Portrait honors former court clerk

Published 8:56 am Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A former Lunenburg County circuit court clerk known for his love of the county and his gentle, fun and inspiring leadership was honored at the county’s courthouse Sunday with a portrait that will soon hang in the historic 1827 courthouse.

Seats inside the second-floor courtroom filled Sunday as family members, county officials, historians and friends gathered to pay tribute to the late Willie Roy Moore.

Frances Willis, of Victoria, painted the portrait.

Moore served the county for nearly 60 years as the deputy treasurer, commissioner of the revenue and as clerk of the circuit court, where he worked for approximately 28 years.

Family members of Moore, friends and members of the Lunenburg Historical Society spoke Sunday on Moore’s life and impacts on

members of the community.

Moore, born in 1907, passed away in 1989 at 82 years of age.

Among the speakers were Betty Mae Featherstun Daniel, Moore’s niece; Stephen Israel and Anne Hamlett, the president and vice president of Lunenburg Historical Society, respectively; Chief Judge of the 10th Judicial Circuit Leslie Osborne; attorney Bob Hawthorne, of Hawthorne and Hawthorne Kenbridge, and Lunenburg Circuit Court Clerk Gordon Erby.

“Roy was a legend here in this county,” Israel said, noting while he did not know Moore in person, researching and reading about him increased his respect for the late clerk of court.

Hawthorne said Moore’s humor was an integral aspect of his life. He said a visit with Moore in the intensive care unit near the end of his life left them both laughing so hard Moore’s heart monitor rose, causing the nurse to have Hawthorne and other friends to leave the room.

Hamlett said she was struck, even when she was young, by Moore’s presence in the community.

“He set standards very high for people who followed,” Hamlett said.

Those who spoke said Moore knew the names and the exact places on the map of the homes of numerous people who lived in the community. Rather than introducing himself, friends said Moore often told them what he knew about them first.

Moore was an active member at Victoria Christian Church, later developing a Sunday School class, which is still named in his honor.

He was known as the resident candyman who offered gum and sweets to kids at the church, and often hosted students during school trips to the courthouse.

Daniel, who spearheaded the request to have a portrait painted of the late clerk, said she was honored to see Moore honored.

“I’m so thankful that we have an opportunity to pay tribute to such a servant of God,” Daniel said.

Erby said he was glad for the community to honor Moore for the legacy he left.

“It’s a great day for Lunenburg,” Erby said. “Roy Moore is one of the greatest public servants in Lunenburg history.”