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”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Gravatar.com. Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.


  1. 51
    Vicki Moore says:

    I was so blessed last night hearing you speak. Thank you for who you are. The way you write about your father-in-love is wonderful. You captured how I felt about my dad and the heartache of loosing him which continues to this day. We have so much to look forward to in heaven!!! God bless you and wrap His arms around you.

  2. 52
    fuzzytop says:

    Such a beautiful tribute to a man who obviously lived life to the fullest, and loved his family well. You and yours are in my prayers.

    Much love,

  3. 53

    So very, very sorry for your family’s deep loss, Beth. It’s so painful to lose a loved one so central to your entire family. I felt that way when we lost my mom. Sending hugs and asking God to comfort you all with touches of His tender love.

  4. 54
    Reneé Bloom says:

    Hugs, prayers and blessings of comfort for you and your family. May the LORD give you a glimpse of your ‘dad-in-love’ HOME!!! Really home, at last! And may The Comforter hold you up and fill you with His peace and joy!
    Love to you and yours,

  5. 55
    April Lopez says:

    Thank you for sharing Beth! So sorry for your families loss. We are lifting you all up before the throne, dear sister.

  6. 56
    twinkle says:

    May the Holy Spirit comfort all of you, as He has promised.
    Losing the Patriarch is especially difficult, but my heart grieves deeply for his bride. Please just hold her for me and tell her the Lord will be her Husband. I’ve found Him to be the best and most faithful One and Only.
    Practical help, read Jan Karon’s Mitford series of books. They are so comforting and build us up, when we are about to fall apart. Stick with the first book to the end. It builds, but it starts slowly.
    I’ve read them through several times when life was hard. Divorce, abandonment, a fractured back and arm all at the same time. They were a help to me, just as my Bible and old hymns were faithful to comfort me, too.
    Be gentle with yourself and lean in to Jesus. He knows what it’s like to be human, to be us.
    Praying and understanding, Deborah.

  7. 57
    Lynne says:

    Beautifully said Beth – bless you in your loss.

  8. 58
    Ella Weaver says:

    Sweet Moore family
    Heaven just got sweeter..
    In talking about heaven Peter Marshall said ” Those we love are with the Lord and the Lord has promised to be with us. If they are with Him and He is with us, they can’t be far away”
    Prayers for all of you

  9. 59
    Lori says:

    Thank you for sharing. Very sorry for your loss.

  10. 60
    DeeDee Martin says:

    Praying for your entire family. I sing the jingle all the time!

  11. 61

    Age and time with a loved one like this never fully prepares you for the loss & hole they leave in your life. I know this too well from losing my grandmother (who raised me) seven years ago. Praying for your family! Celebrate his life & embrace your tears of loss.

    Hear my prayer, Lord; listen to my cry for mercy. When I am in distress, I call to you, because you answer me. Among the gods there is none like you, Lord; no deeds can compare with yours. (‭Psalm‬ ‭86‬:‭6-8‬)

  12. 62
    Laura says:

    Such beautiful words written about a man who was so obviously loved and adored by his family. Tears brought to my eyes because this has only reminded me of when I lost my Grandma and Poppy… Praying for you and your family!

  13. 63
    Holly Smith says:

    Oh Beth, I’m so very sorry. I am praying for you, dear ones. With love, Holly

  14. 64
    karen luster says:

    Legacy, is what came to my mind as I read your tender, insightful letter of love for your Father in law.
    Bless you and your family as you mourn his home going.
    Life will not be the same, it cannot be.
    But it will be richer, because you love, and lost, for a time,one so dear.
    And when you sing your song to the Lord of Glory, it will be be richer than you ahve ever known it to be.
    Worship, that place where Joy and Sorrow meet.
    God Bless you dear lady.
    And thank you for all your bible Studies.’
    I believe I’ve done every one of them.
    One 3 times 🙂
    Once alone, once with my daughter nad her friends, and once with our church staff ladies.
    Thanks for blessing my heart, Karen Luster

    • 64.1
      Deb Mott says:

      Agreeing! She has touched lives for eternity of people she doesn’t even know! I have done all of them too! Children of Day 5 times!
      In the griefs of her life the harvest has and is and will come. Psalm 126! Promises of God are sure for us all! Romans8:28

  15. 65
    Debby Sawtell says:

    A more beautiful, loving tribute, I have never read. My deepest sympathy to the entire Moore family.

