Kathryn J. (Katie) Moore, 94, died of natural causes at home on Oct. 20, 2020. She had made it abundantly clear that she did not want to die in a nursing home or hospital; she wanted to stay at home until the end.
Doing so was no small accomplishment. Katie was legally blind for most of her life and had lost much of her hearing over the past 20 years. After her husband’s death, she lived alone for 19 years. She managed to navigate through her home and find whatever she wanted because she had put it there during the 69 years she lived in the only house she and her husband bought together.
Katie was born to Robert H. Jones and Josephine M. Carpentier Jones in Williston, North Dakota on July 3, 1926. She was the youngest of the nine children who survived to adulthood. When she was still a toddler, the family moved to Butte, Montana. Katie considered Butte her hometown. As a youth, she enjoyed playing sports and especially liked swimming. She graduated from Butte High School in 1944. After high school, she worked at Uncle’s Jewelry Store in Butte.
It was there that she met her future husband. With his best friend, Dan Moore went into the jewelry store to buy a gift for his then girlfriend. Dan was stationed in Butte for part of his Navy ROTC training at the Montana School of Mines. After they left the store, Dan’s friend told him he should marry that girl. He did. On Aug. 24, 1946 Dan and Katie were married in Butte. They moved to Nampa, Idaho, where Dan’s family lived. After renting the basement of Dan’s parents’ house for five years, the couple bought the 1-acre property, with its house, on Greenhurst Road (then Rural Route 3). Children came and went, but Katie and Dan stayed put. There they reared their four children: daughters Gayle and Marsha, followed by sons Howard and David. Although she was raised in the Catholic Church, Katie was an active member of College Church of the Nazarene for many years. She taught Sunday school there for nearly 30 years and was supervisor of the kindergarten department for more than 10 years. When her children were young, Katie was a staunch supporter of the Parent-Teachers Association. She served two terms as president at Kenwood and Central schools, was president of the PTA Council for two terms and then was district president for a term. Over a period of 15 years, she organized and directed numerous fund-raising drives for playground and classroom equipment. In 1962, she was honored with lifetime PTA membership. After Dan retired from a career with the Veterans Administration, he and Katie enjoyed traveling to visit family and friends all over the country. They also made new friends by joining the National Active and Retired Federal Employees organization (NARFE). Both of them were active members and held various leadership positions. However, the role for which Katie is best known to many people -- and certainly one of her favorites –was as Santa Claus. Nobody remembers exactly when Katie first donned a Santa suit, but for about 60 years she spent most of December “ho-ho-ho-ing” her way to schools, Head Start programs, day care centers, church groups, nursing homes, office parties, and get-togethers of family and friends. She spent the other 11 months of the year picking up small gifts for children and adults alike because Santa should have something for everyone. Her signature gift, though, was her homemade popcorn balls. Some Decembers Katie made upwards of 1,000 popcorn balls. Katie’s generosity knew no bounds. It’s one reason she received the Portrait of a Distinguished Citizen award from the Idaho Statesman in 1983.
Katie is survived by two daughters, one son and daughter-in-law: Gayle Moore, Boise; Marsha Mondell, Brookston, Indiana; Howard Moore and wife Sue, Central Point, Oregon; five grandchildren: Suzanne Mondell-Cook and husband Tracey, Lakeside, California; Dustin Mondell and wife Marilda, New York City, New York; Serena Moore, Boise; Rachel Eliot and husband John, Central Point, Oregon; Daniel Moore, Medford, Oregon; five great-grandchildren: Clarisse, Aline and Joseph Mondell, New York City, New York; Macie and Addison Eliot, Central Point, Oregon; one sister-in-law: Dorothy Moore, Nampa; 12 nieces; 12 nephews; and a host of extended family members.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dan Moore, in 2001; her son, David Moore, in 2011; her siblings: Robert (Bob) Jones; Margaret (Marg) Reuter and husband Clarence (Boy), Richard (Dick) Jones and wife Addie, Emmett Jones and wife Ruth, Joseph (Joe) Jones, Philip (Bronc) Jones, Glen Jones and wife Rene, Marion (Mick) Jones White Sheehy and husband Tom; four sisters who died in infancy or early childhood; the following brothers- and sisters-in law: Wendell and Irene Moore, Robert (Bob) and Betty Moore, Sam Moore, Shiela Moore Clark, Jay Clark and Ray Miller; four nieces; and four nephews.
A viewing will be held on Monday, Nov. 2, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Nampa Funeral Home, Yraguen Chapel, 415 12th Ave. So.. Burial will follow on Tuesday, Nov. 3, at Dry Creek Cemetery in Boise. A memorial service will be held later, after the pandemic has subsided enough to allow travel from out of state.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you follow Katie’s example of donating to NARFE-Alzheimer’s Research, c/o Gen Boguslawski, PO Box 1285, Meridian, ID 83680. Every penny of these donations goes to research.
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