E. Otis Moore

E. Otis Moore

E. Otis Moore, Jr., 93, of Kerrville, Texas, passed away on November 23, 2022. He now rests in the arms of the Lord.

There will be a celebration of life service on December 10, 2022 at 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Kerrville. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes can be made with charitable donations to the Otis and Marilyn Moore Endowment at Mo-Ranch, or with a Tribute Gift to Mo-Ranch.

Otis was born to E. Otis Moore Sr. and Sarah Elizabeth Miller Moore on March 25, 1929 in Gonzales, Texas. He graduated from Gonzales High School in 1946 when he was 17 years old. He attended the University of Texas in Austin, and while there he met Marilyn Odette Greenwood through a college group at University Presbyterian Church.

That college group was invited by Mrs. Moran to have a weekend retreat at her property that the Synod was planning to purchase to use as a conference center. Marilyn and Otis both attended the retreat. When they arrived, the entrance was marked by large cedar logs spelling out MO-RANCH. Someone in the college group asked Marilyn and Otis to sit in the middle of the M and the O since their names began with those letters and took a photo. Little did they know that 24 years later they would become intimately involved with Mo-Ranch when Otis became president of Presbyterian Mo-Ranch Assembly. We treasure that photo.

Otis and Marilyn dated and fell in love during college. Upon graduation in 1950, Otis pursued a Divinity degree at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Once Marilyn graduated, they were married on August 26, 1952.

Otis graduated from Seminary with a degree in Divinity in 1953 and was ordained into his first pastorate at a newly established Presbyterian church in Big Spring, Texas. He later served at First Southern Presbyterian Church in Austin (now Central Presbyterian Church), First Presbyterian Church in Orlando, Florida, First Presbyterian Church in Houston, Texas, and Bellaire Presbyterian Church in Bellaire, Texas. Otis was known for being an enthusiastic recreation leader with youth groups at the churches he served. As a side gig, he took up referee-ing and enjoyed that activity on football fields in Austin, Orlando, Houston, and small towns across the Hill Country.

Otis was called to be President of Mo-Ranch in 1973. Mo-Ranch changed dramatically during Otis’s presidency. He envisioned a full program of Christian-led events, summer camps and conferences for youth and adults. He traveled throughout the region to secure the necessary financial support (no such thing as the internet back then). His strategy produced remarkable results; through his successful fundraising, new buildings were constructed, including new lodging facilities for guests as well as staff housing.

New programs were added, and existing programs were expanded, and attendance grew substantially. Otis facilitated the addition of the Nicklos Ranch property which expanded Mo-Ranch to include a hilltop retreat and an outdoor worship place overlooking the Guadalupe River. He also established the Volunteers in Ministry program which was a wonderful way to engage people in service for Mo-Ranch. Otis found time to complete a dissertation and obtain a Doctorate of Ministry in 1977 from McCormick Theological Seminary. Otis served as President for 18 years, retiring in 1991.

After retirement, Otis and Marilyn enjoyed traveling the country and around the Hill Country in a fith wheel RV. In 1998, Otis and Marilyn started an annual GrandCamp where they had their grandchildren stay with them for a week. They planned an entire week of programs, meals, indoor crafts and outdoor crafts, “train” rides around the property in “box” cars behind the tractor mower, and Bible studies. A natural storyteller, Otis enjoyed making up stories to entertain the grandchildren – with a special favorite being the Jiminy Cricket stories.

Otis was an avid game player, often making up games for our family to keep us kids from getting bored on car trips. He enjoyed playing all kinds of games with the RV travel group.

Otis was diagnosed with a gradually progressive neurologic disorder that eventually took away his ability to walk. Despite being confined to a powered wheelchair for the better part of the last 20 years of his life, he never complained or let it slow him down in his enjoyment of others, or his compassion and caring for them.

Otis is survived by his wife of 70 years, Marilyn; and their children, Merrie Moore Cavanaugh and husband Dan, Terrie Moore Fryer and husband Mike, and James Otis (Jim) Moore and wife Martha Leatherman. Otis leaves behind his seven grandchildren, Connor and Meridan Cavanaugh, Joseph and Elizabeth Fryer, and Jameson, Jonathan and Rachel Moore.

Otis was preceded in death by his brother, Robert Lewis Moore; and sister, Anne Louise Moore Eaton.

Our family thanks the team at Heart Choices who help us greatly with caring for our parents. We are also grateful for the individual caregivers that have attended to Otis over the last few years.

After the Celebration of Life service in Kerrville, the family will gather later in December at the columbarium at Mo-Ranch for a private service.

 Grimes Funeral Chapels of Kerrville

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