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. 201
    Dana says:

    Beth and Family,
    I am so sorry about your loss. I know this is so hard on each of you. I am thankful that you and Keith live so close to his mom.
    I’m praying for each of you to receive comfort from our mighty and wonderful Father.
    Love you all,

  2. 202
    Kristen says:

    Our prayers are with your family. The Comforter is with you in your loss. Thank you for sharing with us. Much love from this community!

  3. 203
    MK says:

    Dear Beth,
    Just read of your great loss. Please know that Keith, you, and your dear family, are in my prayers and our hearts are with you. It is never made easier, no matter the age, when death tears a gaping hole in our fabric of life. I know. I’m so so sorry.
    Thank you for sharing this most private, and as you said, sacred parts of you and your life. What a testimony of great love. Thank you for a glimpse of the blessings that God bestows.
    Holding you in my heart and prayers,

  4. 204
    Barb says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this blessing! Much love, Barb

  5. 205
    Twyla McAmis says:

    Beth I am so sorry for your loss. I am praying for God’s comfort for you, Keith, his mom, and your whole family. I am also praying that all the precious memories of your precious father in-law will carry you through and comfort you in the days to come.

  6. 206
    Tina says:

    My heart breaks for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to what sounds like an amazing man. God is such a giver of good things in that He gave a gift of the last years next to you both. Cherished memories will forever be yours.

    I too grieve with you as I lost my dear uncle on May 11th. He took his inhale on earth and exhaled in heaven. He was the cornerstone of my family here and as you so well said it leave a gaping hole. But God reminded me of the scripture that tells us to lay up our treasure in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy. Truly we have made another deposit in heaven with our earthly treasures. Makes me long for heaven even more!

  7. 207
    Angela Padilla says:

    Pray for all Dear ones
    Heart-felt prayers
    Comfort & Peace
    Angela Padilla

  8. 208
    Cecilia says:

    Beth, Keith, and family,

    I am so sorry for your loss. Too be so well loved is such a blessing and it sounds like you have many, lovely memories to hold dear. I am lifting you up in prayer, praying for God’s comfort for you and your family in the days to come.

  9. 209
    Bonnie says:

    Dear Moore Family, I am so sorry for your loss of this obviously wonderful man. Beth, your words have never been wielded better than in this lovely tribute to your father-in-law. You put to death all the in-law stereotypes. I saw this in action myself as my mother was an only child. My dad treated my grandparents as if they were his own parents, and they treated him as such. I have purposes in my heart to endeavor to do the same with my daughters-in-law (one I already have and one I’m still trusting the Lord for). May God’s presence be very real to your whole extended family in the days to come.

  10. 210
    Joyce duplessis says:

    Praying for you all in this time of loss. Glad you had such a great relationship with your Father In law and lots of great memories to carry you through the days ahead.
    Beth you are such a precious person. I had the opportunity to meet you in Bossier City La a little over a year ago. My dear sister Terry Lobell was battling colon cancer and her dream was to meet you. Thank you so much for making her dream come true before she went to be with The Lord.
    Blessings to You and Your Family, Joyce Duplessis

  11. 211
    Marsha Householder says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Please know that I am praying for you and your family.

  12. 212
    Rose says:

    Beth: You don’t know me, but I read your blog and I see you on TV occasionally. You have really touched my heart in so many ways. I just wanted you to know that I read your eulogy of your father-in-laws passing with tears streaming down my face. Again you have touched me.

    I just wanted you to know I feel your grieve and I understand and feel for you. You will be in my prayers.
    May God bless you and your family.

  13. 213
    Kathleen Holt says:

    So sorry for the loss of Marcel, a fun guy who loved family. I come from his large extended family on the Parker side, his momma’s side of the family. My own mother was his first cousin and those cousins all grew up visiting and enjoying family.
    All the stories of Marcel were of the fun times they had, and the wonderful parents they enjoyed.
    Praying for love and support as you journey through the grief with all in your family. God bless you, and hold you all close. Kathleen Childress Holt

  14. 214
    Linda says:

    So sorry for your loss. I have heard you speak about how much you loved and admired him. What a blessing he has been to your life.

