William Luke Moore was born in Cascade, Idaho on February 25th, 1923 to Luke Lewis Moore and Gertrude Kerby, brother to Mary Elizabeth Moore (Van Patten) and Barbara Jane Moore (Mathisen) and later to Katherine Moore (Strawn). He was raised and attended school until his freshman year in Emmett, Idaho. When his mother passed away in 1938, he was sent to Castle Heights Military Academy in Lebanon, Tennessee for three years, graduating in 1941. Having completed years of ROTC at the Military Academy and six weeks of summer camp at Fort Lewis he was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant in the Infantry and called to duty at Camp Forrest Tennessee in June 1942. He was subsequently assigned to Fort Custer, Michigan, Camp Maxey, Texas and Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia. Reassigned to the 42nd Infantry Division at Camp Gruber, Oklahoma, he was then transferred overseas through Camp Mead, Maryland to join the 9th Infantry Division in Normandy, France. He was assigned as an Aide de Camp to Brigadier General Hammond D. Birks. Bill served in England, France, Belgium and Germany, participating in the D-Day Invasion of Normandy, the Battle of the Bulge where he earned the Silver Star, and the liberation of Nazi concentration camps in Germany. He remained with General Birks when the General was assigned to command the separation center at Camp Beak, California from which Bill was separated from military service in April 1946.
Back home after the war, Bill attended San Jose State College majoring in business and then returned to Caldwell to work for the Idaho Department Store chain his father had helped found. He started as a sales associate, became a department head, store manager and ultimately a member of the Board of Directors until his retirement in 1980. He was Director of Development at the College of Idaho from 1970 to 1973 and longtime member of the Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church, the El Korah Shrine, Idaho Freemasons, Rotary International, SCORE and the Canyon County Mounted Sheriff’s Posse.
His military service, which he rarely spoke about, was an important chapter of his life but Bill’s real story began in the summer of 1946 in McCall when his cousin, Mary Anne Pasley (Kennevick) introduced him to a beautiful friend, Mary May (Mitzi) Gates, from Beverly Hills. In a seemingly unlikely outcome which has become an integral piece of family lore and the source of much laughter, the two fell in love and married on January 28th, 1948 in the Stanford Chapel. They celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in January 2018. Their love story was truly epic, producing four children - Gertrude Louise (1950), Brian Luke (1952) (Debbie Moore), Mary Lynn (1954) (Salem Hassan) and Steven Gates (1959) (Helen Moore); eight grandchildren (Ben, Michael, Robert, Alia, Amani, Samia, Briana and Kyle) and four great grandchildren (Sam, Sophie, Keylee, Wyatt).
Bill was a man of honor and integrity, a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, a true friend to many from all walks of life. He was a “champion of the spirit” who believed that people could always improve, no matter what their circumstances, and he was always there to lend a hand to that end.
While his passing will leave an enormous hole in our lives, his essence has become an integral part of, who we are and what we have become and thus we are comforted in the idea that he will always be with us in our hearts.
The family is grateful for the exemplary care provided by the staff of Touchmark and in particular that of Mrs. Debbie Duvall, who was at his side several days a week for many years. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that memorial contributions be made to the Idaho Youth Ranch.
A memorial service to celebrate Bill’s life will be held on May 20th at 2:00 p.m. in the Coeur d’Alene room at Touchmark in Meridian. A private burial will be held the following day at Canyon Hill Cemetery in Caldwell on May 21st at 10:30 a.m. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com.