  16. 66
    Michelle Baylerian says:

    Thank you Beth for so lovingly sharing about Big Pops. Praying for your family.

  17. 67
    Bridgett Junkin says:

    What wonderful memories you have to remember him by. We know change will come but it still doesn’t make it any easier to accept. So glad that you had good years to sustain you through this rough patch. It will never be the same but each birth also changes the family structure. It will get easier to bear even though there will be days it won’t seem like it. Be prepared and, I know you know this, pray through. Sharing stories with family and friends also helps.

  18. 68
    Karen E says:

    Oh, my, what an amazing legacy for your family! You are all in my prayers, for God’s peace and presence during this grieving and remembering season.

    Hugs to you!

  19. 69
    Wendy Bashor says:

    What a beautiful tribute. It’s as if I know him now. God’s peace be with you and your family. And how we can rejoice knowing where he is!

  20. 70
    Melany says:

    Wow! That is just beautiful. What a special man! Love and prayers to all of you!

  21. 71
    Tara G. says:

    This is simply beautiful! May the Lord comfort each of you as you begin this new season.

  22. 72
    Laurie O says:

    Oh, Beth, well said…well done…well lived. You knew the gift of his presence when you had him. So many don’t. You did it well. You savored, loved, accepted and knew your father-in-law. There isn’t a pile of regret to contend with because of your insight, just love expressed in tears and memories now that he is gone.

    May God heal your heart. May He allow you and your family perfect processing of this monumental event.

  23. 73
    Rachel says:

    So sorry to hear of your loss. Loved reading about the life of John Moore. I will be praying for peace and comfort for those of you left behind to do life without him. God’s blessings on your family.

  24. 74

    Dear Beth, what a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law!
    Thank you for your heart. You shine the Light of Christ even in your grief and you bless us all more than you might ever know!

    Prayers for Peace be poured onto you and your family during this time of loss. One day, praise God, We will all be celebrating in Glory before we know it!! Hallelujah!!

  25. 75
    Debbie says:

    I am so very sorry for your loss, Beth~~I am praying for God’s Peace for you and your family as you go through this very sad time~

  26. 76
    Twila Baker says:

    Beautifull Beth! Praying for you all knowing you will miss such a
    Great big part of your lives!

  27. 77
    amybhill says:

    xoxo <3

  28. 78
    Diana Byrd says:

    Beth & Keith, & family…praying for God’s comfort & His peace for you, as you grieve John’s passing. Thank you for a beautiful glimpse into his life & legacy. What a fine man he must have been. Blessings…

  29. 79
    Kim B. in AZ says:

    I am so sorry for your and your families loss.He sounds like such a blessing and amazing man.
    Kim B. In Az

  30. 80

    So sorry for your and your husband’s loss. Pleased as punch to know that you have wonderful memories, including those made in his last weeks here on earth. He sounds like a very special person. Surely he is celebrating and praising God in Heaven by now!

  31. 81
    Teresa says:

    Thank you for sharing your private life. Will uplift the family in prayer and praise for the wonderful memories your possess.

  32. 82
    Denise says:

    So sorry for your and your family’s loss. I was blessed with a wonderful father-in-law too, and we love to tell stories about him. This was such a beautiful tribute to your father-in-law. May God comfort you all during this time.

  33. 83
    Laura Hicks says:

    While reading your tribute, it brought back so many fond memories of Mr. Moore. He was a true gentleman, who truly cared about others and enjoyed life. While he was our neighbor for only a short time, our little cul-de-sac hasn’t been the same since The Moores moved away. He made an impact on my children lives and still to this day they talk about what a great man Mr. Moore was. Thank you for sharing your memories of him. Our prayers are with your family.

