WILFORD MOORE

Nov. 20, 1919 - Jan. 21, 2014.
Wilford Moore, 94, went home to be with the Lord on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014 in Amarillo. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Monday, Jan. 27th at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Abilene, with Rev. Clark Williams officiating. The family will receive friends from 10 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Hammons Funeral Home in Littlefield. A graveside service will be held at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, at Littlefield Memorial Park in Littlefield and burial will follow with arrangements by Hammons Funeral Home. Wilford was a founding member of Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Abilene. He was born in Roby, Texas on Nov. 20, 1919, the second child to Willie Powell Moore and Elma Summers Moore. He attended Littlefield High School and Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. He was co-captain of the undefeated HSU Cowboys team in 1939. After graduation he was a coach and teacher at Abilene High School until, following the attack on Pearl Harbor, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps. He married Marian Vaughter of Clovis, N.M. at Ellington Field, Houston on May 22, 1943. His military service included being leader of the 453rd Bomb Squadron, flying B-26’s in the European theater. He remained an Air Force Reservist for many years and retired as a Major. Following the war, Wilford joined the coaching staff of McMurry College in 1946, and was promoted to head coach in 1947, the youngest collegiate head coach in the country. He served nearly 10 years, was named the Texas “Coach of the Year” in 1948, 1949 and 1953 and received several other state and national awards during his distinguished coaching career. During this time the family grew with the addition of Mike (1944), Bill (1947) and Steve (1952). He left coaching in 1955 to assist his father-in-law in business. Bill Vaughter died later that year and Wilford was there to care for and take over the family business in Clovis, N.M. He returned to coaching in Texas High Schools in 1956 and served at Lubbock High School, Port Neches-Groves High School and Cleburne High School, where his teams were regulars in the high school playoffs and he compiled more than 100 wins. The family grew again in 1961 with the addition of a daughter, Cathy Ann. Wilford retired from coaching in 1965 and returned to Abilene, Texas where he became the regional manager for the investment company Waddell and Reed. In 1970, McMurry University recruited the Moores back to the “Reservation” to give leadership to enrollment services and financial aid. It was a role he held until Postmaster Clyde Grant recruited him to the U.S. Postal Service where he was appointed to serve West Texas until he retired in 1980. He and Marian celebrated 50 years of marriage in 1993. Marian was his anchor and joy and together they blessed many lives and cherished many friends. She passed away in 1999. He was named to the McMurry University Sports Hall of Fame and the Hardin-Simmons University Sports Hall of Fame. He reconnected with and married a high school friend, Bernice Armistead, in 2000. They lived in Littlefield for eight years and moved to Amarillo in 2009, where they lived at The Craig Methodist Retirement Community until his passing. In May of 2007, McMurry University named its stadium in his honor and in 2010 a new stadium was rededicated with dozens of former players and most of his family present. Wilford enjoyed playing golf with friends until his last years He was preceded in death by his wife, Marian; his brother, JB; his sister, Dorothy Dean and her husband, Larry Bartek. Survivors include his wife, Bernice Moore of Amarillo; sons, Mike (Gene) of Fort Worth, Bill (Trish) of Bryan and Steve (Thanne) of Portland, Ore.; a daughter, Cathy Hutto (Kip) of Amarillo. He has 9 grandchildren, including, Stephanie, Laura (Brian), Jennie (Michael), Julie (Mike), Madison, Maegan, Mollie, Bonnie (Jon) Crissie (Martin); and 14 great-grandchildren. The family suggests donations may be made to The Wilford Moore Memorial, McMurry University, #1 McMurry Place, Abilene, TX 79697; or The Wilford Moore Memorial, Hardin-Simmons University, 2200 Hickory Street, Abilene, TX 79601; or Restoration Gateway, 400 Schroeder Drive, Waco, TX 76710.

 

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