  15. 215
    Heidi McClain says:

    What a sweet tribute to your father-i-law Beth. Thank you for sharing that with us. What a testimony to be loved by so many people! He sounds like such a character.

    I will be praying for your family!

  16. 216
    Dianne Wade says:

    When I read your beautiful story of your father n law this verse came to my mind, Well done good and faithful servant Matthew 35:21a.

  17. 217
    Jennifer Swift says:

    Dearest Moore Family,

    I am so sorry for your loss, I too had a most wonderful father in law that loved me as his own. Praying God’s peace and comfort over you all.


  18. 218
    Carolyn Stutz says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful father-in-law with us. His name has been added to the numerous list of people I absolutely need to meet in Heaven.
    I am so terribly sorry for your loss, but I am so glad you have such amazing memories:)
    Hugs, Carolyn

  19. 219
    Susan says:

    Dear Beth,
    Thank you for sharing this great testimony to your father-in-law. You and your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Susan Thomson, Crockett, TX

  20. 220
    Pam Tucker says:

    Pam Tucker, Fairhope, AL

    What a heart felt story and a tremendous legacy to leave behind. Your description of him is priceless. I know you all will miss him. I just know he is probably telling one of his stories to somebody in heaven right now. Praying for God’s loving arms to wrap you all up and give you the comfort and peace you need until you meet again.
    In His Love,

  21. 221
    Andrea Cox says:

    Beth, my deepest condolences go out to you and your family. It sounds like your father-in-law was a spunky gentleman who loved his family and his Savior more than anything else in the world. I’m thankful so many generations have wonderful memories of him that they will treasure for decades to come. God bless you and comfort you all.

    Blessings and hugs,
    Howe, TX

  22. 222
    Marcia B says:

    I am sooo sorry for the loss of your father-in-law. Your description of a meteor “ripping” through is very fitting-I know how you will miss him-and it changes the dynamics of your family. But, we all know God is in control and all will be well-just a different normal 🙂 God bless you all and I will be thinking of you in the following days.

  23. 223
    Carol says:

    I ache for you and that meteoric crater left in your woods. But it sounds like a gigantic empty space in heaven has certainly been filled up. If you were less of a writer, Beth, I might not have been so emotional about your loss, but neither would I have felt the reality of Mr. Moore’s greatness in your lives. God bless you as He heals that broken place in your heart that I feel all the way here in Oklahoma.

  24. 224
    Michelle C. says:

    What a beautiful tribute. I will be praying for you and your family and your mother inlaw.

  25. 225

    I read this beautiful tribute and smiled through tears. I will be praying for your precious family as you journey through this grief. May God continue to hold you close and reveal Himself more and more as He lavished comfort and peace upon you.

  26. 226
    Dianne Artim says:

    Beth, what an amazing tribute to a well-loved man. So sorry for your loss and praying for comfort for your entire family.

  27. 227
    Kelly Davis says:

    What a touching tribute. I am crying with you, as I read it. What a blessing to have such tremendous memories.

  28. 228
    Rhonda says:

    Beth and Keith, Amanda and Melissa
    I am so sorry for your loss.
    From what I read and from the pictures he looked
    like so much fun.
    I know you will miss him terribly.
    The memories you have will be a healing balm and
    will bring you strength.
    God is so good to put those wonderful people in our
    May He continue to comfort all of you.

  29. 229
    Paula says:

    Sorry about your family’s loss< but just reading this gives a great look into how he blessed this family. Thank you for sharing.


  30. 230
    kathy says:

    Thank you for the privilege of sharing John with us. The joy all of you experienced shines through your post. Bless you all and love from all of us.

  31. 231
    Maureen Chabot says:

    I’m so sorry sweet Beth for this monumental loss to the entire Moore family. And, so grateful for the years of life lived and love shared through your father-in-law. There is an old African proverb that says: “When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.” Truer words were never spoken…Praying!

  32. 232
    Karen H says:

    Prayers ascending for you all…

  33. 233

    i am so sorry for such a great loss for your family. He sounds like he was a wonderful man. I know he will be missed by all. I will be praying for your family.

  34. 234
    Betty says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you and all your family.

