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. 301
    Diane Sprague says:

    Honey so sorry for your lose..Praying for strength and love. GOD BLESS YOU ALL. XO

  2. 302
    Barbara Neller says:

    I’m so thankful our Jesus has felt the suffocating, searing pain of grief and upholds us as we walk this bewildering journey. Hallelujah. What a Savior! God bless you all! Love and prayers!

  3. 303
    Teresa says:

    What a beautiful tribute. I cried for your families loss and eejoiced that he is seeing family. Thank you for sharing. Praying for you all this morning, especially for your mother in law. My heart is so sad for her. God bless and I am so glad we can take comfort that this is not all there is. We will see our loved ones again.

  4. 304
    Kimberly Taylor says:

    Mark and I are saddened to hear of the loss of this amazing man, awesome father, fabulous grandfather, blessed great-grandfather, father-in-law, husband, and Houston business icon.

    Beth, the obituary was beautifully written (as is everything you put your pen to), and I know you all are heartbroken during this time. We will keep you all in our prayers and are thankful for the privilege of walking beside our Christian brothers and sisters as you mourn. To the extent that you loved, you also will grieve.

    We will be praying for you all and send our love, hugs, and prayers.

    In His grace,
    Kimberly, Mark & Grace

  5. 305
    Warm In Alaska says:

    Oh, Beth.

    I can’t wait to meet him.

  6. 306

    Up praying for you this morning, Beth, and your family. Grieving takes time and energy. Whenever it hurts this much, you have loved greatly. A blessing and a “curse” in one heart action.

    God’s mercy is great.

  7. 307
    Gennie Coe says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful and intimate memories of Big Pops! Those memories will help carry you through until you see him again. Our deepest sympathy to you and Keith and the entire Moore family! Lifting you up for Christ’s great comfort and peace!!! Matthew 5:4
    Many blessings always,
    Gennie Coe
    Boerne, TX

  8. 308
    Peg Suveg says:

    Beth, I am sorry for your and Keith’s and your entire family’s loss of this man. I feel like I know him through your words. I think I am most struck by the generational love that is conveyed. That is such a gift for all of you. May The peace of Christ be near to you all.

    Sincerely, Peg Suveg

  9. 309
    Kimberly M. says:

    So sorry for your loss! We lost my granddad the same night.

  10. 310
    Jennifer Mosher says:

    Prayers and love from our Mercy Triumphs group. In my memory process, I had just reached James 1:12 “blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.” That’s when I read your blog post with obituary. I shared it in yesterday’s meeting.
    One member was especially touched at learning that your dear inlaws are devout Catholics; so is her husband. Around the throne the labels will vanish. Thank you so much for your hard work, and Melissa’s, and all the Living Proof Ladies. May God bless you and your families!!
    Jennifer Jones Mosher, your Siesta Sister in Christ

  11. 311
    Nancy Wilhelm, Roswell GA says:

    Dear Beth and Family: I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your precious father in law. I know you are truly thankful for every moment you were able to be with him. Stay close to your mother-in-law. I lost my father in law this year. Mom and Dad were married just short 75 years! The adjustment for her has been difficult. When you are used to having one by your side for that long life can feel a bit empty. Love on her! Love you Beth. Praying for all your families comfort.

  12. 312
    Joanie King says:

    Drarest Keith and Beth-
    With deep sympathy of the loss of your earthly father. I can not imagine his joy when he met is Heavenly Father and his dear children that passed before him. So thankful for all of you that you had such an incredible roll model and someone who loved you so dearly. Praying for tenderness and compassion during this difficult time of saying goodbye here but keep your focus on the hope we have to see him once again. Especially for his beautiful bride life will be hard. God bless you all

  13. 313
    Eileen Massie says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful tribute to your so dear father-in-law! May you and your family be comforted and blessed extravagantly by our Glorious Heavenly Father!

  14. 314
    Pam Pruett says:

    I am sorry for your families loss, Beth but happy for his glory in Heaven.

  15. 315
    Claudia Clawson says:

    Moore family you are in my thoughts and prayers. May the God of all comfort, comfort you at this time, and when your time comes to walk that way I am sure your John will be their to Welcome you home.

  16. 316
    Anne Boone says:

    Praying and knowing that our great God will wrap all if you in His comforting arms during this time of loss. What a great memory the grandkids have of this past St. Patrick’s day celebration with their grandfather. He sounds like an awesome man that will be greatly missed. Cherish each and every memory and each other.

  17. 317
    sharon says:

    Beth, keith and family, very sorry to hear about your families loss. your in my prayers.

  18. 318
    DenEllen Sutherland says:

    May the beautiful memories of your loved one provide you and your family comfort during your times of grief. Thoughts and prayers going up to our Father in heaven, for peace and comfort, to you and your family.

