After a courageous seven-year battle with Alzheimer’s, Richard (Dick) Moore passed away peacefully in his sleep on August 9 at the age of 87.
He was born in South Hill, Virginia, on December 8, 1932. He enjoyed a life full of adventure in the rural south with his father Harris (schoolteacher and coach) and mother Evelyn, along with his sister Bobby and his brother Sonny. They lived in such places as Virginia Beach, Virginia, and Sewanee, Tennessee, where his father was the football coach at the University of the South. It is here where he developed his lifelong passion for golf as he participated in many junior golf tournaments.
He and his family moved to Southern California when Dick was 17, and they later settled in Palos Verdes. He attended the University of Southern California where he joined the ATO fraternity and later served as president. From this point on, he was a lifelong USC fan, and his grandkids would say that they never saw a day when he was not wearing cardinal and gold clothing with Trojan emblems. He graduated in 1954 with a BA in political science and joined the Marine Corps as a lieutenant through his ROTC experience.
At USC he also met the love of his life, Margie Swanson, and they were married in 1954. After two years of active service, he left the Marine Corps as a captain to pursue a law degree at USC. He graduated 13th in his class out of 127 students in 1959.
He joined the firm of Cooper and Nelson where he served as an associate practicing criminal law and later became a partner. During this time, he served on Governor Reagan’s private sector welfare task force. In 1970 he was appointed to the municipal court bench by Governor Reagan and served until 1978. He also taught criminal law at West LA school of law. In 1978, he returned to his law practice and retired in 2014.
Margie and Dick settled in Pacific Palisades in 1957 to raise a family and lived there for 43 years. Dick was active in the LA Junior Chamber of Commerce. It was during this time that the chamber sponsored the LA Open golf tournament, and Dick served as chairman in 1966 when Arnold Palmer won. Dick also was a member of the Optimist Club, Pacific Palisades Y Advisory Board, president of the Y swim team, Boy Scout leadership and Trojan Board.
When it came to spectator sports, there was no bigger fan. Whether it be the Dodgers, Rams, Lakers, LA Kings and his favorite, the USC Trojans, he attended games whenever he could. He greatly enjoyed watching his three children at swimming and water polo events, and later his nine grandchildren, who called him Baba, at swimming, water polo, gymnastics, wrestling, soccer, baseball, football, volleyball and basketball. He was also a Palisades little league baseball coach for the Bruins and Orioles.
Dick also enjoyed travel. Cross country station wagon trips to national parks when his children were young provided a great lesson for loving our beautiful country. Dick and Margie also traveled and partied with their best friends “the Dirty 11.” Catalina Island was a traditional destination for the Moore family.
Fourth of July was a family favorite because Dick would design and create winning Fourth of July golf cart floats. He was also an avid painter.
Dick is survived by his wife of 66 years Margie, his sister Bobby Miller, son Dennis, son Eric, daughter Melinda Watson, nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. Memorial contributions would be appreciated in the name of Dick Moore to the Zilkha Neurogenetic Institute for Alzheimer’s research at the USC Keck School of Medicine: keck.usc.edu/zilkha/support-zni.
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