June 10, 1958 - November 10, 2016
Austin, Texas | Age 58
Bradley Lawrence Moore died at his home in Austin on Thursday, November 10, 2016, at the age of 58. He is survived by his wife of 30 years, Michele Klaich Moore; mother Beverly Gillman; brother Blake (Tonya) Moore; stepsisters Rosalind (Dale) Price, Cynthia (Gary) Fisher, and Karen Berg; an aunt, one nephew and several cousins.
Brad was born June 10, 1958, in Pampa, Texas, to Beverly and Robert Moore. He grew up on a cattle ranch five miles down a caliche road from the nearest metropolis: Skellytown, population 967.
For a precocious, talkative and curious child, life on a remote ranch amidst the austere scrub and mesquite of the Texas Panhandle was sometimes lonely. He devised his own entertainment, creating a nine-hole, tin-can golf course and playing endless games of punt return with his brother.
He attended grammar school in a red-brick schoolhouse, and his 8th grade graduating class had seven students. It was here, at the Spring Creek School, that he encountered a strict and talented English teacher, who ignited within Brad a lifelong interest in language and literature.
Brad had a fiercely independent, sometimes contrarian streak. While his fellow classmates at Borger High School were listening to 70s rock and playing football, Brad reveled in the music of Ray Price and Bob Wills, and acting with the Thespian Club.
So for him, enrollment at the University of Texas in 1975 opened a world of opportunities that were inspiring and invigorating. He wrote about music for the Daily Texan and regularly haunted Antone's, the Soap Creek Saloon and the Armadillo World Headquarters, over time developing an encyclopedic knowledge of country, roots, and rhythm and blues music. He also made enduring friendships with a group of young men from East Texas who appreciated the intellect and joie de vivre that lay beneath his laconic West Texas facade.
Brad graduated with a degree in journalism from UT and went on to become a radio news reporter, first in Beaumont and then in Houston, where for a time he had his own radio news show, "Brad Moore at Large". He later covered Houston City Hall amidst a group of irreverent and close-knit journalists, who named him the Poet Laureate of the City Hall Press Corps. Sometimes, reporting was secondary to having lunch at Dirty's.
Brad met his wife Michele in 1983 and followed her to California, where they married in 1986. While in California, he persuaded a firm of well known political strategists that he could, indeed, drop his Panhandle drawl and went on to successfully handle media relations for several statewide initiatives including the establishment of the California lottery and tort reform.
But his heart remained in Texas, and in 1989 he convinced his Nevada-born wife to move with him to Austin. There, she began corporate communications work with Dell and he became a free-lance media consultant.
In Austin, Brad's early love of golf, music, literature and adventure converged in a way that allowed him to indulge his passions and gave his life added dimension.
Brad organized an annual golf outing with friends, often a complex and tedious task, but one in which he delighted—especially when a dear friend dubbed him "The Commish", short for Commissioner of Golf.
He harbored a lifelong dream of singing as a recording artist. With the help of a close friend who is a musician, bandleader and producer, that dream was fulfilled in 2011 with the creation of Brad's CD, That Old Texas Groove.
In 2014, he was honored with the Luminary Award from the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation for his contributions to literature and literacy in Austin, stemming from his deep involvement with three organizations dedicated to reading and the learning it fosters.
Extraordinarily well read, Brad became a longtime supporter of the Texas Book Festival and the Reading Rock Stars program, a literacy initiative among Title I schools.
As a member of the Advisory Council of the University of Texas Press, he envisioned and helped develop the Brad and Michele Moore Roots Music Series, an ongoing catalogue of books illuminating the careers of influential Texas musicians such as Billy Joe Shaver, Doug Sahm and Joe Ely.
More recently, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Austin Public Library Friends Foundation. With the Foundation, he was committed to the creation of a unique area in the new Central library downtown, which will showcase collections celebrating Austin's culture, including its vibrant community of authors, musicians and film-makers. These collections will be supported by The Brad Moore Endowment established in his honor.
Over the course of his 25 years in Austin, the small-town Panhandle boy with a lust for larger horizons had the opportunity to travel the world. He carefully researched every trip, whether it was to Morocco; or the Laikipia Plateau in Kenya; or Utopia, Texas. He grinned more than once when his Gallic nose and black jeans—definitely not his accent—led to his being mistaken for a Frenchman on the streets of Paris.
Brad's life was rich and rewarding. What made it especially so was a multitude of deep-seated and loyal relationships. His immediate family, although small, was very dear to him and he was devoted to his mother. He was a central figure in Michele's large extended family, who welcomed this exotic creature from Texas as one of their own. And he had a legion of friends in Austin and across the country, who laughed with him, exchanged impassioned opinions, and delighted in his complete lack of artifice.
Those who knew Brad well universally describe him as a sweet, kind and generous soul, a "giant of goodness" who would do anything for a friend and lovingly indulged his wife. For these qualities and more, he was beloved.
And always will be.
Michele would like to thank Drs. Glenn Halff, K.V. Speeg and Carmen Landaverde of the University Transplant Center at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. Their expert care enabled Brad to triumph over a medical condition that could have been fatal much earlier in life.
There will be a celebration of Brad's life in the spring next year. Memorial contributions in his honor may be directed to: The Brad Moore Endowment, c/o The Library Foundation, P.O. Box 13201, Austin TX 78711.
"We read to know we are not alone." -C.S. Lewis