Raymond Moore Sr. was born to Daniel and Della Moore in Williamston, North Carolina, on July 11, 1927. He transitioned from his earthly vessel to his heavenly home on March 19, 2020, in Brooklyn, New York, at 92 years old following decades of successfully battling kidney disease.
Raymond was baptized upon the confession of his Christian faith as a young boy at the Goddard Hill Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, in Williamston where he grew up with 13 brothers and sisters. With the death of his father, Raymond became his mother’s primary support in managing the family farm at the age 14. He later leased out most of the land and left the farm to study at Harris Barber College in Raleigh. He worked as a barber for a while in Delaware but enlisted in the U.S. Army to fulfill his duty to his country in the Korean War. He served as an artillery soldier in Germany and a military policeman (MP) in Korea.
Honorably discharged from the Army on August 21, 1953, Raymond moved to Gary, Indiana, to work at U.S. Steel Corporation. He soon began writing to childhood friend Frances Oretha Lyons who was living in Brooklyn, New York. He relocated to New York, and the two soon married on June 12, 1954, at St. Paul Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ. He bought a business at 747 Gates Avenue, named it Famous Barbershop, and kicked off a four-decade legacy of service in the Bedford-Stuyvesant community. Generations of fathers and sons tell stories of having their hair cut by “Mo the barber” and others in his shop, that moved over the years from Gates Avenue, to Sumner Avenue, and finally, on Fulton Street before he retired in 1986.
Raymond and Frances built a full life together, raising their three children, Camellia Moore of Atlanta; Yvette Moore (Jethro Turner) of Brooklyn; and Raymond Moore, Jr. (Veronica) of Brooklyn. They bought a home on Lincoln Place that became a place of welcome for a host of young nieces and nephews relocating to New York City in the latter days of “The Great Migration” of African Americans from the South to Northern cities. Some stayed with “Uncle Raymond” when they arrived to the city, while others just came by Sundays after church for home cooking, encouragement, and big family love. He advised his nephews to learn a trade and get a city job. He sent love in an envelope (that’s money) to nieces working their way through college in the days before education grants and loans.
He shared other wise counsel and truisms with all:
• “Learn how to do something you love to do so when you get up to go to work in the morning, you don’t curse the day.”
• “When you do a job, do your best. If someone can come behind you and do it better, you don’t mind because you’ve already given it your all.”
• “I am only one man. I cannot do everything. But because I am only one man and cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do the things I can do.”
Raymond was a loving father who worked hard to take care of his family but still carved out time for family trips to North Carolina, school events and football games, and outings to New York City sites—baseball games, the circus when it came to town, Coney Island, the Circle Line, parks, beaches and Aqueduct Race Way. Raymond loved the horses, Off Track Betting and hitting “the Number.”
Retirement freed Raymond to care for his wife and to enjoy the fruits of his years of faithful labor. He cherished the time he spent with his children and his five grandchildren. Raymond loved his family, prayed for them each day and always thanked God for the life he was blessed to lead.
Raymond was predeceased by his loving wife of 45 years, parents; brothers Paul, Gilbert, Daniel Garfield, Dennis, James, Charley; and sisters Dorothy Moore, Blanche Moore Bowen, Mildred Aileen Moore Clark, and Shirley Moore Brown.
He leaves to morn his departure, his children; grandchildren Rashad, Rashida and Elijah Moore; and Naima and Zaire Moore-Turner; and newborn great grandson Caleb Jerome Dostaly; sisters Hattie Raye Keene of Baltimore and Mary Louise Moore Allgood of Warren, Ohio; and a host of nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, cousins and extended family and friends.
Thank you, Daddy. We will forever love you and praise God for the gift of you.
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