Daina says:

    Prayers for your dear family, Beth. Thanks for sharing your life with us. I looked at your pictures and grieved and cried with you. Glad for him that he is home now, but hurting for your temporary loss!

  49. 49
    Vicki Bolton says:

    When I ask my husband in front of friends or ANYONE– “What do I say about Beth Moore, Dearo?” He says, “You love her.” And I say– “RIGHT!”

    I do love you, Beth. Thank you for this tender and amazing tribute to your father-in-law! My dad passed suddenly when I was 10, and my father-in-law passed suddenly after I had only been married to his son for 9 years.

    What a sweet gift of valuable time and tremendous love you all have had with this man. I will be praying for your precious family in your time of grief. Especially for your mother-in-law. Your willingness to share all the personal pics and heartfelt thoughts is a gift to us–your siestas. May God be glorified through John Moore’s death and new life just as God was glorified by his life on earth. God bless you, sweet Beth!

  50. 50
    Joyce Davidson says:

    Dearest Beth, this is so, so beautiful and tender. And what treasured and incredible memories you have stored. You all have loved so much and so well. Praying for you and yours to have and to receive what our Lord can give during this time. Much much love to you all.

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