Lee Henry Moore (1937 - 2011)

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(News Article) The owner of a trucking company and an advocate for minority business contractors, died April 11 in Mercy St. Charles Hospital, Oregon, from complications of a heart attack. Lee Henry Moore was 73.

Mr. Moore recorded for a Motown subsidiary in the 1960s.

Mr. Moore had been in rehabilitation care at Lake Park in Sylvania for more than a year after a foot injury, daughter Lisa Renee Townsend said.

His trucking company, founded about 1980, was hired by construction firms for many major projects in the Toledo area, his daughter said. At one time, his firm owned as many as eight trucks.

"He started off with one truck he owned, and then it grew and grew," his daughter said.

He'd been president of the Toledo Minority Contractors Association. In 2007, he graduated from the Lathrop School of Construction Management, a program held at the University of Toledo for minority-owned and women-owned businesses, according to a news release on the Web site of Turner Construction Co., of which the Lathrop Co. is a subsidiary.

In the early 1960s, Mr. Moore and his group, Lee & the Leopards, recorded for Motown. He wrote both sides of the single released on the Berry Gordy, Jr., imprint, "Come Into My Palace" - which later was covered by recording artist Brenda Holloway and, by some accounts, the Supremes - and "Trying to Make It," although on the label, his name appears along with those of Motown employees William Stevenson and Brian Holland.

"We had a lot of groups in Toledo back in the day, but nothing like his," said Carlos Jones, who sang in a group, the Creations. Mr. Moore's style was more bluesy than most Motown fare, "like James Brown used to be in those days," Mr. Jones recalled.

He was self-taught in music and was still in the habit of song-writing.

"It was always in the back of his mind," his daughter said.

Mr. Moore was born in Mississippi and grew up in Florida, family members said. As a young man, he attended the National Christian Institute with the aim of being a minister. He moved to Toledo, where some of his aunts lived.

He remained devout and was a member of Glass City Church of Christ, where he sang and even recorded, his daughter said.

Surviving are his daughters, Lisa Renee Townsend, Joann Mosley, and Lisa; son, Gerald Sanders; sisters, Barbara Coe, Bernice Clark, and D.L. Moore; brothers, Lee Andrew, O.C., Willie D., Timothy, Jr., and Thomas Moore, and 15 grandchildren.

Services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday in the House of Day, where a family hour begins at 1 p.m.
Published in Toledo Blade on Apr. 23, 2011
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