Hilmar Guenther |
Moore was born on July 28, 1920, to Dorethea Guenther Moore and John M. Moore, Jr., at Santa Rosa Hospital in San Antonio, Texas, and died in Richmond, Texas, on December 4, 2012, at the age of 92. He lived his whole life in Richmond. He was a descendant of four members of the Old Three Hundred Colonists. His maternal great-grandfather, Carl Hilmar Guenther, founded Pioneer Flour Company in Fredericksburg and later San Antonio, one of the oldest businesses still operating in Texas. His paternal grandfather, John M. Moore, Sr., was a Texas State Legislator, Secretary of State, State of Texas, and the first United States Congressman from Fort Bend County. His father, John M. Moore, Jr., was County Judge and Mayor of Richmond.
Hilmar graduated from Richmond High School in 1938 and attended the University of Texas in Austin, majoring in law, and was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. He joined the United States Air Corps in October, 1942, and graduated as 1st Lieutenant Navigator. After eighteen months as a Navigation Instructor at San Marcos Air Force Base and Ellington Air Force Base, he trained in Air Sea Rescue work. He joined the 4th Air Sea Rescue Squadron operating out of Saipan and Iwo Jima earning two Air Medals and four Battle Stars by the end of World Ward II. As part of his service he flew an Air Sea Rescue flight for the Enola Gay for the Hiroshima atomic bomb drop and observed the drop from 120 miles away.
After returning to Richmond in January 1946, he became engaged in the commercial cattle business. He was a sixth generation Texas cattle rancher and he owned cattle continuously since 1926 at the age of six until his death. He operated on ranch land that has been a part of the family ranching operation continuously since 1824. He also raised quarter horses since 1938 and was a charter member of the American Quarter Horse Association.
He filled many leadership positions in numerous livestock organizations on the local, state, regional and national level. Some of these were President, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, from 1974 - 1976; Executive Committee Member, American National Cattleman's Association; Board of Directors, National Cattleman's Association; Vice Chairman and Chairman, Beef Industry Council of the Meat Board; Treasurer, Chairman Elect and Chairman, National Livestock and Meat Board 1985 - 1986; Treasurer, Santa Gertrudis Breeder's Association. He received one of the highest awards of the industry from the Meat Board, the Golden Spur Award, in 1989. He served on the Board of the King Ranch for nine years.
On September 22, 1949, he was appointed Mayor of the City of Richmond to fill an unexpired term and won thirty-two consecutive elections for two year terms, serving 63 years, which made him the longest serving mayor in the history of the United States. During his lifetime he received many awards and recognitions, but as the late Texas Governor Dolph Briscoe said in 1989, "I think the greatest tribute to Hilmar Moore is the fact that he has been Mayor of his home town for more than forty years. The position of Mayor is one that is closer to the people than most other elected offices and the fact that those who know him best have kept him the longest is in my opinion the greatest tribute that can be paid to an individual."
In the 1970's, Governor Briscoe appointed him to the Board of the Texas Department of Human Resources on which he served for several years and was Chairman.
He was a strong supporter of the University of Texas football program. And, he was a dedicated quail hunter renowned for his dogs and knowledge and love of the sport. His favorite activities in order of importance were: love of family, good conversations, quail hunting, ranching, UT football, politics, celebrating the accomplishments of his children, grandchildren, and friends, and raising good quarter horses and bird dogs. He met six presidents, many governors, and an astounding assortment of scoundrels, characters, gentlemen and ladies of all races, creeds, religions and political affiliations. He was candid and plain spoken, never leaving anyone in doubt as to where he stood on just about anything. He lived an incredibly rich and full life in service to his family, his friends, and his fellow man.
He is survived by his wife, Evalyn Wendt Moore; his children, Hilmar G. Moore, Jr., and wife, Lesley, Jack H. Moore and wife, Mary, and step-daughter, Hope Bradberry, and husband, John; also by grandchildren, Kelley Moore Brownlow and husband, Casey, Molly Moore Khalil and husband, Samy, Lou Moore Selchau-Hansen and husband, Christian, Michael Moore and wife, Shannon, Philip Moore and wife, Stefanie, Jack Moore, Jr., and wife, Anamaria, Morgan Carter Ripski and husband, Michael, and John Hunter Bradberry; and by twelve great-grandchildren, George Brownlow, Harris Brownlow, Berkeley Moore, Layla Moore, Brooks Moore, Elise Moore, Philip Khalil, Nicholas Khalil, Mary Samia Khalil, Inga Selchau-Hansen, William Selchau-Hansen, and Kennedi Bradberry. He is also survived by nieces, Charlene Martin and husband, Al, and Dorethea Gholson, and by special cousins, Ray Moore, Amanda Ochse, and Dorethea Chittim Oppenheimer, and by his devoted life long friend and companion, Rufus Powell.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Hallie Kelley Peareson Moore, his son, Philip Edward Peareson Moore, his parents, and his brother, John M. Moore, III.
Services will be on Monday, December 10, 2012, with a private burial at Morton Cemetery, Richmond, Texas, followed by a memorial service at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 507 South 4th Street, Richmond, Texas, at 11:00 a.m., with Father Howard Drabek officiating, followed by a reception at Fort Bend Country Club, 2627 FM 762, Richmond, Texas, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Visitation will be Sunday, December 9, 2012, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Fort Bend Country Club, Richmond, Texas.
Active pallbearers are his grandchildren. Honorary pallbearers are Ray Moore, Rufus Powell, Jack Wendt, Al Martin, Glen Gilmore, A. D. Eversole, Dave Scott, Ken Robinowitz, Joe Robinowitz, Bobby Robinowitz, Ragan Gennusa, Jesse DeLee, M.D., Jimmy Moses, Bob Moses, Jr., Corby Robertson, Dan McDonald, Pat McDonald, John Wall, Steve Valikonis, and all of his quail hunters, domino players, University of Texas football players, and employees of the City of Richmond.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Fort Bend County Museum Association, 500 Houston Street, Richmond, Texas 77469; Morton Cemetery Association, 611 Morton Street, Richmond, Texas, 77469; Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Scholarship Fund, 1301 West 7th Street, Fort Worth, Texas 76102, or the
Published in Houston Chronicle from Dec. 6 to Dec. 9, 2012