As Our Mom



In Loving Memory of Dorothy Nelson Moore 1915-2002 


From her son, Dennis Moore - as read at her memorial service


Childhood pictures of the Moore's birth children Kathie (left), and their son, Dennis (right) show them revealing smiles for the camera. (The Moore's also took in seven

other "chosen" children during Kathie and Dennis' youth. Dennis lovingly includes the story of how one of them came to be part of their family in the following article.)

The Dorothy Moore I knew as my mother was not all work and no play. 


She had a very active imagination, and great sense of humor; always appropriate, but very much alive. 


One of the funniest things she would do is talk “baby-talk” to us, even as teenagers or adults, in order to make a point or teach a lesson, or even a gentle admonition. 


But since she had been a teacher before she had been a mom, she was the consummate researcher. She read everything she could get her hands on about raising children. Nobody, short of test-tube babies, could say they were raised more scientifically than Kathie and me. 


She was a Sabbath School pioneer. She taught herself how to oil paint on felt and flannel, and made Bible stories come alive for us and other little kids. She especially made the glorious Second Coming of Jesus vivid in our minds, as she pictured it in vibrant colors. 


She was not just a teacher, she was very much a mother. She did all the right things mothers do—made up “baby books” for Kathie and me. You know: “baby’s first words,” “baby’s first shoes,” baby’s first this and that….” 


She always had a camera; always kept track of our progress; made marks on the doorway, with dates, for our height. 


She eventually got a movie camera, and then a movie projector; no kids were ever in more movies (that weren’t actors)! 


We always had our little household jobs to get done, but then we got to play as a reward. 


In Japan, we even had our own special tree to do with as we chose. 


Mother really was an amazing lady. She was there juggling the daily chores as our mom and “homeschooling” teacher, while Dad was off, like a “warrior,” fighting the church’s educational battles. 


She was a good sister to her two brothers, Russell and Glen, and her sister Maxine; a great daughter to her parents, Nels and Millie Nelson. There was no email then, but she kept close with frequent and thought-filled correspondence in the most beautiful handwriting imaginable. 


Mother was also the one who kept us in touch with all of Dad’s brothers and sisters and their families, as well as Grandma and Grandpa Moore, and all of our wonderful cousins (including Allan and Lynda here today with our Aunt Helena and Aunt Nikki). 


In Japan


She kept us well fed and clothed and in great health in post-World War II Japan on a missionary’s salary of $300 a month. We knew we weren’t rich, but we sure weren’t poor, because she could stretch a dollar farther than her clothesline! 


In fact, we might actually have felt rich, because she got us by on local foods, while other missionary families couldn’t make ends meet because of imported American food prices. (Boy, did she love it, when Dad got us Commissary privileges at the local US Air Force Base, in exchange for some work he did for them.) 


On a Funnier Note


She was always full of stories and object lessons. 


One time when Kathie and I were little, Kathie hit me, as little sisters do; and I hit her back, as some big brothers do, and she went crying to Mother. 


Mother held her, but admonished from her own experience, that big brothers hit back harder, so it wasn’t a good idea to hit them in the first place. 


She then scolded big brother (me) saying that, “If you hit your sister, now, you will grow up to hit your wife later.” So then, of course, Kathie taunted me mercilessly, over and over, “If you hit me…you’re gonna hit your wife; if you hit me….” (P.S. When I grew up, I never hit any woman, so it must have worked!) 


Our New Sister


Our mother was a woman of great compassion. When little Mari Tokizaki was pushed out by her step-mother and going to be returned to Japan from Blue Mountain Academy, my mother and father asked Kathie and me if we wanted a new sister. I was almost 22 and Kathie was Mari’s age (17). We all said yes, resoundingly; we wanted her. So, even if she wasn’t there when we were little, she surely is with us now, as well as her wonderful husband, Dr. Paul Lim and kids, Ken and Maggie. 


There have been many more virtual adoptees by our big-hearted parents. 


In Closing


Speaking of humor; one of the funniest things that happened—instead of being jealous like most people are; both Mother and Dad knew that if something happened to either one of them as they got older; each didn’t want the other to be alone. 


So amazingly enough, they sort of picked out their choices of companion, each for the other, in the event that something should take one before the other. 


So if you ever see someone with my dad, it’s because she’s my mother's choice as well as his own. 


And last, but not least. Our mother didn’t just set a high standard for her children and students to aspire to; she led by actually performing and accomplishing high standards herself, for us to follow. 


She was the valedictorian of every level of graduation she accomplished—from elementary and high school to college and graduate school. 


We already miss her wisdom and love, and look forward to being with her in heaven.