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Jeffrey Lane Moore

March 7, 1953 February 21, 2021
Jeffrey Lane Moore
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Obituary for Jeffrey Lane Moore

Jeffrey Lane Moore (Jeff) of Brighton passed away, at the age of 67, on Sunday, February 21, 2021 (of complications of lymphoma) and, in his own chosen words, has “gone away with a friend.” With the compassionate help of the Saint Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ypsilanti, he was able to go peacefully and surrounded by family.

Jeff was born on March 7, 1953, in Middleboro, Massachusetts. His parents lived in Massachusetts while his father attended seminary at Boston University. The family returned to Iowa and moved to Muscatine when Jeff was 3 months old. From 1957-1964, he lived in Manning, Iowa, where he started school, sang in the cherub choir, was a Cub Scout, and roamed the small community freely with his friends and siblings. He recounted many adventures of exploring empty buildings, the train tracks, and the banks of the Nishnabotna River. The rule was to come home for lunch when the noon whistle blew. The world was his oyster.

From 1965-66, Jeff lived in Washington, D.C. while his father served as an Administrative Assistant to an Iowa congressman. The time in Washington was exciting and filled with learning opportunities. He and big brother, Dave, had a third-floor bedroom, and they shared record albums, comic books, and love of the Yankees. Jeff attended Takoma Grade School and Paul Jr. High School there. He and a good friend won the Grand Prize for 7th Grade science projects for their “Probability and Playing Cards” exhibit and went on to take first place at the city-wide Science Fair.

The family returned to Corning, Iowa, where Jeff made many good friends. He was a good big brother to Jane and Randy, always there to lend a hand, shoot baskets, or explain Algebra. He played the cornet, ran track, and later was involved in Thespians, Speech Contest, and Student Council. He graduated from Corning High School with the class of 1971 although he finished his coursework a year earlier and went on to Deep Springs College in the desert and mountains of California. At this two-year, liberal arts college, Jeff was one of only 30 students who ran a ranch as well as engaged in a highly challenging academic experience. One of Jeff’s jobs on the ranch was bee keeping. He also developed a love of plants, flowers, and birds. Part of the mission of the school is “to prepare young people for a life of service to humanity.” Without question, Jeff did that.

After these two years at Deep Springs, Jeff returned to Ames, Iowa, to finish out his schooling at Iowa State University while living with his parents. It took him several years extra to graduate because he loved learning and kept signing up for classes that interested him, not necessarily ones that would hasten his diploma. His eventual degree was in botany, but he loved geology, Greek, and many other subjects. It was during these early years in Ames, that—after a lot of soul-searching and thoughtful reading—a neighbor invited him to a movie about Jesus. And it was there—talking with another gentleman afterward—that he found his answers and trusted in Christ for forgiveness, eternal life, and new life here on earth. And, while he remained everyone’s beloved Jeff, God grew him into the better and best version of himself—the fuller Jeff that God had designed and created him to be.

In 1977, Jeff graduated from ISU and very shortly after was invited to move with a team of eleven other people to East Lansing, Michigan, to begin a campus ministry there—similar to the one he had been part of at ISU (now known as Stonebrook Community Church). He said yes!, wanting with all his heart to take what he’d learned about a personal relationship with Christ to an ever-widening circle of people. (This ministry is still flourishing—as Riverview Church—these 43 years later.) It “so happened” that one of the other twelve team members was Peg Gunderson, and during the next two years of giving heart and soul to this ministry, Jeff and Peg grew to know each other well and fall in love, and on June 23, 1979, they were married. In July 1980 and May 1984, the next loves of his life—their children—were born.

In that same 1980 year, as a result of Jeff’s love for people and his wisdom and effectiveness in teaching and applying Scripture, he was appointed as a pastor of the growing church there (then named MSU Bible Study). He served in this capacity until mid-1988, when he and Peg—along with several others—were commissioned to the metro-Detroit area to begin another, similar ministry (this time, more focused on community than on college students). This Ridgewood Community Church, which he faithfully served until he developed cancer in 2011 (and even then some) had its ups and downs and may not have seen tremendous numerical growth, but hundreds of people came through those doors, felt loved and nurtured by him and his fellow pastors, developed deep and abiding friendships, and gained solid foundations in their faith.

In early 2011, Jeff was first diagnosed with Waldenstrom’s lymphoma. The chemo itself wasn’t initially very tough, but cumulatively, it left him with side effects that made it difficult for him to be on his feet and to think crisply to prepare Sunday morning messages. He filled his days with making “lemonade out of lemons”—walking in his yard, enjoying and learning to photograph the plants, flowers, fungi, insects, and even frost and snow. He thoroughly enjoyed sharing these photos on Facebook and through other avenues. Through them, he always felt he was displaying the wonders of God. (Along with their Latin nomenclature!) Eventually, he was able to join area botany, birding, and mushroom clubs and was, we’re pretty sure, many people’s favorite member—often drawing them out in conversation, setting them at ease, and getting to know them. In mid-2018, his Waldenstrom’s required chemo again, and in early 2020 it had transformed to a second/additional lymphoma—Diffuse Large B-Cell. That summer, after more and tougher chemo, he was declared in remission from the DLBC; however, it returned very early in 2021, perhaps even earlier.

