Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Gary L. Moore 1938/1997

This morning while I was doing the Finholm Stair Climb Gary Moore’s name just jumped out at me when I came to his stair. It’s funny how no matter how often you climb those stairs you seldom take the time to read the names on the stair walk recognizing and remembering so many of past and present families.

I have taken the liberty of referring to the biography of Gary that is published on the Tacoma-Pierce County Old-Timers Baseball Association Hall of Fame. Gary was not the only Gig Harbor resident to be named to the Tacoma-Pierce County Hall of Fame. Some of the other names I found were:  Nancy Jerkovich (Slowpitch), Marco Malich (Slowpitch), Paul Gustafson (Umpire), Fran Pinchbeck (Umpire), Russell White (Baseball), Bill Turnbull (Baseball), and Fran Pinchbeck told me that Denise Hoober (Slowpitch), Gregg Lovrovich (Basketball) and Roger Iverson (Basketball). 

If you are aware of others who should be included on this list, please attach a comment or send an email to the Harbor History Museum ( with the name and sport...and a biography if possible. For example, I found Frank Ruffo on the Baseball list but was unsure if that was Gig Harbor’s Frank Ruffo or another man with the same name.

But now, here's what we know about Gary L. Moore.

Gary was not only a superb commander, but he was also a first-class human being.  He was always there 24 hours a day whenever needed to help solve anyone’s problems, no matter how great or small.  Gary will long be remembers by the men and women of the Armed Forces who had the privilege of serving with him.  He was genuinely respected and loved by all who knew him.”  General Schwarzkopf.

Gary was born in Gig Harbor, WA on May 17, 1938.  As a student at Peninsula High School from 1952 to 1956 and was their first four-year letterman in baseball, basketball and football. 

Gary pitched seven no-hitters for Peninsula High School as well as batting over .350 each of his four years with an average of .595 in his junior year.  He earned a four-year scholarship as a starting pitcher to Oregon State University having declined offers from the Chicago Cubs and the New York Yankees among others in order to pursue a college education.

Upon graduation, Gary entered the United States Air Force serving a distinguished 25-year career from 1960 until 1981.  Gary Moore was awarded the Legion of Merit Award, two Bronze Stars and 11 Air Medal Awards.  He retired with distinction in 1984 as a Colonel to pursue a private business and professional career as a pilot and airport authority manager in Georgia

At age of 59 Gary was tragically killed in an automobile accident in Georgia on March 13, 1997.  Following his death, the U. S. Navy’s Blue Angels recognized Colonel Moore by naming one of their “Missing Man” maneuvers for him at their Show that year.

Gary Moore’s achievements in athletics while attending Peninsula High School earned him great recognition throughout the community.  The Great Gig Harbor Area Committee organized a “Gary Moore Night” on August 13, 1956 at Peninsula High School after a banquet honoring him.  Gig Harbor Mayor Merrill Parish proclaimed the day “Gary Moore Day”.  Mayor Gretchen Wilbert repeated the proclamation on June 23, 1997 by proclaiming every August fourth as “Gary Moore Day” in Gig Harbor.   

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