David Gordon Moore was born in Crawford, Nebraska on February 6, 1945. He died at his home near Crawford, Nebraska on April 17, 2021, after a brief battle with cancer. David is survived by his step-children, Mike (Laurie) Harris, Roger (Julie) Harris, and Linda (Joel) Smith, and their families; and his sisters, Susan (Ted) Vastine, Nancy (Gary) Fisher and Jenny (Lee) Hughson, and their families. He was preceded in death by his wife, Donna Harris Moore, and his parents, Gordon and Frances Moore.
At David's request, no services were held. A veteran's memorial plaque will be placed at the Crawford Cemetery.
The family is planning to establish a memorial sponsorship in his name for the Crawford High School Rodeo. Contributions can be sent to
617 W. Ash Creek Rd.
Crawford, NE 69339
This tribute was written by his niece, Maria Fisher Tibbetts, on April 17, 2021.
“It ain’t dying I’m talking about, it’s living. I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.” ~Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry
My Uncle David loved Western movies. I never asked, but this was probably one of his favorites.
Uncle Dave died early this morning. He spent his whole life within a mile of the house he died in, minus a year in Vietnam.
There was a lot I never asked him. As a kid I was scared of him. He was gruff and didn't talk much, and as a bachelor for two-thirds of his life, didn't have a lot to say to a little girl.
I did ask him, recently, about his time in Vietnam, where he operated heavy equipment. He said his job was to push rocks down the stair-steps of a quarry, so they could build a bridge. "I never fired my weapon while I was there," he said. That area of conflict heated up after he left, and who knows--maybe pushing those rocks helped bring someone else's uncle home.
He fired plenty of weapons once he returned, though. He enjoyed guns, hunting, cutting up meat and making jerky and summer sausage, and reloading ammunition.
He also had his pilot's license, and kept a little plane in the hangar behind his house for a while.
He bought a team of horses--Dan and Doll--and a wagon to give wagon rides and drive in parades. He also bought a pedal tractor and organized tractor pulls for kids at the county fair.
Like his dad, Gordon, he loved horses, roped in high school, and ranched horseback until he saw the benefits of a four-wheeler.
Like his mom, Frances, he liked cooking. He shared cooking tips with my aunts and me, and liked trying out new gadgets, like his electric pressure cooker and air fryer.
Back to Gus and his theory on life and death--he never would have said so, but Uncle Dave's motto probably would have been more about how you lived and died, than where.
Last week a friend of Uncle Dave's told me "I never had a friend like Dave." He told of asking Dave to help haul his heifers home when he ran out of pasture, figuring he'd have to put them in the corral and start feeding them hay. Those heifers never arrived. The friend called and asked if everything was okay. Dave replied, "Yeah, I had some extra pasture, so I just dumped them out there." That wasn't the only story of its kind.
Another neighbor said Dave hauled their wheat to town for them, and wouldn't let them pay him for it. "He was a good man," they said.
Those few words summed up his life. He wasn't counting on being repaid, or taking advantage. He had something that someone else needed, so he gave it to them.
When I separated from my husband, I asked if I could move into my grandparents' house, which had been vacant for 20 years. He said yes, and when I pressed him about what I could plan to pay for rent, he said, "It's probably worth more for me to have you there, than it's worth in rent."
When his health started to fail, I stopped one day and Dave was sitting in his front room, next to his stacks of Western novels, his closed laptop, his unopened newspapers, with the radio off--all evidence that he never especially craved company, didn't need noise. He said he spent most of his time staring out the window. I guess that's when it starts to matter where you die.
Because at some point it has to become about the dying too. And when it does, you want to have lived well enough that your people gather around to ease that passage. And you want to have gathered the kind of people who will.