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. 101
    Janie Forsythe says:

    Saying I’m sorry for the Moore family loss does in no way convey the sadness I feel for you all in my heart. However, I know that you all know that John Moore is now walking the streets of Glory with God and oh can you just imagine the glorious reunion that took place between our Creator and His creation. My prayers are with your family for God’s peace during this difficult time…..I know that He will provide all the comfort you need.

  2. 102
    Jennifer Wennekamp says:

    Such a beautiful tribute and evidence of such love. Praying for your family and the peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit over you now.

  3. 103
    Kris Spaeth says:

    “Precious memories, how they linger;
    How they linger in my soul.”

    I lost my mom on January 31st. So much of how you memorialized John resonates deep within me. Being with your loved one at the end is a holy, sacred thing. I won’t ever stop praising God that I was there with my mom at the end, holding her hand and singing those precious hymns that she so loved. God bless you all. You are in my prayers.

  4. 104
    Deanne A. says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing the beautiful tribute to your father-in-law. I will be praying that God will comfort you and your entire family.

    With love, Deanne

  5. 105
    Misty says:

    I am so sorry for this world’s loss–it sounds like Heaven gained a great soul. I love that your family got to spend his last days with him and am so thankful for you sharing your loved one with us. Praying God wraps His loving arms around all of you at this difficult time and brings peace in knowing he is with his Creator and many other loved ones now.

  6. 106
    Vikki Green says:

    Beth, your entire family is in my prayers. May Jesus comfort you all in this time of such a huge loss and I ask Jesus to wrap His arms around all of you – breathing peace into you all. My heart goes out to you all as I read your beautiful words about your sweet father in law. What a blessing he was to you all. Many blessings of more love, more joy and peace! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  7. 107

    I’m so very sorry for your family’s loss. Many thoughts and prayers are with you all at this time.

    A Bottle for Our Tears

    “Put my tears into Your bottle;
    Are they not in Your book?”
    Psalm 56:8

    Lord, bring a lovely bottle for our tears;
    And write his name upon it, signed with love
    From those of us who grieve to let him go,
    But joy in knowing he’s in Heav’n, above.

    And as You guide him through the streets of gold,
    Into the arms of those who’ve gone, before;
    Please grant a special measure of Your grace,
    As we look up, with longing, to that shore.

    Oh what a comfort, Lord, it is to know
    That we will see him there in Heav’n, some day;
    Where there’s no need to capture sorrow’s tears.
    For You’ll have gently wiped them all away.

    And what a grand and glorious day ‘twill be,
    When we are called to meet You, face to face;
    To spend eternity with those we love;
    And, once again, enjoy their sweet embrace.

    But until then, while we must be apart,
    He’ll always have a place here, in our hearts.

    “Precious in the sight of the LORD
    is the death of his saints.”
    Psalm 116:15

  8. 108
    Heather G says:

    RIP Mr. John. The stage is quiet as the lights go out. Holding memories of a man..big like Texas.

    I’m so happy for you that you’re holding your children that you lost so many years ago. How joyful you must be.

    Thank you Mama Beth for sharing you personal stories with us.
    Sharing your sorrow today. xoxo

  9. 109
    Connie Harper says:

    What an amazing man your “Big Pops” must have been! He sounds like he was the kind of person that made your family gatherings fun!!! Thank you Jesus that Beth and her family will see their Pops again one day! Praying for you Sister.

  10. 110
    Marybeth Pettitt says:

    Such a beautiful tribute! Praying for comfort that only the Comforter can give.

  11. 111
    Sandra Hazen says:


    I am so sorry for your loss. It is a part of your heart that will forever be missing. Great loves causes tremendous grief, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

    He must have just been crazy about you! And I know he was proud of your accomplishments spreading and teaching God’s Word.

    Much love to you my friend,
    Sandra Hazen

  12. 112
    Beverly Stratton says:

    I am so grateful you shared this with us. The only thing that allows this experience to be bearable is that we will see them again when we see our Beloved Savior. I have had many loses of family members that I so adored, but the knowledge that they our with our Lord is what has sustained me. My Mother was the most amazing Christian. She read her Bible thru 79 times and the last few days of her life, a family member held her hand 24/7. She loved her Lord and her family. She died at age 91 and she was mentally alert. She did want to die in the hospital and we were able to honor those wishes. May God infold you in His loving care as you grieve the loss of “Pops”.

  13. 113
    Rhonda A says:

    Oh Beth,

    I am so sorry for your loss. I so understand your great love and attachment to this wonderful man. I recently moved to Oregon, and left my mom in California. She is almost 80 and I’m closer to her now more than ever. I pray for the day she moves close to me!

    May the Lord fill your grieving heart with peace and joy!

    Love you,


  14. 114
    Jean M says:

    What an incredible tribute. So sorry for your loss. So grateful for the great love you had from this wonderful man. Praying for your family.

