Ray A. Moore age 86, Amherst College Professor of History and Asian Languages and Civilizations, Emeritus, passed away peacefully on January 7 in Amherst.
Prof. Moore was born in 1933 into a family of tenant farmers in Axtell, Texas. In search of a better life, he joined the US Army at age 14 and served in the Korean War before being honorably discharged in 1952.
Prof. Moore earned A.B., M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at the University of Michigan. During his studies, he met and married his wife, the former Ilga Kacerovskis, in 1957. The Moore's then welcomed two sons, Mark and Kenneth.
In 1965, Prof. Moore joined Amherst College's history department. He was instrumental in establishing: Amherst's Asian Studies program; the Five College Center for East Asian Studies; the Associated Kyoto Program Junior Year Abroad at Doshisha University; and the Yushien Japanese Garden on the Amherst campus. To perpetuate their love of Japan and the College, Prof. and Mrs. Moore established a trust to fund Japanese studies. Prof. Moore retired from teaching in 2004.
In 2012, the government of Japan awarded Prof. Moore the Order of the Rising Sun, a medal presented since 1875 to honor lifetime contributions to US-Japanese friendship. Prof. Moore was a leading scholar and author on the history of modern Japan and the American occupation following World War II. His books include Partners for Democracy: Crafting the New Japanese State under MacArthur
Prof. Moore was an avid hiker, skier, traveler, and runner. He and his wife completed several Marine Corps and Boston marathons. Prof. Moore is preceded in death by his wife Ilga. He is survived by two sons Mark and Kenneth, his daughters-in-law Fran and Beth, and five grandchildren, Nicholas, Kelsey, Anna, Colin and Ethan.
Memorial register at www.douglassfuneral.com