Robert Rouse Moore Jr.
Wednesday 7th of June 1939 - Thursday 18th of March 2021
When 81-year-old Robert R. “Bob” Moore died from esophageal cancer on March 18th, Cincinnati lost one of its most persistent, effective, and fun-loving social activists, not to mention one of its most principled and compassionate political tools, namely Bob’s long memory.
Over-the-Rhine’s Bonnie Neumeier calls him “a history book, always sharing stories about a wide range of struggles for justice.” The U.S. Education Department’s Gregg Corr says Moore “fought against oppression, injustice, and inequality. He supported people’s struggles, didn’t take the easy path, always strived to do the right thing.” And Mary McCoy, with whom Moore co-established PeaceWorks, says, “When I think of him, it is not foremost as a comrade and crusader. I think of him as my friend. I suspect that is true for others, as he had a way about him that made us love him no matter what else was going on. I suspect his warm heart, gentle push, and easy smile changed many lives besides mine.”
Perhaps inspired by his father – the Robert R. Moore who captained the ship delivering Admiral Byrd to Antarctica – Bob hoped to fly C130 rescue planes in Vietnam, didn’t get into flight school, and served as Executive Officer on a Coast Guard cutter instead. Then, while putting his BA from William and Mary to use in the University of Cincinnati’s School of Education (M.Ed and ABD/Ed.D), he proudly joined Vietnam Veterans Against the War. As he became aware dollars spent on the war were making life miserable for the poor at home and that veterans often became homeless, Bob’s activism expanded to embrace those issues.
To earn a living, Moore taught at UC and then at Union Institute, later working for the Urban Appalachian Council, St. Raphael Social Service, and Interfaith Hospitality Network. He served on the boards of the Appalachian Community Development Association, the Association for Community Based Education, the Urban Appalachian Council, the Butler County Human Services Council, and the Society for the Preservation of Aurora. He cofounded the Butler County Self-Sufficiency Coalition, founded the Butler County Homeless Coalition, co-chaired the Cincinnati Central American Task Force, chaired UAC’s Research and Education Committee, and cofounded the political theatre StreetTalk. As for honors, after his death his wife found boxes labeled “Bob’s Awards” in the garage.
Moore is survived by his brother Richard of Amsterdam-Netherlands, his wife Patty Cody of Hazard, Kentucky, his daughter Leslie Brown and grandchildren Brandon and Hilary Rutter and Faith and Grace Brown, all of whom live on the outskirts of Hocking Hills, Ohio.
No memorial gathering is currently planned. Contributions in his name should be sent to the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition.
I am so grateful to have known Bob, who set such a heartening, brave and joyful example of how to put faith into loving action. I met him first through his work for peace as a Friend as he led us Cincinnatians in protest against U.S. military aid to violent regimes in Central America. Then I got to work with him at the Urban Appalachian Council as he supported adult literacy. Then he did such splendid work as the leader of the Interfaith Hospitality Network, compassionate and practical. His sense of humor and his kindliness graced so many justice endeavors!
I met Bob at the University of Cincinnati around 1974 while we attempted to unionize Graduate TA's. I realized quickly what an extraordinary principled crusader he was. He was also a fine fried and a lover of music. RIP, Bob, old friend!
My heart goes out to you Patty in your time of such a great loss. He was the best and will be missed by so many.
Kendra Mon & Eugene Lanesays
Our hearts go out to Patty and all the friends and extended family. What we remember is the twinkle in his eye and generosity of spirt.