  15. 115
    Susan Canham says:

    God bless the entire Moore family as you grieve this tremendous loss of such a beloved husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Blessings especially to his “bride”. I know just how devastating it was to my own dear mom when her husband – also of 62 years – left this earth. Thank you for sharing so much about John Moore and his life with all of us. Praying for comfort and peace.
    -Susan Canham, Bismarck ND

  16. 116
    Diane Selkregg says:

    To my dear Sister-in-Christ, Beth, and family,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved father (-in-law). What a beautiful way to honor him on earth. You are all in my prayers. He is now face to face with Jesus! Another treasure in heaven waiting for you! May you feel the comfort of God’s arms around you during this difficult time,
    With love and sympathy,

  17. 117
    Pat says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. We are never ready to say good-bye. Sending loving prayers of comfort & peace.

  18. 118
    Paula says:

    Beth, my heartfelt sympathies and prayers for you and your family on the loss of your father-in-law. He was a giant of a man! I loved reading his obit in the paper and your sweet words and pictures on the blog. Thank you for sharing these. I pray that our Father God gives you, Keith and the rest of the family peace of mind as He wraps His loving arms around him. He is now at peace with out sweet Jesus – may this be some comfort to you. I am lifting you and the whole Moore family in prayer. Hugs!

  19. 119
    Susan says:

    Many prayers for Keith, you, and your family on the passing of Mr. Moore. He is in the arms of the Lord and rejoice that he knew Him….

  20. 120
    Debra Turner says:

    I’m so amazed sitting here reading this obituary and knowing just what that gaping hole feels like. It brings back such memories, but knowing that even as brilliantly of a man he was here on earth he’s just as one in heaven for Jesus right now.
    I believe that, our loved ones that have gone before us,they have it good right now. Thankfully! In my prayers Beth ♡

  21. 121
    Kristi says:

    Sorry for your loss my prayers are with you and your entire family.

  22. 122
    Joan says:

    What a beautiful and touching tribute you wrote! My prayers are with you, Keith and your family as you walk through this time of grief – remembering the joys he brought into your lives and the sadness of losing him – the joy of knowing he is now with the One who holds our hand through our loss.

  23. 123
    Diana A. says:

    God Bless you and your whole family!

    Sorry to hear/read of your loss, such a beloved man! I am sure he is bragging to Jesus about the family he had the privilege to raise!

    Tender hugs to each of your sweet family!

  24. 124
    Sue says:

    Dear Beth,
    I am SO sorry for your loss. There is nothing like the acceptance of being loved as a blood daughter by a father-in-law! Heaven has gained a beautiful soul, but there’s a hole left here on earth & in your heart. Your tribute is so beautifully written – I can feel the love & my heart wells up for you. Sending those feelings & prayers for you and your family, to the feet of The One who is holding all of you close. May you feel comfort & peace as you lean on Jesus & continue to recall the love & laughter that filled your family days together.
    Sending hugs your way.

  25. 125
    juanita Case says:

    LoRd we grieve with this family and also rejoice for His grand entrance into heaven.Blessings of peace fall down upon these dearly loved family members. Jesus is your present help in times of ssorrow.Hallelujah.

  26. 126
    Ann Thiede says:

    What an incredible tribute, Beth. I’m so very sorry for the void he’s left. I’m so grateful for the sweetness you shared living next to him. My prayers for all of you. Thanks so much for sharing and touching my heart with this love story.

  27. 127
    Lynn says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to a man well loved. Praying for your family.

  28. 128
    Tyra Sias says:

    Thank you for sharing with us, Beth. I pray that God will be so near (as He always is) to you and your family and will fill your hearts with joy as you think of Big Pops at home with the HIM and with peace as you miss him not being here with you all.

  29. 129
    Kristy Sanders says:

    Beth, what a wonderful tribute & I love the pictures. God bless you & your family. I’ll be praying for you all. I’m reminded of what you said at LPL Biloxi last summer that when we get to Heaven, this life & this separation will seem like 5 minutes. I loved that! How wonderful that day will be that is soon coming! Much love to you all!

  30. 130
    Jeanie says:

    Very sorry for your loss. A very lovely tribute to your FIL.
    Heaven looks sweeter with every loved one that travels on ahead of us.

  31. 131
    Cheryl Tyler says:

    So very sorry for you and your families loss. I know he was a wonderful man by the legacy he left behind. Praying for you and your family.

  32. 132
    Natalie Dawes says:

    Words escape me, after reading the heartfelt and beautiful ones from you, Beth. Thank you for sharing such a personal and sacred time with us. You and your precious family are in my prayers. As others have said, may our Comforter be with you all. Blessings, Natalie

  33. 133
    Sue says:

    You are such a beautiful writer, Beth.

  34. 134
    Royana says:

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved father in law. Praying for your family. The days ahead will be hard for you all. I know your faith will keep you in perfect peace knowing the day is coming when you will rejoice with him in the presence of our savior. Your tribute to Mr. Moore was beautiful and clearly expressed your great love for him. Much love my sister in Christ.