  35. 235
    Judith Clark says:

    My heartfelt sympathies to you and the entire family. What a blessing to have shared so many memories with your father-in-law….mine loved me as a daughter too. What a blessing. Thank you for sharing the pictures and memories…I love the way you write with such openness and honesty and love. God bless you, dear friend….and comfort you and the whole family I pray, in the Name of Our Loving Savior and Lord.

  36. 236
    Patsy Parkey says:

    Beth, It must be a bittersweet time for you and your Family, Thank God you know where your Father-in Law is, I Pray God continues to give the Family comfort.

  37. 237
    Beth Mason says:

    The tears are streaming. You have drawn such a vivid picture of the man that I miss him too. My condolences my dear sister and teacher.. Peace and comfort to you.. In Jesus Name.

  38. 238
    Yvonne Hackle says:

    Beth, my prayers are with you & the family. I’ve heard you speak of Keith’s parents a lot on Life Today. I simply adore you & your precious ways of sharing the Lord & your sweet sense of humor. I’m 63, love Jesus & you help me stay anchored through tears & laughter. I’m a “Gram” so I SO get your love for your grands…they are beyond awesome….our legacy for sure! Love you!

  39. 239

    I pray, that I can love and be loved as much as your father-in-law so obviously was. You were blessed, indeed.

  40. 240
    Jen H says:

    Dear Beth,
    I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet father-in-law. You’ve spoken sohighly of him over the years and I was evident how much you loved him and how much he loved his family. Prayers for all of you during this time. You are much loved!

  41. 241

    Moore clan, I’m so sorry for your loss. We lost my grandmother in October, and I could add my amen to you statement about being “so grief-stricken over the loss of someone of such advanced years.” What a precious gift for Jackson and Annabelle to have known him that long and for your family to surround him with your love in his last days. Grief is a long journey, and your close involvement in his life leaves that much bigger a hole. I know you will walk it well, but I pray for the Lord’s comfort and grace all the same. Grace and peace to you in Christ Jesus.

  42. 242
    Ruth Becket says:

    Dearest Beth and family,
    God has blessed you all with such wonderful memories. Grieve..you must because that is how God created us. As you know, “We grieve not as others do…”. May the God of all peace comfort you with His presence as you cherish the memories of your beloved John.
    Sincerely yours,
    Ruthie Becker, Fonda, NY

  43. 243
    Michele says:

    Mama Beth, thank you for sharing this with us. We will be praying for you and your family.

  44. 244
    Patti Atkinson says:

    What a wonderful tribute! I’m so sorry for your loss.

  45. 245
    Sandra Chisum says:

    My condolences to your family. My heart go out to you. I lost my Dad almost 4 hrs ago and my mom the following year. It leaves a gaping hole in the heart. How I would love to call my dad today being his 80th birthday and my moms birthday would be Saturday. It is great knowing they get to celebrate everyday with Jesus. May God pour out his peace on each of you.

  46. 246
    beth herring says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a man who was loved well and who in turn loved well. My prayers are with you all. May our LORD grant you sweet peace in the coming days.

  47. 247
    Melanie koewing says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. My prayers are with you and your family. May God bless and comfort you and Keith in the coming days.

  48. 248
    Christy Jones says:

    My dear Siesta Mama, I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful tribute to a special man in your family. Prayers for our Heavenly Father to wrap you all up in His loving arms and comfort you today and the days ahead. May you know Him and His peace like never before.

    Love& prayers,
    Christy in Summit, MS

  49. 249
    God's not-so-little Dutch girl says:

    So very sorry for your loss. It sounds like he was quite a man! Praying for all of you.

  50. 250
    Nancy says:

    Dear Keith, Beth and Family,

    Unfortunately, I actually know what you are going through. My father passed in September 2006, and was a famous painting contractor in Atlantic County, NJ. Just reading your obituary on your father brings back so many memories. When we brought my father home from the hospital, we didn’t have hospice or home health aides, my siblings (4) and our children (13) took shifts taking care of my dad. Talking about a family coming together…we each did our shift with no complaints! He was the BEST. People waited for hours just to pay their respects. The pain really never goes away. And you still hear his voice for awhile, but we have the hope and promise of seeing our earthly father again and that’s what keeps us going, Praise God!

    With the most sincere and deepest sympathy,
    Nancy Giannini
    AC Boardwalk Hall Conference

Leave a Reply

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