John Buell Moore, Jr. died at age 94 on January 1, 2011. Born March 28, 1916 in Albermarle County, Virginia, he was the son of John Buel Moore and Betty Garland Moore. A resident of Maryland since 1960, he lived in Annapolis for approximately 40 years. John’s long career spanned several decades and reflected his diversity of interests.
His early childhood was spent in Richmond, Virginia and later the family moved to the Hampton Roads area, where he attended high school and was trained in ship design at the Apprentice School of Newport News Shipbuilding. In 1941 he joined the Henry J. Kaiser organization in New York to begin preparations for the company’s shipbuilding operations on the West Coast. During this same year John married Hilda Inez Moore, who was born in Poquoson, Virginia. They moved to California where John was appointed chief engineer of the first Kaiser shipyard in Richmond, California. There he focused on methods and systems for mass producing cargo and troop ships for the urgent World War II needs. After World War II, he continued to work for Kaiser and Frazer investigating alternative uses for the shipyards which were no longer needed.
John was drawn to the development of new materials and their applications in manufacturing and construction. He joined Owens Corning where he became involved with the development of products incorporating fiberglass, ranging from hard hats to automobile bodies to yachts. When an old friend of John’s established a fiberglass boat building company, John joined Dorset Marine. He eventually moved his family to Cambridge, Maryland in 1961 when the West Coast based Dorset Marine Company decided to establish a plant in Cambridge. After Dorset closed its operations, John was invited by then incumbent Governor J. Millard Tawes to be the executive director of the Maryland Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair, 1964-65. John maintained his residence in Cambridge while working for the World’s Fair.
It was shortly after this that John began his career with the State of Maryland with the responsibility for establishing the Division of Local and Regional Development, an agency responsible for providing economic development assistance to local governments. During this period, John and Hilda moved to the Watergate Apartments on Back Creek in Annapolis, Maryland. The agency which John worked for at this time later absorbed the state’s historical and cultural programs. John became the Director of the Division of Historical and Cultural Programs where he served until his retirement in 1987.
Although John was active in professional organizations and community activities during his entire life, the last three decades of John’s life were focused mainly on the development and advancement of arts and cultural organizations. Long a fan of St. John’s College, he brought commitment and community links to the reorganization of the Friends of St. John’s College and served as its president. During preparations for the opening of the college’s Mitchell Gallery of Art, he assembled the Board of Advisors and served as its chairman for a decade before he stepped aside to become chairman emeritus. His dedication to the college has been recognized in his appointment as Honorary Alumnus. With the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra and the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, he was a long time board member and served in various officer and committee roles. In each of his board roles, he focused his attention on the development processes for strategic planning, board development, and addressing governance issues.
John Buell Moore’s wife Hilda died on May 31, 2004 after 63 years of marriage. John is survived by a son, John Garland Moore and his wife Julia, of Macungie, PA and Cambridge, MD; a daughter, Catherine L. Moore Stephens and her husband Carl of Alexandria, VA; a grandson, Dr. John Garland Moore, Jr. and his wife Jennifer of Gambrills, MD; and his great grand children Jessica Lynn Moore and Jacqueline Marie Moore, also of Gambrills. John was predeceased by a daughter, Beverly Anne Moore.
A funeral service will be held in Cambridge, MD for family members. A memorial service will be held in Annapolis, MD on Saturday, February 5, 2011 at 1:00 pm, in the Mitchell Gallery of the Mellon Building at St. John’s College. A reception will follow in the Great Hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to the John and Hilda Moore Memorial Fund in support of the Mitchell Gallery. Checks may be made out to St. John’s College/John and Hilda Moore Memorial, and mailed to the Mitchell Gallery, P.O. Box 2800, Annapolis, MD 21404-2800.
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Saturday February 5, 2011 , 1:00 PM