Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Remembering Jackie Moore (1935 - 2009)

The photo above shows Kathryn Alice “Jackie” Moore, a dear friend of ours for many years who died on September 5th in Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Atlanta. Her family asked Mrs. RWP to be one of the speakers at her memorial service last Sunday afternoon, and here is what she said:

“Jackie Moore was my dear friend for the past 34 years, and she was a lady in every sense of the word. The American Heritage Dictionary defines “lady” this way:

1. A woman having the refined habits, gentle manners, and sense of responsibility often associated with breeding, culture, and high station.

I don’t know how much breeding, culture, and high station there might have been in the little town of Lindale, Georgia, where she grew up, but by the time my husband and I met Jackie in Atlanta in 1975, she definitely had the refined habits, gentle manners, and sense of responsibility that one associates with such a person. She was a joy to know.

2. The female head of a household.

Well, F.M. was definitely the head of his house, but Jackie was -– as we wives like to say -- the neck that turned the head. She was the Lady of the house, and always a gracious hostess. Whenever we would visit them, she always had the coffee pot going and a sweet treat ready. F.M. had a sweet tooth, and Jackie saw to it that that tooth was satisfied.

3. A polite term for any adult member of the feminine sex; the female equivalent of a gentleman.

Jackie was a very caring person and treated everyone alike, whether high-born or low, whether famous or unknown. She loved children and young people. She had a quiet spirit about her and I learned quickly that I could trust her. Anything I ever said to her in confidence never went any further.

4. A woman to whom a man is romantically attached.

Jackie was certainly that. She and F.M. were married after they had known each other for only four weeks, and they were husband and wife for 58 years. We often saw hints of the special relationship they shared. The only possible exception might have been during the Christmas and Easter cantata rehearsal seasons, when on more than one occasion Jackie and I were both tempted to go stay in a motel while our husbands worked out all the kinks in the music through many long hours of choir practice. Jackie sang in the choir and had a beautiful, strong soprano voice. Tammi and Elaine have inherited their soprano voices from her.

5. British, with a capital “L”, the general feminine title of nobility and royal degree of other rank.

Jackie had both Scottish and Cherokee Indian in her natural background, but she was definitely a royal, because she was a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. She was content with a cottage down here because she knew they were building a palace for her over there.

Jackie loved God. She talked with her Heavenly Father frequently, and she often heard from Him. One time especially stands out in my mind. When I turned 40, I found out I was pregnant. In those days one did not share such news immediately but waited for things to develop. It happened that I was having a lot of complications, and my doctor was advising me to have a therapeutic abortion because both my own life and the baby’s were in danger. Bob and I prayed and decided we could accept losing the baby if the Lord took it but not if man did. And we prayed together for healing and that the Lord would provide His solution. I was unable to share any of this with Jackie at the time because it happened to be the busiest time of year, around Christmas. During the first week of January, I had a spontaneous miscarriage. The next Sunday night we went to Mt. Paran Church of God as usual. Since the Hawaiians were singing in concert that evening, F.M. was not going to be needed on the platform, so he and Jackie came up to the balcony to sit with us. Before the service began, we talked for a little while, and I was able to share with Jackie everything I had gone through in the last couple of weeks. She got a strange look on her face and said, “Oh, my Lord! I was coming downstairs one day last week to start the coffee before leaving for work, and the Lord said to me, ‘Ellie is pregnant, but it is not a pregnancy to be had.’” God had her ear because she knew His voice. Telling me what she had heard from the Lord helped to bring peace in the time of our storm.

When we decided to move back to Florida one year, F.M. and Jackie took us to the Abbey Restaurant in Atlanta for a farewell dinner. The setting was so beautiful in the sanctuary of an old church. A harpist was playing. In the center of each table was a tall candle. We each received a huge menu made of parchment and were quietly looking over the selections when all of a sudden we smelled smoke and saw flames. Jackie had accidentally set her menu on fire! As we rushed to put it out and they brought another menu, she was unruffled. There was never a dull moment when we were with F.M. and Jackie. She was a lady through it all.

She loved her family so very much. She always spoke with obvious pride and such tenderness about Tammi, and Elaine, and Charles, and her two grandchildren, Josh and Elizabeth, and their spouses, Julie, and Chris, and of course her great-grandson, Jacob. Each time her family grew, her love just expanded too.

Jackie, we shared tears and laughter, joy and sorrow, across many years. You were a very great lady and you were my friend. I will miss you so much, but I know one thing for sure: I will see you in the morning.”

(End of remarks)

As you probably gathered, the music of the church played a prominent part in Jackie’s life, and the memorial service was wonderful in every way. Stan Whitmire played a medley of hymn tune arrangements as only he can. The Sanctuary Choir sang the anthem “Total Praise” as a call to worship. After the scripture reading and prayer by Pastor Kent Hawkins of Mt. Paran Church in Atlanta, the whole congregation sang Fanny Crosby’s hymn, “To God Be The Glory” and then Archie Gaddis sang Jackie’s favorite song, “The Stranger of Galilee.” Three close friends paid tribute to Jackie next, and Pastor Richard Hemphill of Trinity Fellowship in Smyrna gave the eulogy and main sermon. Afterward, the whole congregation then sang “My Savior’s Love” (I Stand Amazed in the Presence of Jesus, the Nazarene) followed by another anthem from the Sanctuary Choir, “Thou, O Lord, Are a Shield For Me (My Glory and the Lifter Of My Head).” Zicia Jones-Martin sang “It Is Well With My Soul.” Joyce Kay sang Rusty Goodman’s song, “Look For Me, For I Will Be There Too” and the whole congregation sang a final hymn, “When We All Get To Heaven, What A Day Of Rejoicing That Will Be.” Pastor Don Munn of Restoration Church in Roswell gave the benediction and closing remarks. It was truly ninety minutes of glorious music and worship as we thanked the Lord for Jackie Moore’s life and influence. As Pastor Hemphill said, we grieve, yes, but we sorrow not as others who have no hope.

We loved you, Jackie. Rest in peace.


  1. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, a fine lady. This eulogy is beautiful. I'm sorry you and Mrs. RWP had to endure the pain of miscarrage. What a connection your friend had to you both to sense it. When people of great faith pass, the funerals are always beautiful in a way.

  2. Mrs. RWP did a fine job in composing her remarks. I thank you for repeating them here.

    Your friend evidently was a very special person in your lives. I know you will miss her, even while knowing that you and her dear ones will see her again in the heavenly kingdom.

    May light perpetual shine upon her.

  3. So good, RWP. Thank for sharing with us. A truly beautiful Lady, Jackie