We regret to report that International Secretary Emeritus Jack F. Moore died on Dec. 12 at the age of 88.
| Former Secretary-Treasurer Jon Walters, left, and International President Emeritus Edwin D. Hill visited Moore, along with former Secretary-Treasurers Jerry O’Connor and Lindell Lee, at Moore’s home earlier this year.
Before retiring in 1997, he served two international presidents, as a member of the International Executive Council and as Eleventh District vice president. Friends, colleagues and admirers will remember him for his dynamism and his unwavering commitment to the IBEW’s membership and for the advances he made on behalf of the IBEW in national politics and in ensuring the financial stability of the union’s pension fund.
“Brother Moore gave everything he had to the IBEW,” said International President Lonnie R. Stephenson. “His work on behalf of the members is still evident to this day, and we all owe him and his family a tremendous amount of gratitude.”
The Nixa, Missouri, native joined Springfield Local 453 in September 1948 soon after serving two years in the U.S. Navy during the waning days of World War II. After a short recall to service from 1950 to 1951, he worked as a journeyman wireman from 1951 to 1958.
During those years, Brother Moore was elected to his local’s executive board and to the offices of vice president and president. In 1958, he was elected Local 453’s business manager, a position he would hold for the better part of the next two decades.
“He started out with a small local union in Springfield and ended up with the biggest local in the state, something over 5,000 members,” recalled close friend and retired International Representative Danny D. Melloway. “He was an organizer, a member’s man.”
|International President Emeritus Edwin D. Hill, left, Moore and International Representative Kirk Groenendaal at the 2006 36th IBEW International Convention Cleveland, Ohio.
Moore found time to be involved all over the state of Missouri and at the international level as well. He served as president of the Springfield Labor Council for 20 years, president of the Missouri State Electrical Workers for 16, and as a panel member and co-chairman of the IBEW’s Council on Industrial Relations.
From 1966 to 1976, Moore also served as a member of the International Executive Council.
But it was his civic and political activities that helped Moore leave a lasting impact across the state of Missouri. “He served on just about every board you could imagine,” Melloway said, rattling off too many to list, which ranged from airport boards to political positions to charitable causes like the United Way and March of Dimes. “Jack had so much energy, and everywhere he went, people recognized him.”
In 1976, then-International President Charles Pillard appointed Moore international vice president for the Eleventh District, a position he would be elected to twice in 1978 and 1982. It was during this time that he helped lead the successful campaign to defeat Missouri’s right-to-work amendment in 1978.
“When I became vice president, he reached out to me, mentored me,” said current Eleventh District Vice President Curtis E. Henke. “I could always go to him and he’d have good sound advice for me.”
It was that generosity of spirit and tenaciousness that led Pillard to appoint Moore as International Secretary in 1985, replacing the retiring Ralph A. Leigon.
|Moore, left, entertainer Kenny Rogers, International President Emeritus J.J. Barry and former Eleventh District Vice President Ray Edwards at the 1991 34th IBEW International Convention St. Louis, Missouri.
After arriving in Washington, Brother Moore was true to form and wasted little time. He immediately set about building the strength of the IBEW pension funds, overseeing the growth of the National Electrical Benefit Fund from $1.8 billion when he arrived to $6.38 billion at his retirement. The NEBF consistently ranked among the top 25 percent of U.S. pension funds during his tenure.
He was also known for his strong support of investment in 100-percent-union construction projects that helped create jobs for active members while growing the fund for retirees.
Brother Moore was also heavily involved in growing the IBEW’s influence in national politics. As Secretary-Treasurer of the IBEW’s Committee on Political Education, he understood the importance of political involvement and stressed it to the membership at every opportunity.
During his tenure, the IBEW-COPE fund grew fourfold to more than $3 million in voluntary contributions, ranking it regularly in the top five political action committees in the U.S and earning him influential roles as both a trustee and as a rules committee member at the Democratic National Committee.
Another project undertaken during his tenure was the expansion and modernization of the IBEW International Office’s record-keeping and administrative operations, enabling the international to better service its local unions and individual members.
There wasn’t a guy before or after Jack Moore that loved the IBEW any more than he did,” Henke said. “Everybody that Jack ever met, he just touched them. In fact, his daughter told me just the other day, ‘One thing about my dad, everybody he worked with, he loved.’”
It was a trait that would serve him well until his retirement in April 1997 after nearly 50 years of service to the brotherhood. And it would continue to serve him throughout the rest of his life.
“We talked every month,” Melloway said, including the day before he died. “But it wasn’t just me. It was everybody. Jack made friends wherever he went, and he hung onto them. He was one of the finest leaders I ever knew.”
Former International President Edwin D. Hill, who succeeded Moore as international secretary in 1997, wrote, “We lost another giant in the IBEW… I am forever grateful for having his friendship and advice for so many years.”
Brother Moore is survived by his wife of nearly 65 years, Betty, and by his son, Tom, and daughters Deborah Mills and Marilyn Simpson and their spouses. Tom and son-in-law Mike Mills are both members of Local 453. He and Betty were the proud grandparents of eight and great-grandparents of eleven.
On behalf of the entire IBEW membership and staff, the officers extend our heartfelt condolences to Brother Moore’s family and friends.
Memorial donations may be made to:
The Jack F. Moore/IBEW, 11th District Scholarship Fund at MSU
300 South Jefferson, Suite 100
Springfield, MO 65806
Fairhaven Children's Home
3132 N. Fair Haven Loop
Stafford, MO 65757