MOORE, Martha Dean (McKinney)
Peacefully passed away in her home on Monday, November 9, 2009 in Sacramento, California. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Billie M. (Tiny) Moore, parents Dewey and Margaret McKinney, sister Helen V. Ridge and her loving son-in-law William (Skip) Van Vliet. She is survived by her children: daughters Debra M. Moore and Kimberly Van Vliet of Sacramento, son Richard D. Moore, wife Patti and their sons Jarod and Danny of Auburn, California. She also leaves her sister and singing partner Evelyn and her daughter Billie (Jaki) Wills, of North Highlands, California and sister Ruth Joyce McKinney of Carmichael. Dean and her sister Evelyn were known professionally as the McKinney Sisters and began singing on radlb station WBRC In Birmingham, Alabama when Dean was 14 and Evelyn was 12 years old. " They appeared with the Sons of the Pioneers and on the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN with Eddie Arnold and Eddy Peabody, the Banjo King. After working in Chicago with the Ted Weems Orchestra they were contacted by Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. During this time Dean met her husband and musical collaborator Tiny Moore, who played the electric mandolin and fiddle. Dean and Tiny settled in Sacramento and Tiny managed the Wills Point Ballroom on Auburn Boulevard. Dean and Tiny were among the founding members of the First Baptist Church of Carmichael. Dean and Evelyn frequently ministered to the congregation with songs of praise. Two LP's of sacred music were produced: "Softly and Tenderly" and "Heaven's Harmony." Dean was an unwavering presence in her children's lives and was active in the PTA throughout their early school years. She enthusiastically supported every activity that interested her children. She and Tiny entertained often with lavish dinners for friends and family. They performed as a duo joined with their daughter Kimberly and appeared at concerts and private gatherings. After Tiny's death in 1987 Dean became active in the Sacramento Western Swing Society, serving as their President for many years. Dean traveled extensively and continued to sing with Evelyn at musical festivals across the United States. Her children will remember her as an example of strength of character and wisdom, unfailing support and abiding love. She will be remembered by all for her talent, her grace, her kindness and her sweet humor. Martha Dean Moore was in all situations an impeccable lady. Services will be held on Friday, November 20, 2009, at 2:00 pm at the East Lawn Mortuary, 5757 Greenback Lane, Sacramento. Reception at the Foothill Community Center, 5510 Diablo Drive, Sacramento.
East Lawn Sierra Hills Mortuary
5757 Greenback Lane
Sacramento, CA 94605
Published in The Sacramento Bee on Nov. 17, 2009