Jerry L. Moore (1922-2013): An Advisor, Mentor, Friend, and Brother.
Jerry spent his formative years in San Antonio, Texas. Shortly after beginning college at Southwest Texas State University, Jerry and his twin brother interrupted their education to follow the call of World War II. Jerry joined the Coast Guard in 1942 and remained on active duty until 1945. His brother, Joe, joined the Naval Air Force and was killed while flying a night mission over the Pacific Ocean. After the war, Jerry returned to Southwest Texas where the two had begun their journey together. His time on campus predated the Pi Kappa Alpha era, but he was a member of the Harris Blair Literary Society. He graduated in 1948 with a BBA and in 1950 with an MBA. He later attended the University of Texas at Austin where he completed all but the dissertation requirements toward a Doctoral degree.
In 1950, he married Nelwyn Barnard and they settled in San Marcos where they raised their children, Jay and Amy. Nelwyn and Jerry celebrated 63 years of partnership.
Jerry devoted his early career toward education. He was a teacher, Junior High Principal, School Board Superintendent and Dean at the San Marcos Baptist Academy. His increasing positions of leadership in education soon led him to his ultimate career calling in business. Jerry was the consummate salesperson with an overriding desire to serve people. This natural talent and desire for service motivated him to accept a position with Southwestern Life Insurance Company in 1964. Across 4 decades he focused his business on serving the educational community, consistently receiving top producer and many other awards. The plaques that hung on his office wall on North Guadalupe Street was a testament not only to his success in business, but as recognition for his leadership, commitment and contribution to the San Marcos community in both charitable and civic capacities.
In 1976, he was recognized as the 26th recipient of the Southwest Texas State University Distinguished Alumni Award. Jerry continued to be active with the University and served as President of the Ex-Student’s Association.
He was a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and was a member of the Shriner; York Rite. Jerry continued his Masonry Masters education and completed the requirements to become a 32° Mason. He also received a Freemason invitation to become a member of the Royal Order of Scotland.
Jerry was a recognized and respected civic leader in San Marcos and was a successful educator and professional business and family man. However, one of his greatest pleasures came from his association with the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity. In 1969 he was initiated into the Pike Chapter and became a Pike. In the years that followed, due in large part to his leadership skills, business acuity, and reputation, the new Pike chapter was able to purchase a Fraternity house on Belvin Street.
Jerry was not only a Fraternity Advisor, Counselor, and Sponsor, but also a true champion and friend to the Fraternity. No matter the time of day or night he was prepared to listen, and offer wise and sage advice. He could be found on most early mornings holding court and drinking coffee at the San Marcos Drug Store with Pikes and people from all walks of life.
And on most days one could pass his office and smell the familiar aroma of his special blend of pipe tobacco wafting under the door. You would know he was there–no need to knock–and that a true friend with a welcoming smile would be waiting inside. If the door was locked, chances were Jerry was off pursuing his lifelong passion for hunting. Many were fortunate to share some of Jerry’s extraordinary capers involving the hunt.
Pikes that knew Jerry each have individual memories of their relationship with him. All those he touched would agree that he has had a permanent and lasting impact on their lives and on the Chapter.
His office at 218 N. Guadalupe Street is dark now, but Jerry will always be remembered and honored for the legacy that he leaves behind. The now-famous words of Tom Bodett remind us what Jerry said to Pikes in so many ways: ‘I am Jerry Moore for Pi Kappa Alpha and we’ll leave the light on for you.’
Jerry turned on the light for the Pike Chapter and he continues to shine on those who were privileged to know him. It is appropriate that the Pike Hall of Fame is named in his honor.