Gail Moore, loving wife, mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully in the arms of her daughter on Thursday, August 20, 2020.
Gail was born in Montclair, New Jersey on September 7, 1935. As a child growing up in Livingston, New Jersey, she enjoyed long hours playing and working on her grandmother’s dairy farm. These were among some of her favorite memories of childhood. At the age of 17, Gail merged her love of the arts, including music and drawing, with her faith. She would sketch the scenes depicted in the music of the accompaniment of her church’s organ choir during Sunday concerts. She graduated from Wesley College with an Associate Arts Degree as the President of Phi Theta Kappa and Fairleigh Dickinson with a Bachelor of Science degree.
In 1955, Gail married the love of her life, Donald Franklin Moore. Together, they shared a passion for history, art, and architecture and built a life inspired by nature and infused with beauty. Even when they first started out as a young couple, they saved to purchase one 18th century antique at a time. These treasured pieces found a special place in each home; whether it was the reproduction they built of a Williamsburg home in Far Hills, New Jersey; a renovated replica of George Washington’s birthplace in Richmond, Virginia, or the more contemporary homes of Belvedere, California; Kiawah Island, South Carolina and Fernandina Beach, Florida. After her children were grown, Gail embarked on a second career in interior design. Her homes were featured in Richmond’s Historic Garden week, Richmond’s Style Weekly and House Beautiful magazine. A kitchen she designed was featured in the first Designer Showcase in Richmond.
Gail carried her passion for the arts throughout her life. She spent years as a kindergarten teacher while her children were young so she could be present when they returned home from school. She favored teaching this age group as they were so eager to learn and she could use her artistic talents to inspire her students. At the same time, she was one of the founding members of the Pied Piper Program in Basking Ridge, N.J., bringing plays from NYC and Princeton, N.J., including the Nutcracker Ballet from the New Jersey Ballet Company, for all elementary school children in the area, including the Matheny School for children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities.
Over the 22 years she was involved in the National Society for Arts and Letters, Gail held multiple positions including Board Member, President of the New Jersey chapter, and founder of the Richmond, Virginia Chapter. With this organization, she staged competitions in the five creative and performing arts across the country. A descendant of Martha Ball Washington, George Washington’s wife, Gail was also active in Daughters of the American Revolution for over 40 years, including a membership in the Amelia Island Chapter.
Every time she moved, Gail would seamlessly make new friends, often through her participation in organizations like NSAL, DAR, Newcomers, and various garden clubs (including the Camellia Garden Circle of Fernandina organized in 1939 and the Kiawah Island Garden Club where she served as President). However, when she moved, she carried her friends with her. She cultivated long lasting friendships through caring phone calls and thoughtfully written letters and cards. Over the years, she also received immense pleasure from her embroidery and needlepoint groups, book clubs, Gals on the Go, playing the piano, road trips across the country and of course, sharing stories about her grandchildren who affectionately called her Bebe.
Described often as elegant, brave and graceful, Gail’s faith gave her acceptance and peace in her final days. She felt certain that she would reunite with her beloved husband Donald and son, Kevin Huesman Moore. Her strength was most evident when she tragically lost her son and went on to care for her husband through his struggle with Parkinson’s disease. Gail is survived by her daughter, Lisa Grady and her grandchildren Travis Moore Grady, Shane Patrick Grady, Ryan Burnet Moore, and Vanessa Leigh Moore, as well as her daughter in law Donna Moore, brother Rick O’hern and his wife Karen, her many nieces and nephews, and friends from coast to coast who loved and supported her.
In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests that donations be made to Community Hospice for their care and compassion or the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.
The family would also appreciate any pictures or remembrances be sent to Lisa Grady at firstname.lastname@example.org so that her grandchildren may have them for years to come.