Saturday, August 1, 2009

Maggie Agan Moore, 1903-1996

Maggie Agan Moore, the daughter of Lee Roy and Angeline Agan, was born August 19, 1903, in a little farm house in northern Lucas County, the seventh of nine children. She was the last one of that family, when she died, at Wesley Acres, on February 12, 1996, at the age of 92. She had lived at the Wesley Acres Retirement Home for 20 years and was always glad of her decision to move there. Her body was willed by her to the University of Iowa College of Medicine.

Maggie Agan Moore - After Retirement

She attended grade school at the Pleasant Valley country school one-half mile from their home. While in the fourth grade she knew she was going to be a teacher. Though she hadn't been to high school, when 17 she went to Chariton for a summer Extension School, passed the state examinations in sixteen subjects, and received a teacher's certificate! In a later Extension School she became better acquainted with Manford Moore, whom she knew as teacher of a school near Bluebird School, where she was teaching. They were married on July 21, 1926, and were educators ever after.

Maggie Agan - 1923

Maggie and Manford didn't go to "regular" college terms. They would teach school for nine months and then go to college summer school. And, they had two children, Gay and Leroy. Though Manford completed his education first, Maggie didn't give up. She graduated from William Penn College when she was 47. And she received a Master's degree from the University of Iowa just 12 days before she was 60!

They lived and taught in Haydock, Marysville, Lovilla, Jerome, Bouton, Coburg, Dallas, Rose Hill, Gibson and Barnes City. They they began their last teaching positions--on the faculty of William Penn College. Maggie was Dean of Women and taught Home Economics. Her favorite course was on The Family.

Magan Agan Moore
Gibson School Photograph

She continued at William Penn after Manford's death in 1967, and retired in 1972. After living for a time with her brother Roy in Chariton, she moved to Wesley Acres. She was Librarian for two years, but had to give it up because her sight was failing. She also conducted tours for visiting church (and other) groups from all over Iowa. Her log book shows that she conducted tours for 283 groups, who totaled 4,953 persons! She was very happy when Fern Agan, her sister-in-law, moved to Wesley Acres.

Maggie was a life-long Methodist and for the last several years has been a member of the Fort Des Moines United Methodist Church.

She always reminded her children that they were very fortunate people, because (1) they had such a wonderful man as a father, and because (2) they each married such outstanding persons -- Gay married Lewis Nichols and Leroy married Kathryn Fisher.

Maggie Moore with her two children,
Leroy Walton Moore & Gay Letha Moore

And she loved her grandchildren: Laurence, Gayletha, Charanne, and Loretta. She was gladdened at every good thing they achieved, received or did, both as children and as adults. In the same way, she was in love with her great-grandchildren: Nathan, Jeremy, Brian, Brandon, Rachel, Michael, Maggie, and Hannah. She didn't want to overburden the little children with her long title of GreatGrandMother. So she encouraged them to call her "Great." And they did. She never favored one over another. But she did think it was special that little Maggie was named after her!

At the last, nearly blind, too weak to stand or sit, her voice little more than a whisper, she still said the Spepherd's Psalm from memory and sang parts of several hymns. After one of them, she kept saying the last line of the hymn over and over: "Bless me now, my Savior, I come to thee!"
The editor sincerely appreciates the contribution of the above article to The Jerome Journal by the Rev. Leroy Moore of Indianola, Iowa. He is Maggie Agan Moore's son.

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