George L. Moore, 1927-2011

George L. Moore died on Wednesday morning, January 19, aged 83. Born in Atlanta, GA on March 2, 1927, he contracted polio at age 3. He was taken to the Roosevelt Foundation at Warm Springs, GA, where he spent the next ten years. He learned to walk with braces and crutches, and did so until twenty years ago.

After high school in Sarasota, FL, he attended Rollins College for one year and then transferred to Stanford. He studied English with Wallace Stegner and Ian Richards, and took his MA in education.

He was the first teacher in the San Francisco public schools to use crutches; he was told he couldn’t teach if he couldn’t walk unaided, but Joseph Alioto, later mayor, was on the school board and overruled the administration. He taught in several inner-city junior high schools, and in 1964 was transferred to Lowell High School, the high-ranking academic school where he taught English and film for 19 years. A number of his students went on to work in film and radio. And none of them failed the composition test at UC.

His wife Diane, a Lowell graduate, found herself back at Lowell in 1965 as a student teacher. She and George were married the next year. George and Diane opened a secondhand bookstore in the Haight-Ashbury, called Charing Cross Road, where George worked both before and after his retirement from teaching.

During these years he was an official in the American Federation of Teachers, acting as treasurer for years and manning the office and acting as spokesperson during strikes. He was also active in the California Association of the Physically Handicapped, now Californians for Disability Rights, and was instrumental in making the San Francisco Municipal Railway wheelchair accessible.

George and Diane moved to Davis in 1986. George continued to be active on the State Council of Californians for Disability Rights, and on ADA and accessible housing committees in Davis and Yolo County. He was on the Safety Advisory Commission for several years and served as its chair, and he was on the Grand Jury for one year.

In recent years he has been a programmer and scheduler for KDRT radio in Davis. He had worked in radio in high school and college, and did not go into it as a career only because he graduated just when the war correspondents were coming back from World War II and there were no jobs in San Francisco, where he wanted to live. He was delighted to get back into radio in his old age.

George is survived by his wife Diane and his children Harlan Moore, Stuart Moore, Lisa Moore, Margaret Auer, and Julia Moore. He has three grandchildren, Jeffery Moore, Justine Hall, and Renee Emerton, and a large extended family.