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Dr. John Hartwell Moore, Research Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at the University of Florida, passed away peacefully on August 10, 2016, surrounded by his family. He was born on February 27, 1939, in Williston, North Dakota, and was raised by his mother, Mary Montgomery Moore, and his maternal grandfather, John Henry Montgomery, in Paragould, Arkansas. John was an outstanding student and worked as a seasonal farm worker picking cotton, a radio announcer, and a snake catcher for Marlin Perkins at the St. Louis Zoo. He was also an Eagle Scout. At the University of Arkansas, he served as editor for the student-run newspaper and the award-winning yearbook, and was a member of several honor societies as well as Sigma Chi Fraternity. He also sang with the University Music Department's Schola Cantorum. In the summers, he worked as a surveyor for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the Arkansas swamps.
After graduating with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, John worked for a short time for Procter and Gamble in St. Louis before volunteering for the U.S. Army. He served in both Korea and Vietnam, attaining the rank of Second Lieutenant, before being honorably discharged in September 1964. In March of 1965, John was among 25,000 people who marched on Montgomery, Alabama, in support of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1967, he enrolled at New York University studying Anthropology, which he became interested in as a result of events he witnessed while serving in Vietnam. While in New York, he was an active member and Leader in the Ethical Culture Society and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. After graduating with his Ph.D. in Anthropology with a focus in Native American studies in 1974, John taught at Albion College in Michigan and then at the University of Oklahoma. He continued to be involved with organizations he felt passionately about, including the Prisoners' Progress Association, the Texas Farm Workers Union, and the Native American Rights Fund. He served as Chair of the Anthropology Department at OU from 1985 to 1990.
John was an expert witness in many trials, litigations, and other legal proceedings on behalf of Native Americans. John's work with Native American tribes led to numerous honors. He was appointed Tribal Historian of the Oklahoma Seminoles by Chief James Milam in 1979, was adopted as a son by the Cheyenne Keeper of the Sacred Arrows, Edward Red Hat, Sr., in 1982, and was appointed Honorary King of Big Spring Tribal Town by Mekko Tony Hill of the Mvskoke Creeks in 1993. Perhaps John's greatest efforts were devoted to the descendants of the Sand Creek Massacre in their ongoing attempt to secure reparations that were promised by the U.S. government in 1865.
In 1993, John moved his family to Gainesville to accept the position of Chair of the Anthropology Department at the University of Florida. He served in that capacity until 1998 and then retired in 2010. He served on numerous faculty committees at UF and was elected CLAS President Pro Tempore in 2006. Among other honors, John was elected Chair of the Anthropology Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 1997, and elected Fellow of the Stanford Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in 1998. In 1999, he was elected a Fellow of the AAAS. He was also elected Chair of the Human Genome Diversity Project, North American Committee in 1998.
As a scholar, John authored five books, three computer programs, 22 book chapters, and 42 articles in such journals as Science, The Nation, American Anthropologist, American Ethnologist, Ethnology, Cultural Survival, National Geographic Research and Exploration, American Antiquity, American Journal of Human Genetics, and Science and Society (for which he served on the Editorial Board) as well as journals in Britain, France, Spain, Russia, and China. His areas of specialization included anthropological theory, demography, kinship, population genetics, ethnohistory, political economy, and North American Indians, primarily the Cheyennes, Mvskoke Creeks, Seminoles, Choctaws, Crees, and Pamunkeys. He conducted additional fieldwork in Mexico (where he directed a summer field school for students), Nicaragua, Korea, and China. John was also involved with NASA's space colonization feasibility project. He was awarded multiple major grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Science Foundation. He also authored the petition for federal recognition of the Pamunkey Tribe of Virginia, which was recently granted. At the time of his death, John was working on a book about the derivation of anthropological theory from classic, Arabic, and Medieval sources.
John is remembered as a devoted and caring family man. He is survived by his loving wife, Shelley Arlen, as well as his son, Jeremiah (Kara) of Deltona, daughters Jessica Heft (Jordan) of Nashville and Alexandra Moore of Tallahassee, grandchildren Allison Moore and Caleb Heft, and in-laws Ann and Jim Call of Gainesville. The family offers sincerest thanks to Comfort Keepers, Harbor Chase, and Hospice. Memorial donations may be made to the Friends of Anthropology Fund at UF
support/donations/) and the Civic Media Center, 433 S. Main St., Gainesville, FL 32601 (https://www.civicmediacenter.org).

Published in Gainesville Sun from Aug. 16 to Aug. 17, 2016
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