Rufus W. Moore, 79, founder and president of RW Moore Equipment Company, died Sunday, July 20, 2003, at his home. He was a resident of Raleigh, NC.
Born on Feb. 8, 1924, Moore epitomized the philosophy that anything is attainable if one is willing to work toward it. Raised in Roxboro, NC, Moore moved to Garner, NC, a rural farming town, at the age of 13. Depression-era poor, Moore worked on his family’s farm until joining the Army Air Corp. immediately after graduating from high school.
As a B17 gunner during World War II, Moore flew 52 missions out of Foggia, Italy, and was later sent to Amarillo, TX, to teach. In 1945, he was discharged from the military and took a job as a city bus driver in Raleigh, making 85 cents an hour and working 18 hours a day. As veterans returned from war and began searching for jobs, Moore’s bus-driving days were shortened to 12 hours.
With a booming home construction industry came a new demand for landscaping. Realizing the potential market, Moore put his farming and military experience to the test and started a landscaping business in his off time. As his landscaping company began to blossom, Moore focused his attention on moving dirt and seeding yards, eventually purchasing a bulldozer to level building lots. Taking on heavier equipment, Moore increased his business to include tree removal and pond building and even hired employees of his own. In 1948, Moore stopped bus driving.
Over the next 18 years, Moore’s business began to take shape, as he took on more jobs, including construction and paving projects. His ties with the then small industrial division of John Deere led him into becoming one of the original John Deere heavy equipment dealers in 1962.
RW Moore Equipment has achieved tremendous success over the years and now has offices in Ahoskie, Fayetteville, Greenville, New Bern, Raleigh and Wilmington, all in NC.
Returning to his roots, Moore retired to his farm. "He considered himself a farm guy," said his son and RW Moore vice president, Dan Moore,
Even during retirement, Moore continued to work an "easy" eight-hour day, said his son. "He would come in at 6:15 and leave at 4:30. Before coming to work he would feed the cows and take care of the horses. At 4:30, he would leave and take care of the farm."
Moore was an active member and previous president of the Garner Chamber of Commerce and previous chairman of the Garner Education Foundation. He also served on the Garner United Methodist Church board of trustees.
He is survived by his wife, Joann Sammons Moore; two daughters, Teresa Moore Rue, Fuquay-Varina, NC, and Kimberly Moore Wright, Henderson, NC; three sons, Robert W. "Bill" Moore and Jason Daniel Moore, both of Raleigh, and Rufus Terry Moore, Wilmington, NC; 11 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.