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BYRON RALPH MOORE
June 28, 1928-March 21, 2022
Our amazing, talented, loving Daddy went home to be with Jesus the evening of March 21, 2022.
Dad was a talented artist and singer. His favorite song to sing at karaoke was “Those Were The Days”. A friend said now he is “entertaining the angels.” I’m sure he’s singing and his suffering is over. He had a heart attack and open heart surgery in the early 1990s. He still decided to live with gusto and a big heart for the whole world. He never met a stranger and demonstrated to everyone who knew him what love and acceptance looks like.
Byron was born in East Alton, Illinois to Oreland Ralph and Thelma Ione (nee Rowden) Moore and attended East Alton-Wood River Community High School. He served in the U.S. Army Air Corps from March 11, 1946 to July 18, 1947. After basic training in San Antonio, TX, he was an instructor of radar fundamentals for six months in Boca Raton, FL; then served at Langley Field, VA for two months as a radio mechanic. He was medically and honorably discharged. After his military service, in his early 20s, Byron owned a dry cleaning and laundry business. He studied mathematics and drafting through the University of Kansas and spent his career as a draftsman. His specialty was structural steel detailing and all drawings were done by hand. One company he worked for wanted him to study engineering in St. Louis, MO, but he had no desire to leave the drafting table.
Byron was wired for Art. His artist signature was byn. He progressed through three stages of his minimalist abstract style, his main influence and inspiration being the work of Piet Mondrian. He became a serious artist in the late 1960s. His first series painted with oils on masonite board was a continuous line series. “The Bearded Face”, a statement on American race relations in the 1960s, is in the permanent collection at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville. Many of his continuous line series paintings are in private collections. The culmination of that series, “Cityscape” is held by family, but seems destined for a museum. His second series of paintings started out as the Connect the Dots series and were painted on pegboard. His fascination with lines was evident in the infinite patterns of connecting the pegboard dots. This series then evolved into bolting boards together for a 3D effect (up to 14 boards bolted together). His piece “Watch It Go” was in the 2008 Minnesota State Fair juried show. His third series of paintings was with acrylic paint and textured with wood burning on OSB. Many of these works were in geometric or painting palette shapes. He loved to play billiards his entire adult life and created a small series of paintings called Byron Ball painted on canvas board with green background and various layout designs of small circles (seven yellow and seven red, cue ball and blue “8” ball). His final paintings were enlarged shapes from OSB transferred onto and painted on canvas board. His final painting was titled “Richard the Fourth”. He was also well known for hand painted and vinyl signs, as well as for mentoring, encouraging and inspiring artistic expression by other artists. Dad's favorite color was red and he would often play the part of Santa year round when he received the "Santa look" from children. He always enjoyed being Santa in the City of Afton's July 4th Parade.
He met his newest great grandson, Richard IV, the Sunday preceding his death. Every visit ended with “Tell everybody Hello.” He was a loving father to Terry and Anita Blair, David Moore, Melanie and Rick Vasterling, Leslie and Kevin O’Hara and Dawn (and Mike) Ferguson. He adored all his grandchildren, their spouses, children and grandchildren: Rene Sanders, Eli and Hannah, Judah; Lori Duran, Carlee and Brandon; Lisa Vidana, Steven and Miranda; Zach Ferguson; Victoria and Tim Mertz, Barry and Clark; Richard III and Esther Vasterling, Richard IV “Quade”; Kevin and Erica O’Hara; Caleb and Jalie Moore; Annie and Quinn Cullen; Phil and Kaitlin Vasterling, Koda, Byron, and Wilder. He will be missed by surviving second and third cousins, family, friends, and communities in Illinois and Minnesota.
Memorial service on June 24, 2022, 11:00 AM at Crossroads Church-Woodbury Campus, 5900 Woodbury Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125. Visitation one hour prior to the service and light luncheon to follow. Open invitation for Irish Wake Friday, June 24, evening at Beach Bar, Lake St. Croix Beach, MN starting at 7 pm.
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