Intro and interview by grandson Hans Aschim • Photo by David Moore • Originally published in the Fall 2011 Inspire(d)
My grandparents, Donald and Ilene Moore, truly know how to live. With their lifelong commitment to serving the community and raising a beautiful family, time is always precious. Between tending a farmer’s sick calf late in the evening, organizing 4H events, and making sure all four children completed their schoolwork, keeping busy was never hard. Still, my grandparents have always made time for exploring hobbies, reading, traveling and constantly learning for the sake of learning. Here’s to living to the fullest and to two people I greatly admire.
What’s the best advice anyone ever gave you?
Donald Moore: The cheapest thing in the world is saying Thank You. It gets you more than anything else. Profuse ‘Thank Yous’ gets a lot of mileage.
Ilene Moore: Respect all people. No matter what their educational or financial situation is, respect everyone as people.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
DM: I didn’t think about it. I knew I wanted to go to college. Not a lot of people went in our day. When I started college, I started out with being a veterinarian in mind.
IM: I wanted to be in the Iowa Extension service, particularly with 4H clubs, working with education in farms and agriculture. 4H stands for head, heart, hand, health, for both boys and girls. It was an important influence in my life as a young person.
What did/do you do?
DM: Well, I became a veterinarian (laughs). As a vet, I did general practice. I also represented the government. My era was involved in cleaning up TB (tuberculosis) in cattle and brucellosis in cattle. We also represented the state of Iowa in the poultry and meat inspection agencies.
IM: I’d say you liked small animal care the best – working with people in the community, giving care for dogs and cats.
DM: I can still name some of their pets. I knew them well. I liked that more than anything else.
IM: I worked with the Extension Service, a community service providing education, especially educating farm wives, organizing the county fair and 4H Club. In those days it was hard to get about and communicate, the roads were so bad. The whole county was a different place to get to know.
What is one thing you couldn’t live without?
DM: My wife! (Laughs)
IM: If not, it might be your computer. (Laughs)
DM: I guess it’s better to say we couldn’t live without family. They never caused us any trouble (laughs).
IM: We have a great community in Decorah.
You’ve been married for 65 years this spring (2011). Tell us about your wedding day.
DM: The tulips were out. It was a nice day, all of the flowers were out. It was the 21st of April and we had good weather. It was an evening service on Easter Sunday.
IM: It was a simple wedding compared to what they are now. There wasn’t much for gifts. It was very post-war, there was a shortage of a lot of things. Housing was short and so were the things that went in it. It was a struggle to find a car. The kind of things people get now as gifts were hard to come by.
What are you most proud of?
IM: Don worked a lot of community service, serving for over 40 years on the board of the bank, in that time it grew a lot. We worked a lot on the hospital board.
DM: I did early fundraising for the hospital. Then I was out hunting for money for the American Cancer Society. When I walked in the door they’d pull out their checkbooks and ask how much! We’ve seen the hospital grow from a few general practitioners to a multi-specialty group. We’ve had good support from the community.
IM: I originally started raising money for the cancer society in 1948. A friend and I were the very first group to get representatives from different parts of the county to organize for the Winneshiek county cancer society.
Any thing else?
Decorah’s been good to us. We love it here. The community of the whole county’s been good to us- a great place to live, a great place to raise our family. We’re proud of our family.