    Your sister in Christ,

  19. 319
    Guadalupe Amaya says:

    Beth; I want to offer you and your family my condolences. I want you to know how sorry I am for your loss. He was, by your description a very genuine man. I see the love you all had for him…I pray for God’s peace and love to shine right now so brightly in your family. I send my love.

  20. 320
    Beverly says:

    Beth, with head on pillow, I was thinking about your heart and what it must be feeling. I prayed.
    Thank you for sharing about John’s life with us. He reminds me of a John 17:11, John 13:34, Col 3:12-15 heart and if we did in God’s Family what he motivated in your family…if we loved each other and stayed close…if we told each other what we love about each other…wouldn’t we become Ps. 133!
    In this loss may we grasp hold of THAT heart and Run with it! What a Beautiful, Jesus heart – so sorry for your loss. But til Jesus comes for us, let us run as the witness before us…and then, we can all sit and listen to John’s stories and laugh at his antics together! I’m looking forward to that.
    Sorry for your loss, sister. We love you. You mean A LOT to us. We are praying for you. May we run in John’s heart and may Jesus start that rollin with me (cuz only He could do that in me..I’ve been HIDING from love most of my life.)
    Blessings, Beloved Beth.

  21. 321
    Mary says:

    Psalm 116:15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of His saints
    Praying that Gods love enfolds you and your family

  22. 322
    Jill Clark says:

    Dear Beth,

    What a sweet tribute! Thank you for opening your family life to all of us (Bible study gals) for all of these wonderful years. Your faith walk has been such a support and inspiration to me and I truly do think of you as my sister (loved by God). I wish you and your family my sincere prayers for peace and comfort in this time of loss and that our Lord will continue to guide and grow each of you during this time of finding the new normal. May you find blessings along the way.

    In His love

    Jill Clark

  23. 323
    Patti G says:

    My heart grieves with yours as much as is possible.
    The description of the gaping hole fits exactly
    how we feel about the loss of my husband’s father, now nearly 4 years ago. Thank you for sharing these thoughts. Time doesn’t take away the loss,
    Spirit just gives us more grace to cope.
    Loving each of you – praying over your aching hearts.

  24. 324
    Tammy Kron says:

    I love you, Beth! I am praying God will greatly comfort and strengthen your family as you mourn the loss of John. Peace be with all of you.

    Tammy Kron

  25. 325
    Sandy says:

    Dear Beth,
    Thank you for sharing a piece of your heart with us…I am sorry for the ache in your heart and home, and my hugs and prayers are with you and all of your family and loved ones~

  26. 326
    Carla says:

    So sorry for your tremendous loss. Thoughts and prayers for you, Keith and your family! We love you all out here in this blog world!

  27. 327

    Beautiful tribute as death is not an ending but a separation from people we love. Praying for you as the Lord comforts and draws near to those who grieve.

    With love,


  28. 328

    I am so sorry for your family’s loss of such a loved and loving member of your family. May God continue to richly refresh each of you with your joyful memories of John Moore. Love is a wonderful legacy to have left on this earth with the people who still abide here.
    God bless each one missing their loved one.

  29. 329
    Andrea says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. But thank you for sharing the high parts of life w him as well.

    And today, on a particularly sad day for me, thank you for the reminder that nothing is better for the soul than praise on the piano. I think I will get to it.

    Praying for your family.

  30. 330
    Fred says:

    Beth and family,

    I also am very sorry to hear of your loss. The 1st loss of a family member for me was in 1966, my 16 year old brother when I was 7. From six of us at the dinner table before that I have lost all of my family over the years and can tell you “advanced in years and expected” do nothing to ease a loss. The one thing that has made loss of family easier for me is knowing that my loved one has gone on to something so much better than anything this world can offer.
    May GOD bless you and your family.


    • 330.1
      C says:

      Fred, I am sorry for the sadness you’ve had to endure over the years. I said a prayer for you. You are never alone. Jesus is always with you. May He fill your dinner table with new family members and your life with love and joy. God bless.

  31. 331
    Denise Ciofani says:

    Dear Beth,

    I love to play the piano and have taught many students over the years. I know how healing it is to play those old hymns on the piano. I will think of your father-in-law, you and your family as I play – and pray – for all of you. It just makes heaven seem all that much sweeter. I’m so thankful that you grieve with HOPE!! How comforting it is.


  32. 332
    Valerie says:

    Beth and Family,

    I am sorry for your loss. You wrote such a wonderful tribute. Prayers for all as our Abba comforts each of you in His unique way.

    With love and prayers,

  33. 333
    Anna Scantlan says:

    Momma Beth, I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m praying The LORD ministers to your heart as only HE can. Love you!


