On Friday, November 22, 2013 Walter Leroy Moore, a beloved father, grandfather, uncle, cousin and friend to many, left this world to be with all of our loved ones that have gone before him. He was born at home on August 14, 1927 to William Bruce Moore and Edna Catherine Baker. Growing up in the Midland Valley Edition of Muskogee during the time of the Great Depression and losing his father at the age of 11, he often told of the story “as I looked at my dad at the house during the wake, two angels stood on each side of him and told him everything will be all right and how he needed to take care of his family”. He did in fact take that caring to the greatest measure of all. He worked to support his family gathering bottles, and doing odd jobs as a youth, but his first real job was delivering telegraphs for Western Union on his bicycle, often, having to ride as far as Henryetta and back, daily. He went on to work later learning trades in carpentry and electricity working alongside family members, but as work got slow with construction he went to work at Muskogee Iron Works as a Die and Castings Grinder. When work became slow and was laid off he then took his journey north to Kansas where he obtained a job at Foundry Iron Works. After being laid off from there he went to work finding himself on the Santa Fe Railroad Bridge Construction Crew. After a while, he then made his way back to Muskogee to hire out with his brother Earl for the Midland Valley Railroad that later merged with the Missouri Pacific Railroad and eventually merged with the Union Pacific Railroad. He retired as a Footboard Yardmaster and Switch Foreman from the railroad after 47 years of service but retained his membership with the United Transportation Union for the past 60 years. He was the last surviving employee of the Midland Valley Railroad that was in Muskogee.
During all of this hard work, he managed to get married to Velma Lea Tatum on August 19, 1950 when he claimed and joked “the preacher asked do you? And he sneezed and said “achoo”, so there was no going back from there” They were married for 60 wonder filled years until she left us November 1, 2010. He was a tinkerer; he loved to work on lawnmowers and cars. He had a pond and fished when he could with one coming out of it weighing close to 30 pounds. He grew large gardens. His biggest hobby was music. If he wasn't playing his guitar, he had the stereo up so the whole house could hear it. He enjoyed going to Crescent Valley to hear Bob Weeden and to the Muskogee American Legion on Saturday nights. In his younger days to relax after work, he would go out and lay on the porch or in the back yard and teach us to look for Sputniks in the night sky.
The greatest passion in his life was in fact, family. Together Walter and Velma raised 12 children, ten daughters and two sons. He taught the boys to work hard, taught the girls to stand up for themselves, taught them all to care. Taught the grand kids how to be rotten and if they got it trouble to blame it on him. He was preceded in death by his wife, Velma; his father, William Bruce Moore; and mother, Edna Catherine Moore. He is also preceded in death by all of his siblings, brothers William Bruce (Junior), Earl, Harry, Charles, sisters Mary Alice, Ruby, and Evelyn. He talked of growing up with them all of the time, and playing music on the front porch with them.
He is survived by daughters, Carollyn Sparks (Bill), Bessie Coats, Christine Stice (Jim), Rosetta Lambrecht (Ken), Burnadine Wiedel (Troy), Charolett Braden (Mike), Maxine Gulley (Richard), Rosemarie Pratt (Tony Thornton), Deborah Moore(Matt Fewel), Elizabeth Hogle(Michael); sons, Roy Moore (Robin) and Malcolm Moore (Di Ana). With 46 grandchildren and 113 great and great-great grandchildren, he will be greatly missed from telling stories of the old days and trying to get them to sing and dance for him.
Pallbearers will be Malcolm Moore, Roy Moore, Tommy Braden, Ricky Lewis, Chad Moore and Jody Whitlock. Honorary pallbearers will be Randy Braden, Everett Sparks, Brandon Sparks, Billy Sparks Jr., Brandon Estes, John Coats and James Coats.
Services will be held on Wednesday November 25, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at First Baptist Church, burial to follow in Greenhill Cemetery.
The family has entrusted Bradley Family Funeral Service with the arrangements. Friends may send condolences to the family at www.bradleyfuneralservice.com