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Moyca Christy Manoil

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Manoil, Moyca Christy
Born July 31, 1919 in Phoenix, Moyca Manoil died January 21, 2013. The daughter of Charles and Ethel Christy, members of a pioneering Valley family, she attended Kenilworth Elementary, Phoenix Union High School ('37), Phoenix Junior College, and Oakland's Mills College ('41), graduating from each with high distinction. She commenced a five-decade journalism and publishing career as the Iron Springs stringer for The Arizona Republic in the early 1930s, and continued to write for the paper while serving as her high school yearbook and newspaper editor. After the outbreak of war, Moyca married Naval Lieutenant Bob David, traveling to the several ports of his posting before settling in Washington, D.C., where she worked for the War Information Bureau and later the Department of State. Upon war's end she returned to Phoenix to nurse her invalid mother, and, upon divorce, soon after was employed in Tokyo as the first woman correspondent covering the Korean War, where she met and married Julian Bates, editor at Reuters. Moving to the English countryside, Moyca bore twin sons in 1951. Again divorcing and returning to Phoenix in 1952, she worked in public relations for Jack and Louise Stewart's Camelback Inn and later as the editor of the Women's Pages at the Arizona Republic. In 1955, Moyca ("and sons," as she would say) married Dr. Lazarus "Lou" Manoil, a prominent Phoenix physician and surgeon, with whom she bore a third son three years later. A life-long supporter of equality for women and a particular advocate of reproductive rights, during the early years of her marriage to Dr. Manoil, she became active in Planned Parenthood of Arizona, serving as president and as a longtime board member. The lure of publications never abated, however, and in 1959 she became founding editor of Phoenix Point West, the growing town's first effort at a city style magazine. With that magazine's demise after a few years, Moyca returned to raising her family, but re-entered publishing in the mid '60's by acquiring Arizona Homes and Southwest Living, whose publication as Arizona Living was short-lived. After seeing her twin sons off to university, she again acquired a failing publication, The Arizonian, renaming it as before, and Moyca published this second Arizona Living from 1970 through 1983. After selling the magazine, Moyca enjoyed a few peaceful years with Dr. Lou before his passing in 1988, following which she turned to traveling and attending, then hosting, elder hostels. She remained admired by many whom she knew in her youth and in later years formed enduring deep relationships with Professor Fred Mitchell and later Dr. Thomas L. Hendrix, men whose high intellectual attainments well matched her own and in whose company she exulted. Moyca is survived by her three sons with their partners, Colin, Geoffrey, Mark, Day Hills, Dawne Walczak and Donna Gratehouse, grandchildren Amelia and Wyatt Manoil, niece and fond namesake Moyca R. Gupta, and nephews Christy Robinson and Tony and Rick Christy and their spouses. The friends of Moyca have been legion; her magnetism attracted the eminent and the humble alike, and she delighted in knowing each one. In a long life so filled with personal connections, Moyca ineluctably suffered the sadness of outliving much of her acquaintancy, but in her violet hours she treasured her membership in the "Coulter Girls" with Elaine, Estelle and Gil, as well as her friendships with Jeanne Hunt, Wiggy Stewart, Patsy Palmer, and the many others whom she knew to be her family members but who appeared quite unaccountably to be unrelated to her.
A private memorial service is planned for February. Gifts to Planned Parenthood will honor her memory. At end, it is the collective memory of Moyca that survives, and that should be one of the peace and love and laughter she always strove to promote; please share your memories at www.obits.azcentral.com.
Ave atque vale, Rara Avis.

Published in The Arizona Republic on Jan. 27, 2013
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