Jeff would be the very first to ask you to *please* not put him on a pedestal. Like everyone else, he had his strengths and not-so-strengths, but he learned to lean into the strengths with God’s help and to walk in God’s boundless love and forgiveness for the rest. Perhaps more than any other character trait, he was kind. He was also smart, wise, humble, fun, witty, approachable, unassuming, easy-going, patient, accepting, loving of all things nature, a man of integrity, and faithful to his last breath to God and to his wife and children.

Almost surely the most treasured possessions Jeff left behind on this earth are his Bibles, tattered from years of use, as well as his stack of pocket New Testaments. He carried one in his pocket wherever he went, often reading from it at sunrise, and often drawing it out to read something from it to another person whom he felt could benefit from just the right selection (that he might well have known by heart). As for things on this earth that aren’t possessions? Hands down, the loves of his life: Peg, Josh, daughter-in-law Beth, and Juniper. Profound treasures to him, each and all.

Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Ruth Moore; his dear uncle and aunt, Bill and Agnes Burlingame; his closest grandparent, Lydia Stremlow; ten of his father’s brothers and sisters; and his sweet, goldendoodle companions, Snapdragon and Sarsaparilla.

Remaining to celebrate his life are his wife, Margaret/Peg/Peggy Moore; his children, Joshua (Beth) Moore and Juniper Moore; his siblings, David (Linnea Hadaway) Moore, Jane (Kevin) Clark, and Randy (Amy) Moore; his father’s sister, Priscilla Strohbehn; Peg’s side of the family tree; and many, many cousins, in-laws, nephews, nieces, co-workers, and friends.

Special appreciation goes to Jeff’s very skilled and compassionate oncologist of ten years, Dr. Jerome Winegarden, and to the also very skilled and compassionate staff at the Saint Joseph Mercy Brighton Cancer Center where Jeff received most of his chemo infusions.

The family will be hosting two gatherings in Jeff's honor:

IOWA:
(INDOORS)
Saturday, June 5
2:00 Visiting
4:00 A focused time of honoring Jeff, followed by more visiting.
(No food is planned.)
Stonebrook Community Church
Ames, IA (link below)

MICHIGAN:
(OUTDOORS--bring your own food and beverage if you want [no alcohol, please]; definitely your own lawn chair and/or blanket.)
Saturday, September 11
Rain date: Sunday, September 12
4:00 Visiting
5:00 A focused time of honoring Jeff, followed by more visiting.
Willowicke Inn
Williamstown, MI (link below)

At both locations, we will be following the state's, city's, and venue's current COVID guidelines for masks, social distancing, etc.

Cremains will be put to rest in the Clinton Garfield Cemetery in Rolfe, IA, during a private family ceremony.

Memorial suggestions:
LifeChurch-Southfield: 24293 Telegraph Rd., Suite 210, Southfield, MI 48033

Riverview Church: 3585 E. Willoughby Rd., Holt, MI 48842

Saint Joseph Mercy Brighton Cancer Center: 7575 Grand River Ave., Brighton, MI 48188

Stonebrook Community Church: 3611 Eisenhower Ave., Ames, Iowa 50010.

Upcoming Events

Visitation

Saturday

11

Sep

4:00 PM 9/11/2021 4:00:00 PM - 5:00 PM 9/11/2021 5:00:00 PM
Willowicke Inn

251 Noble Rd.
Williamston, MI 48895

Rain date Sunday, September 12, 2021 OUTDOORS--bring your own food and beverage if you want [no alcohol, please]; definitely your own lawn chair and/or blanket.

Willowicke Inn
251 Noble Rd. Williamston 48895 MI
United States

Service

Saturday

11

Sep

5:00 PM 9/11/2021 5:00:00 PM
Willowicke Inn

251 Noble Rd.
Williamston, MI 48895

Rain date Sunday, September 12, 2021 OUTDOORS--bring your own food and beverage if you want [no alcohol, please]; definitely your own lawn chair and/or blanket.

Willowicke Inn
251 Noble Rd. Williamston 48895 MI
United States

Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

5

Jun

2:00 PM 6/5/2021 2:00:00 PM - 4:00 PM 6/5/2021 4:00:00 PM
Stonebrook Community Church

3611 Eisenhower Ave.
Ames, Iowa 50010

Stonebrook Community Church
3611 Eisenhower Ave. Ames 50010 Iowa
United States

Service

Saturday

5

Jun

4:00 PM 6/5/2021 4:00:00 PM
Stonebrook Community Church

3611 Eisenhower Ave.
Ames, Iowa 50010

Stonebrook Community Church
3611 Eisenhower Ave. Ames 50010 Iowa
United States

Memorial Contribution

Saint Joseph Mercy Brighton Cancer Center

Stonebrook Community Church

LifeChurch-Southfield

Riverview Church

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