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 Clarice Eudora <I>Pyles</I> Moore


Clarice Eudora Pyles Moore

Georgia, USA
Death 7 May 2006 (aged 90)
Kansas, USA
Burial Bethany, Oklahoma County, Oklahoma, USA
Memorial ID 137909226 View Source
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Clarice Eudora (Pyles) Moore, widow of prominent Nazarene educator Mark R. Moore, passed away May 7 in Leawood, Kansas. She was 90.

Born on October 2, 1915 in Pavo, Georga, Clarice was the youngest of three sisters and the daughter of William Pyles, a rural mail carrier, and his wife, Lelia. She grew up in the tiny community of Ione, Georgia, ("It wasn't much, just one store") five miles from the small town of Pavo. It was there she attended grade school in a two-room school house ("two rooms, not one").

Her childhood friends remember Clarice as a very determined young girl who "always wore clean white socks" and "washed her feet several times a day" to remove the dust and dirt from Ione's unpaved streets. Even at an early age she wanted things to be proper and refined. That never changed.

Clarice began high school in Pavo. However, for her last two years of high school she moved 350 miles south to live with an older sister in Fort Pierce, Florida, in order to attend a highly-acclaimed school there. She proceeded to graduate at the top of her class. Following graduation, she moved 130 miles further south to Miami. Again living with relatives, she worked in the "notions department of a five- and ten-cent store" to earn money to start college.

In 1934, Clarice enrolled in Bethany Nazarene College (now Southern Nazarene University) in Bethany, Oklahoma. She had learned about the school in Miami from a young evangelist, Ray Hance, who attended there. Clarice then got a ride to Bethany with a young professor at the college, Fred Floyd, whose own hometown of Donalsonville, Georgia, was about 80 miles from Pavo. The course of her life was changed forever.

Clarice graduated first in her college class in 1938 - the same year Ione finally got electricity. Excelling at academics while working to pay school bills, Clarice had also served in campus leadership positions. One of those was as secretary of the student council the same year her future husband, Mark R. Moore, was the student council president. Clarice and Mark were also honored as the school's outstanding female and male students, with their full-page pictures appearing opposite one another in the college yearbook. They would be at one another's side the rest of their lives.

Following her undergraduate work, Clarice earned a master's degree in history at the University of Oklahoma (OU), graduating summa cum laude in 1939. From then on, she was a loyal Oklahoma Sooners football fan - one of many traits she passed along to future generations of her family.

She and Mark were married following her OU graduation. He had become a Nazarene pastor in Texas, where she served in churches with him until 1944. At that point they agreed he should volunteer to become a U.S. Army chaplain.

When Mark went off to officer's training and then to Europe in World War II, Clarice moved to Indiana with their young son, living there with a sister while teaching school.

In early 1945, Clarice received a War Department telegram informing her that Mark was missing in action. His unit had been decimated in heavy fighting during the Battle of the Bulge in December, 1944. It wasn't until weeks later that she learned he was alive - captured by the Nazi army and held as a prisoner of war. As months passed, her faith in God and her characteristic quiet resolve never wavered. Mark returned safely home later that year.

After the war Clarice gave birth to a second son. During the next 20-plus years she continued to teach in public schools while also devoting much time to ministry assignments that complemented her husband's work as a Nazarene pastor and then as a district superintendent in Oklahoma and Illinois.

In 1968, she became "first lady" of Trevecca Nazarene College, where Mark had been elected president. Serving with grace and refinement in multiple roles, she became both a model and a mentor to many of the women students. In 1979, Clarice and Mark moved to Kansas City where Mark served as secretary of education for the Church of the Nazarene.

In 1987, a year after attempting retirement, Clarice and Mark made the joint decision to move to Nairobi, Kenya, to lead in the founding of Africa Nazarene University at the request of Nazarene denominational leaders. Working alongside her husband yet again, Clarice used her strong academic and organizing skills to help develop the curriculum and assist faculty and staff. The couple returned to the U.S. in 1991.

Still not fully retired, in 1997 she helped Mark in founding Global Christian Education (GCE), a not-for profit organization established to provide education to underserved populations in order to "equip the poorest of the poor for ministry and service." In the last years of their lives, Clarice and Mark dedicated much of their personal resources to GCE.

Clarice was preceded in death by Mark, her loving and devoted husband of 67 years, on February 15, 2006. She is survived by her two sons, Kent Moore (Phoenix, Arizona) and Brad Moore (Leawood, Kansas); by four grandchildren, Greg Moore (Phoenix), Stefanie Moore (Phoenix), Todd Moore (Leawood, Kansas), and Erin Richerson (Prairie Village, Kansas); and by four great-grandchildren.

The memorial service will be Saturday, May 13, at 4:00 p.m. at College Church of the Nazarene in Olathe, Kansas, preceded by visitation at 3:00 p.m. Burial will be in Bethany, Oklahoma at a date to be determined.

Memorial donations can be made to Global Christian Education in care of McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road, KC, MO 64145.
--Kansas City Star Obituaries, Moore familyn care of McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road, KC, MO 64145.
--Kansas City Star Obituaries, Moore family

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