I often marvel at the events that came into my life to get me where I am today. So many things had to fall in place in order for me to have the life that I now enjoy.
I was born in Piqua, Ohio in 1934 to Leonard and Evelyn Moore. I was their second child as Ben was born in 1932. I don’t have any recollection of living with my parents. Nothing seems to have stuck in my memory of those years. Some people can remember when they were two years old and I can’t remember anything prior to six years of age. During that time we had Faye join our family in 1937, Bob in 1939 and Lenna in 1940.
Two months prior to Lenna’s birth, our dad passed away from an infection that is curable today but was not in 1940. The next two years are a blur as well. Our mother moved us a couple of times as I do remember living in a farm house but we didn’t farm the land. Just rented the home. Another house was a portable temporary housing that was available during World War Two. I believe this was in Troy, Ohio which is about 10 miles from Piqua. Our dad worked at Hobart Manufacturing in Troy. It was at this home that we were picked up by the authorities and was headed for Foster Care had our grandparents not intervened. Grandpa didn’t want any of his grandchildren in Foster Care. So he went before the judge and requested permission to place the five kids into homes of his family. Our grandparents had 12 children. One died at 6 weeks and my father died at age 31. So 10 were left to help.
Faye went to live with our Aunt Ruth Reynolds in Elkhart, Indiana and was raised as one of Ruth’s children. Robert Lee (Bob) was first sent to our Uncle Bob Moore’s home in Covington, Ohio and later to Aunt Doris Wright’s home in Los Angeles where he stayed for a short time. This didn’t work out in Bob’s life and he opted to move in with our mother in Muncie, Indiana. I don’t recall when he did this but he was living there in the summer of 1952 when I visited him and took him on a trip to Celina and Elkhart to visit our siblings and relatives.
Lenna was a baby under two years of age when she went to live with Aunt Betty Ummel near Elkhart. Lenna and Faye grew up near each other and were able to be together often. Lenna really didn’t know her father and mother. She had little contact with her mother.
Ben and I went to live with our grandparents, our dad’s mother and father. Our grandfather was the pastor of the Nazarene church in Coshocton, Ohio at this time. Shortly after that, he was asked to be the pastor of the Church of the Nazarene in Celina, Ohio. Ben was 10 years old and I was 8 when we began our lives with our grandparents.
In 1949 after completing his junior year in high school, Ben left the home to live with our mother in Muncie, Indiana. That left me alone for the first time at age 15.
Our grandmother’s health was failing in 1949 and as had been the practice of the Moore children, they came to see their parents as often as they could. One of those visits in late August was from Ray and Edith Moore with their 18 month old daughter, Kathy. They spent a few days with us and then left for home in Kansas City, Missouri. A few days later I received a letter from Ray which I still have in my Memory Box. He asked me to consider moving to Kansas City, Missouri to live with them since grandmother was having difficulty in caring for me. I showed the letter to Grandpa and he said the decision would be entirely mine. I was welcome to stay there with them if I chose or take Ray and Edith up on their offer. My choice.
The decision had to be made very quickly as September was right around the corner and I was headed back to school for my 10th grade. I would be leaving everything that I knew and friends that have been pals for several years. I also had my job at the Daily Standard delivering papers for the last six years and my janitorial duties at the newspaper to consider. I would be starting over at a new place, new family, new church, new school and hopefully new friends. I had a Whizzer Motor Bike and a Powell Motor Scooter to think about. I sold the Whizzer to a fellow newspaper friend and shipped the Powell to Kansas City.
The decision to move from Celina to Kansas City was not an easy one. But it was the right one. Grandmother passed away in 1950. I met a girl of 14 years of age just one and a half blocks from my new home who I married six years later. This July 22nd will be our 54th wedding anniversary. Ann Edwards went to the same high school and church and later to the same college in California.
This story is a great example of what Romans 8:28 says -- “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose”.