Honorary degree recipient, longtime Dayton community leader John E. Moore Sr. ’55 dies
John E. Moore Sr., a 1955 graduate of the University of Dayton and a longtime leader in the Dayton community, died Jan. 7. He was 97.
Moore received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from the University of Dayton in 1998 and the UD Alumni Association Special Achievement Award in 1989. Among his other awards were the Department of the Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award (the highest distinction to be bestowed upon a civilian by the U.S. Air Force) and the Montgomery County Citizen of the Year Award.
He earned a degree in management by taking nine years of night classes from UD after returning home from World War II. Moore served in the U.S. Army, where he earned the rank of corporal with the 2261st Quartermaster Trucking Company in Bangladesh. In 1960, he was named the first equal employment opportunity officer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, and he pushed for equity and inclusion throughout his career. Moore retired in 1979 as chief of civilian personnel at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
“I’ve got some skin in the game.”
Moore was born Jan. 11, 1923, to Ausro and Gertha Jones Moore in Birmingham, Alabama. His family moved to Dayton when he was a year old. “I’ve got some skin in the game,” Moore said in 2010 in an article for The Dayton Foundation, where he was a volunteer leader for more than 40 years. “My faith makes me open to sharing. Giving provides me an opportunity to practice my faith.” Moore was a past governing board chair of the foundation, one of his many leadership roles in organizations from The Job Center to the United Way to Sinclair Community College. Moore also championed diversity as a community strength and was a leader in the Commission on Minority Inclusion and the Minority Economic Development Council, among others. (Click to read a tribute by The Dayton Foundation.)
Bob Daley ’55, former chair of the Golden Flyers for the UD Alumni Association and retired communications director for the Kettering Foundation, said Moore had a quiet presence that allowed people to listen intently when he proposed solutions to community challenges. “John could see things that needed to be done in the community, and he started them,” Daley said.
“John could see things that needed to be done in the community, and he started them.”
University of Dayton President Eric F. Spina said Moore’s good work extended to his alma mater.
“John was a very good friend to the University of Dayton and an informal adviser to multiple UD presidents, including me,” Spina said. “Beyond his passion and care for Dayton, John’s gentle nature, kindness, and earned wisdom made him a pure delight to be around. He will be sorely missed.”
“John’s gentle nature, kindness, and earned wisdom made him a pure delight to be around.”
Moore is preceded in death by his wife, Hester. He is survived by son John Moore Jr. and daughter-in-law Debra Plousha-Moore ’89, a member of the University of Dayton board of trustees; his daughter, Joyce Ard; and four grandchildren, including John E. “Chip” Moore III '98 and Phillip Plousha Moore '99.