Florence J. Moore, 81, skilled pianist who soothed many souls during church services

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Florence J. Moore
Florence J. Moore

Florence J. Moore died Friday, Aug. 21, 2015, at the age of 81. She slipped into a peaceful sleep at Sentara Regional Medical Center.

She was born on June 1, 1934, daughter of the late Rev. T. H. and Mrs. Frances Jones, of Toano.

At an early age, Florence accepted Christ as her personal savior under the tutelage of her parents, a Baptist minister and her mother who served as choir director. They both encouraged young Florence to perform during morning worship services, starting at the tender age of 5.

Mrs. Moore’s career in liturgical music began more than 75 years ago. Through perseverance and dedication, she became a skilled pianist who played all types of music, whether it be contemporary, gospel, anthems, spirituals or traditional hymns that seniors of the church still cherish and enjoy hearing. Her special gift and talent soothed the souls of many during church services.

She served as the minister of music at times for as many as five choirs. Just recently this August, on the Second Sunday, she directed the Senior Choir. Music was her life and it lives within her heart. As an accomplished pianist, Mrs. Moore was sought after by many in James City County for weddings, funerals and special programs. Most of her life, she played the piano for many of the churches throughout the area.

After 35 years of service at St. John Baptist Church, Mrs. Moore retired in 2008. She also retired with thirty years of dedicated federal service, as a human resources analyst, for the U.S. Navy.

Until her health began to decline, she transported the sick and shut-in as a medical escort with Faith-in-Action, providing transportation to and from medical appointments. Some of the patients she provided transportation to continued to send cards and notes of “thanks” because she took the time to help them and lend a listening ear.

Mrs. Moore volunteered during county elections serving as a poll monitor. She served on the school board during the early 1970s and 1980s. She was a member of the Williamsburg Negro Business & Professional Women’s Club, which was committed to offering an array of services designed to have a positive impact on the residents in the community.

These services included scholarships to students and networking opportunities for schools and jobs. It also sponsored debutantes, which guided young ladies entering into the world. This was an excellent opportunity for encouraging positive attitudes and offering the proper way to be a woman in society.

She was a member of the Petersburg Organist Guild, which promoted excellence in the performance of organ and choral music, offering an understanding and appreciation of Christian Music. The Guild provided members with opportunities to meet and discuss professional topics which in turn provided the necessary skills to excel when directing during worship services.

Mrs. Moore would always attend Hampton’s annual Ministers Conference at Hampton University, which offered an abundance of new music and great tools to teach and direct her choirs. She was educated in the James City County Public Schools and attended the Peninsula Business School and Thomas Nelson Community College, setting her sights on pursuing her degree in music.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 51 years, Trustee Robert L. Moore.

She leaves to cherish her blessed memories her devoted daughter, Gwenevere Rene Marshall and son-in-law, Clarence “CJ” Marshall; brother-in-law, John Edward Moore; and a host of loving family and many caring friends.

Mrs. Moore’s faith in Christ was shown in her expressions of music. She always said of her music, “Each effort came straight from the heart and always in the spirit of love.”

Through it all she maintained a full-time job and was a dedicated wife and mother as well as a mentor to those wanting to pursue playing the piano. She continually said, “You must challenge yourself first, in order to challenge others to excel and do their best.” She was a living example of what a true Christian should be.

The family would like to thank the Davita Staff and Dr. Shuping Wang for their quality care, dedication and professionalism during their loved one’s illness.

Mrs. Moore may be viewed from 10 a.m. to noon Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, at St. John Baptist Church followed by funeral services at noon, with the Rev. Walter Hudson officiating and the Rev. Clarence R. Bolton as eulogist. Interment will follow at the church cemetery.

Please leave online condolences for the family at Whiting’s Funeral Home.

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