Ralph Mackay Moore, age 59, died on Aug. 22, 2015 in Walla Walla, Wash., after a short battle with cancer. His wife, Nancy (Strickler) and his sons, Lucas and Taylor were by his side.
Ralph was born on Oct. 9, 1955 in La Grande to Ralph E. and Katherine (Flanagan) Moore. He spent his early years living with his mother on the Flanagan family farm in La Grande while his father served overseas in the Army. In 1957, the family relocated to Huntington Park, Calif., where Ralph would spend much of his childhood. Each year, the family would make their way back to the Flanagan Farm and reconnect with his grandparents, aunts, uncles, and many cousins.
In 1971, the family returned permanently to La Grande. By then, Ralph was big brother to six and enjoyed many moments with all of his siblings, hiking, hunting, fishing, camping and adventuring all over Eastern Oregon. In 1974, he joined the Army for a four-year tour of duty and during that time on July 5, 1975, he would marry the love of his life, Nancy, in a beautiful garden ceremony on the family farmland that would forever hold his heart.
In 1978, Ralph began attending Eastern Oregon State College majoring in the Fine Arts Program. This was a special time in Ralph’s life and the mentorship of Tom Dimond, Ian Gatley, Judd Koehn, and Tom Morandi would launch a life-long commitment to the arts.
Throughout Ralph’s professional life, he would remain connected to creating and craftsmanship. He worked as a jeweler, a sign designer and painter, as well as a top metal tooler and welder for several of the bronze foundries in Wallowa County. Throughout college and his adult life, Ralph was awarded many opportunities to put his own creativity to work and in 2002, recreated the “Cast Iron Mary” for Max Square in downtown La Grande.
Ralph loved many things about life on this earth — BMW’s, old automobiles, the outdoors, horses, sketching, cupcakes, and Oregon Duck football to name a very few. He will forever be remembered for his extreme artistic ability, strong and liberal political opinions, and his compassion for every living thing on this earth. Above all, Ralph loved, loved, loved his family including his beautiful granddaughter, Taylinn.
Ralph was passionate about the care of our country’s war veterans and in lieu of flowers the family has asked that memorial donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project through the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla, WA. The family will hold private services in Walla Walla later this month. Family and friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herringgroseclose.com.