  35. 135
    Susan S says:

    Oh Beth, I am blessed by your share. I feel like I know him and that you invited us into your family to know and love him with you. I never knew my grandfathers, so picturing myself as your daughters just warms my heart. Thank you and yours for your sweet love for life and for each other. Praying that Jesus will continue to fill the holes in your hearts with His love and your memories.

  36. 136
    Jeanne Bugg says:

    I’m sure the next few days will be very healing as you lay him to rest …it’s never easy to lose someone so closed, may god richly bless you and your family through this difficult time!!

  37. 137
    Carla Lee says:

    Beth I am so sorry for your broken hearts and grief you are going through right now, but that was an amazing tribute to a man that I have watched through your writings be a father to you. so I tell you in your own words hold onto your memories, your God, and your family. May you all feel the very presence of the Almighty near you during this difficult time. This was a beautiful testimony of a well lived life! Continued prayers

  38. 138
    Jenni says:

    Your words were kisses blown to heaven.

    May the God of all comfort hold your heart and surround your family with His peace.

  39. 139
    Kristin says:

    Loving and praying for you and your precious family.

  40. 140
    Karen Clayton says:

    Beth, I’m lifting you and your family to our Father. Tomorrow will be one year since my precious Daddy went to Heaven. I look forward to hugging his neck again and profusely thanking him again for pointing me to Jesus! As hurtful as it is now, I can testify…OUR GOD IS FAITHFUL! Love you!

  41. 141
    Kim Okerson says:

    Thank you for sharing Big Pops with us. After such a big loss, all you can do is pray your way through it, as you have shared in our studies so many times. This kind of grief does change you and your whole family, But the tremendous gifts he taught you all will stay with you forever and he will live on through your whole family.

    Hugs and Prayers to you Beth,


  42. 142
    rachel says:

    Praying for you Beth, Keith and your entire family. Thank you for sharing this obituary and memories through pictures. What a wonderful man. May you all feel the Lord’s presence and comfort over you during this time of grief.

  43. 143
    Heather says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful tribute! Many prayers going up for you and your family.

  44. 144
    Bitsy says:

    Oh, Bethie!!!! I am so very sorry to read of this great loss. I will be praying for Keith, you, and the Moore family. At times like this, a virtual hug really means little… so I am going to pray that God sends tons of your personal friends to love on you guys in the days ahead… and that God Himself brings great comfort and peace to you guys.

  45. 145
    kathy white says:

    To all the Moores,
    Sending our love and prayers as you all walk thru this difficult time of loss.
    So tenderly written with such love and warmth….He will be dearly missed by you all.
    As with so many losses in life, God will use it to draw each of you closer to each other.
    May this new season of heartship enhance your love to God and all those He’s placed around you….I loved hearing about the dinner engagement he with all of his family. And how he went around the table and shared how each of you were so special to him and Keith’s mom. Reminded me of our “patriarch” who went home 8 years ago. Cherish your time with Keith’s mom. She will need you all to rally around her. May God continue to show His faithfulness to you all. And may He be glorified at the service…
    To God be the Glory !!
    Rich and Kathy White

  46. 146
    Colleen says:

    O Beth, my heart aches for you and your family. I know the devastation of losing a loved one – I guess we all do. There are no words big enough to ease the pain. I will hold you all up in prayer knowing that God is all you need. Blessings to you my precious sister.


  47. 147
    Teresa says:

    I am laying in bed at 1:00 in the morning, reading the blog that shares the obituary you wrote. My heart is beating out of my chest and tears are filling my eyes as if he were my own family. I know the pain of loss, so you have such empathy from me. I am praying for you and your family, even as I lie here in my bed, the the Holy Spirit will come along side you and comfort you as only He can. So sorry Beth ♥

  48. 148
    Leah Adams says:

    What a beautiful tribute. He sounds like a wonderful man. Praying peace for your family as you walk through this season of grief.

  49. 149
    Gerry Warkentine says:

    Gerry Warkentine

    Mary Sue, Beth , Keith and family,

    Without a doubt Jesus’s called a fine man home.
    I have collected Holy Cards and prayer cards most of my life. if I may I would like to share this card with you for your dear John. “Our Roots Are Intertwined”
    With their last breath those we love do not say good-bye, for love is timeless.
    Instead, they leave us a solemn promise that when they are finally at rest in God, they will continue to be present to us whenever they are called upon.
    Let us not fear, nor grieve beyond letting go the departure of those we have greatly loved, for in the Tree of Life their roots and ours are forever intertwined.
    May angels lift you to our Savior John, rest in his peace.

  50. 150
    Midge Miller says:

    Praying for your family, Beth. Thank you for sharing this with us. I am thankful every day for the legacy in the Lord my parents gave me. So thankful for your family to have the same blessing. We’re not home yet, but we will be!

Leave a Reply

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