  34. 334
    Tobi Tate says:

    Dear Moore Family,
    Please accept my condolences at the loss of your beloved husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather. Praise God we have the assurance of eternal life through Jesus Christ! It does not lessen our grief, but brings peace that passes understanding. May God supply that peace ten-fold in the days to come!

  35. 335
    Florence kauffman says:

    Beth I totally understand the pain you are feeling of your lost and the comfort we feel is knowing our love ones is at home with our Heavenly Father and that God is walking right beside us in this journey. Cherish your memories and give back to others the same love he gave to you.

  36. 336
    Maryrose says:

    Dear Beth and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. Even though I have never met “Big Pops” you have made me wish that I could have met him and have as a friend. Thank you for sharing him and the wonderful stories of him and your family. God Bless. May God Comfort you with His Strength and His Peace. Sincerely your friend in Christ, Maryrose

  37. 337
    Susie Stone says:

    I know this must be a very difficult time of loss on so many levels.

    As believers, isn’t is comforting to know this man is more a part of your future than he is your past?

    Only God.

  38. 338
    Kathleen Partin says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I was on my way home from visiting my kids and first grand baby when I got this post in my e-mail. My husband wanted to know what I was reading. I was so chocked up that I had a hard time answering. What a wonderful man. I pray you find peace in the days ahead.
    Love you

  39. 339
    Jill says:

    Dear Beth and Family,

    What a man. May God bless you and keep you and cause His face to shine on you.


  40. 340
    Debbie says:

    What a life! Thank you for sharing him with us, you were truly blessed to be a family together. I’m so sorry, praying for much comfort in your grief and much joy in your memories of him.

  41. 341
    Amy says:

    Dear Mary, Keith and the entire family,

    I cannot imagine the sadness you feel having John go to Heaven even though it’s the most glorious place he can be. Sixty-two years with a man who loved life and spread that love throughout his family is certainly uncommon. I know the Lord will bring you peace and comfort as the sorrow and grief work their way through your souls. May you hold onto each other as John would hold onto and comfort each of you.

    He lives and he lives,

  42. 342
    Jamee Miller says:

    Stunning…absolutely stunning. What a tender, authentic, and beautiful tribute to an obviously incredible man. Having never known him, I shouldn’t have tears in my eyes, but after reading your words, here I am. Wow. Thank you for sharing a piece of him with all of us. My heart aches for you and your precious family in his absence and all of you will remain in my thoughts and prayers.

  43. 343
    cindy roberson says:

    Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
    Colossians 4:2 niv

  44. 344
    Alisha says:

    Dear Beth,
    I have not been on a computer much lately, but I couldn’t sleep and decided to visit your blog. My heart grieves with you all. It seems we have gotten to know you and your family so well through your Bible Studies, Living Proof Live events, and your blog. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers. My grandparents’ health has not been lately, and they are also in Texas. So this post is very near and dear to my heart. I pray for God’s peace and comfort to be with you all.

  45. 345
    Keri says:

    Dear Moore Clan, so very sorry for the loss of your beloved father, grandfather, friend, and more.. May your time of mourning continue to be filled with beautiful memories, laughter, and the love that centers your precious family; love that you, Beth, share so genuinely in your writing. I especially could relate to the love that the grandchildren have for their grandparents–your sweet picture of the grandchildren dressed in Irish-fun, with “Grandpa” center stage–just perfect!

    Be blessed dear Moore’s! You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  46. 346
    Emily Jordan says:

    What a loving, moving tribute to your father-in-law…so sweet. I will be praying for your family during this time of loss! Sounds like he was a wonderful man!

  47. 347
    C says:

    Dear Beth and family,
    I am so sad for your loss. Through your different blog posts where you’ve mentioned your father-in-law, I felt like I got to know him and I had tears in my eyes reading this. Thank God that we His children can take comfort in knowing that one day we will all be together again safe, healthy and happy surrounded by God’s love in His awesome presence. I pray that God ease all of your sorrow and that you all feel Him with you during this difficult time. God bless, in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.

  48. 348
    Angela Hall says:

    What a beautiful tribute to a man I look forward to one day meeting in that beautiful homeland for which we so patiently, and sometimes not so patiently, wait. I know it will be a joyous time when you get to introduce this great character to all of us! Soon and very soon, dear sister! I hear your heart and share the burden of your sorrow by lifting you up in prayer. May God’s Spirit of peace and comfort surround and envelope you all during this heartbreaking time.
    In Christ, Angie

  49. 349
    Diginee says:

    What a beautiful tribute . . . peace.

  50. 350
    Tanya Smith says:

    Beth I always have said that I hope people will celebrate my gaining real life when I leave this one and so I celebrate with you in that way. that said sometimes people are grounding forces that we need with us til we are grounded too so for the time he was with you I celebrate too. For certainly your groundedness has helped ground many others as well.

    Love you.

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