  34. 84
    Carol,Bruntlett says:

    What a legacy he left behind for his family
    I am praying for God peace to engulf your family and carry you all thru this season .
    My deepest sympathy to all the Moore family
    Praying for you all .
    Hugs to all you

  35. 85
    AnnaMarie Lohr says:

    What a beautiful tribute to such a special man. You know he was greeted with “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Praying God’s peace and comfort envelopes your family now and in the days to come.


  36. 86
    Amy says:

    Thank you for sharing with all of us! You were blessed and I pray for you as you process even with the knowing you will see him again! Hugs!

  37. 87
    Donna Smith says:

    What a beautiful tribute Beth. Thank you for sharing your Big Pops with us–I am so sorry for your loss.

  38. 88
    Angie Sarich says:

    My heart is so heavy for y’all, and I hold all of you so close.
    Please give a hug to Amanda and Melissa for me.
    Psalm 147:3

  39. 89
    Susan Kennedy says:

    That was so beautiful! I almost feel like I knew your father-in-law after that sweet tribute. You let us all in on how special he was. Thank you for that. You have been and will continue to be in my prayers. Hugs to you sweet Beth. You and your family are so loved!

  40. 90
    Beverly Sapp says:

    What a beautiful tribute to an obviously loved and wonderful man. My deepest sympathies and heartfelt prayers are with your family as you mourn this loss.

  41. 91
    Terri Fullerton says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, especially one who loved you like a beloved daughter. You and your family are in my prayers.


  42. 92
    Audrey says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m so glad you loved so much…and that he loved each of you so much. I’ve been missing you (on the blog) lately, so I had to hop on over to twitter to catch up with you a bit. Seeing your work with the Colour Conference (which I knew about) and then a comment about a manuscript being submitted in the last several days helped me understand your absence on here, but the comment on Sunday about reading Psalms to and the tender time with Big Pops caught me off guard and gave me another reason why you should be needed somewhere other than here for this time. May you not feel pressured to rush back and may Christ continue to pour out His strength, peace and guidance in finding your way in this leg of the journey. You are so loved, as are Keith, Amanda, Melissa, Curtis, Jackson & AnnaBeth. I’ll be praying for you, along with Sue and the rest of the family over the coming days, and especially tomorrow.
    Much love & grace,
    Audrey Howie

  43. 93
    Traci Jahnke says:

    Thanks for sharing your father-in-law with me! I loved hearing about his life and his love for your family. What a blessing he was to you!

  44. 94
    Tammy says:

    Thank you for sharing! Prayers for your entire family during this hard time.

  45. 95
    Julie Ratcliff says:

    I’m so very sorry for your loss. I pray that God would continue to comfort you and give you peace during this difficult time.

  46. 96
    Kelly Hansen says:

    My prayers are with you and your family during this time.

  47. 97
    Marcia Stredde says:

    I found myself with tears in my eyes. I felt your words and grieved too. What a patriarch he was! I pray for comfort as you grieve and celebrate this amazing man. He will have the family reunion all set when you join him in heaven.

    God bless you and your family Beth.

    In God’s love.

  48. 98
    Linda says:

    What high words of praise from a daughter(in-law)! I can see that the feeling was mutual between the two of you 🙂 “Honor your father and mother….” Beth, you have done that well. Thank you for sharing and teaching us in your sorrow.
    Hugs and prayers to all!

  49. 99
    Julie Lohr says:

    Beth and Family,
    My prayers and condolences go out to you all. What a wonderful man John Moore must have been. Thanks to your words, I feel like I know him. Oh to have lived such a glorious life, with such wonderful family by his side. Blessings and Love, Julie

  50. 100
    Teresa Tabb says:

    What a beautiful tribute to an honorable man. I am so sorry for his passing but glad that you have shared your life with such a great man. Prayers to all!

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: