Dr. Nola Mae Moore
1931 - 2020
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Dr. Nola Mae Moore

On Friday, April 17, 2020, Dr. Nola Mae Moore M.D. of Shoreline, WA, our fierce and beloved mother, an energetic champion of patient and physician's rights in the medical field, equally tireless in her compassionate service of others, passed away due to complications caused by the novel coronavirus at the age of 88.

The youngest daughter of Clarence and Grace Moore's 8 children, Nola was born in the kitchen of a 40 acre farm in Barron County, WI, where she could regularly be found with a cane fishing pole, frogs in her pockets, and her older brother Duane by her side, getting into trouble.

Nola had polio when she was 8. This resulted in a long hospital stay and, because her dominant left hand was paralyzed, Nola, never short on grit, taught herself to write with the right-with a very distinctive lefty slant. She remained semi-ambidextrous the rest of her life, which would later make her an excellent set of hands in surgery. Unfortunately, it would not be her last long childhood hospital stay.

When she was 12, she and Duane developed a homemade pair of wings and eagerly climbed to the top of a nearby windmill. On a coin toss (that she won) she tried them out...and ended up in the hospital with a broken back for another 6 months. Rather than be discouraged, Nola read, and she developed a deep interest in medicine that burned passionately within her, and would go on to define the rest of her life.

A graduate of Barron High in 1949, she continued her education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, where she received her B.S., M.D. and M.S. in pulmonary physiology.

She practiced medicine for 30 years in partnership with her husband and favorite cribbage partner of 50 years, James H. Dahlen M.D. (1928-2009), whom she met on the bus to Army Reserve boot camp, and also ran an undoubtedly more organized (but perhaps somewhat less whimsical) solo practice for 5 more years, until her retirement in 1998.

While she made annual trips to see the snow geese in La Conner, WA, enjoy the eagles in Rockport, WA, and admire the tulips in Skagit Valley, WA, her favorite place was YMCA Camp Orkila on Orcas Island, where 'Dr. Nola and Dr. Jim' annually treated skinned knees, lice, drop line fishing injuries and homesickness (on rainy days) as volunteers each summer for over 30 years.

In addition to her medical career, Dr. Moore also founded, served as president, and was a board member of the Washington State Physicians Insurance Association, served 9 years on the Physician's Insurance Company Board and 9 years on NORDIC Board (a dental liability insurance company), was a member of and served terms as president of the King County Medical Society and King County Academy of Family Practice, and was selected for the King County Academy Community Service Award.

In retirement, she served on the Admissions Committee for the University of Washington Medical School, the Grievance Committee of the King County Medical Society, the board of the King County Academy of Family Practice, and volunteered regularly and enthusiastically at the Shoreline Senior Center, where she made many wonderful friends and collected pinochle party partners.

She walked a daily 2 mile loop picking up garbage to clean the neighborhood and, in her spare time, when she wasn't playing cards with her good friends or her dear neighbors that she had for over 50 years, she prided herself on keeping a spotless home and tidy grounds, having birthday presents bought and wrapped months in advance, and remained the physical force of nature she was throughout her life; she rafted the Colorado River, zip-lined through the trees on Camano Island, and went heli-hiking in the Bugaboo range in British Columbia, all in the past four years!

She is survived by her sister Mavis, daughter Dee Dee (husband Bob, children Annaliese, Morgan "Mo", and Marielle "Leo"), son Eric (wife Darci, daughter Lucy) and son Kerry (wife Katie, daughters Zoe and Mattie Mae).

In lieu of flowers, please consider a remembrance contribution to Helen Chu's lab at the University of Washington Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Disease.

If you'd like to share a memory of Nola, please do so at: https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/seattle-wa/nola-moore-9141507

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times on May 3, 2020.
Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
July 2, 2020
My deepest sympathy to your family. Dr. Moore was my physician from the early 1970s until she retired. I loved her straight forward, honest and compassionate way of treating me as a patient. She certainly got me through some difficult times over the years. Dr. Moore spoke lovingly of her husband, Dr. Dahlen and her children. I know she was very proud of all of you. She will surely be missed.
Linda Eguchi
May 12, 2020
So sorry! She had wise words of advice when I was starting my medical practice in Seattle in the early 1980's.
Mindy Blaski,MD
May 7, 2020
My heartfelt condolences to you, dear family. Nola was a wonderful friend, and a force of nature. She is already missed, and will always be remembered with great fondness.

Best,
Vicki at the Museum
Vicki Stiles
May 6, 2020
Gino Gianola
May 5, 2020
There is going to be an empty chair once the pinochle players at the senior center can start again, the chair that was occupied by Nola. And at the front desk where she volunteered on Friday afternoons. And the front garden with tulips overflowing in the spring that she always helped plant and nurture. And at the Veterans Day lunch where she proudly wore her uniform. A memory came to me that she told me one day, about her granddaughter Zoe. They were on a walk and she ask Zoe what she wanted to be when she grew up. Happy, was her reply. Doctor Nola, an amazing, caring woman who touched many lives and will be missed by her friends, staff, and fellow volunteers at the Shoreline Lake Forest Park Senior Center.

I feel fortunate to have been part of her life,
JonAnn Cruver
May 3, 2020
She was the best type of human. One that we all should aspire to emulate. Kind, selfless, and knowledgeable without fail.
Nola had a very strong nurturing streak. I remember, years ago, family and friends gathered around her kitchen table, playing cards. We played into the wee hours. Nola, always alert to the needs of others , provided a constant stream of plates piled high with sandwiches and goodies. I think in that one night she served us 4 dinners!

I am grateful for her lifetime of service to those in need and to her community. She lived a noble life and will be sorely missed.
Julie Oss
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