The Obit For Gene Moore

Eugene Moore Jr.

Published in The State on 10/7/2008

FLORENCE - Eugene “Gene” T. Moore, Jr., 80, educator, administrator, athlete and civic artist, died Sunday, October 5, 2008, in a Florence hospital.

It all began May 25, 1928, in a small rural community of Lake City, SC. Gene Moore Jr.’s family ties ran deep in Lake City. He was born in the same house as his father and his father’s father before extending back five generations. The home place still stands and is a reminder why Gene remained forever a farm boy at heart and eventually returned to the Lake City community to serve. Gene was the son of the late Eugene T. and Lucile Allen Moore.

After graduation from Lake City High School, Gene went to Clemson College as a cadet, earning a bachelor’s degree in agricultural engineering. Under the G.I. Bill, he later received his master’s degree in public administration from the University of South Carolina. Eventually, Gene made his way back to his beloved Lake City, delving into life as an educator (science teacher), administrator (Carver Jr. High School assistant principal and Scranton Elementary School principal) and Lake City High School coach.

While growing up in a rural community and playing sports to pass the time, it became apparent to many that Gene was a good athlete. While at Clemson, the legendary football coach Frank Howard took notice and mentored Gene both on and off the playing fields. Along the way there were many athletic highlights, but if Gene were here to tell his story it would be to say that his position as center on Clemson’s 11-0 football team (1948) and starting center for Clemson in the exciting 24-23 win over the Missouri Tigers (1949) Gator Bowl were at the top of the highlight chart. His teammates would agree and would recognize Gene’s leadership qualities during these exciting times by selecting him to captain the 1949 football squad. The capstone to Gene’s many athletic accomplishments came in 1993 when he was inducted into the Clemson University Athletic Hall of Fame.

After graduating from Clemson in 1950, Gene was drafted by the pros in two sports (baseball and football). He picked the Philadelphia Phillies over the New York Giants and entered the baseball organizations farm system. Eventually, he made his way to the Boston Red Sox, playing for a time on their New York farm team. Between his playing time for the Phillies and Red Sox, Gene served in the U.S. Army’s 2nd Armored Division as second lieutenant, trained as a tank commander. He spent time at both Fort Hood, Texas, and Baumholder, Germany.

Honoring Gene for his lifelong commitment to leadership quality in education, Clemson University’s School of Education became the Eugene T. Moore School of Education on October 18, 2002. With a new focus that was to enhance educational leadership and teacher education, the new name recognized Gene’s important role in the lives of many young people in this state and the commitment during his adult life to education as a teacher, coach and principal in Florence County. His legacy as an educational leader, who led by example, will continue through the Eugene T. Moore School of Education and the countless lives it will influence in generations to come.

A true Southern gentleman with deep devotion to family, community and county, Gene traveled the world, but always knew home was never far away. With deep roots in the American soil and love of history, Gene spent his retirement years remaining active with farm activities, while serving the community. He influenced many with his love and knowledge of history and for his vision and determination to save the historic Lake City Municipal Produce Market Building. Preserving the spirit of its founding father, the National Bean Market Museum stands tribute to Gene’s vision and passion. The National Bean Market Museum is housed in the historic Lake City Municipal Produce Market building and celebrates the history, culture and arts of the citizens of Lake City and the surrounding communities.

Gene is survived by his wife Lorraine Linsenbardt, a daughter, Darla and husband Richard Rainwater, daughter, Lisa Golonka and husband Peter and two grandsons, David and William and brother, Donald.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Lake City United Methodist Church, 229 West Main Street, Lake City, SC 29560 or the National Bean Market Museum of South Carolina, P.O. Box 943, Lake City, SC 29560. A graveside service will be held Tuesday, October 78th at 11:00 a.m. at Cook Cemetery on Morris Street in Lake City with visitation following at Moore Farms.