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SELMA — Joseph A. "Joe" Moore, former mayor, town councilman, fire chief, civic leader and owner of Selma IGA died on Dec. 31, only one week after celebrating his 83rd birthday.
Moore also served as a member of the local board of directors for BB&T, served 50 years with Selma's volunteer fire department and was known as an active conservationist.
Moore was preceded in death by his wife Frances. He is survived by daughter Kim House and her husband Gary.
Moore was an active member of Selma Baptist Church, where he served as a deacon.
"Most of us who grew up in Selma have known Joe Moore all our lives," said town Councilwoman Ann Williams. "He has been involved in so many of the avenues we have all traveled it is hard to imagine not seeing him around."
"We saw him every day at his IGA where most of us shopped for years, and not only did he operate a very successful business, but we watched as he quietly helped countless citizens, completely without fanfare, with food and other kindnesses in times of personal crisis," said Williams.
Williams described Moore as a natural leader who earned the respect of his team and was dedicated to protecting town residents and their property when they were faced with impending disaster and needed help most.
She called the fire department Moore's "home away from home" where he volunteered for years long before firefighters were paid and added that as mayor, he dedicated himself to improving every department and business opportunity in town while overseeing one of the most productive times in Selma's history.
"Joe Moore was like a father and mentor to me," said former Selma town manager Bruce Radford. "We laughed and cried together."
"His heart was as big as all outdoors and his contributions to his fellow man are unlimited," said Radford. " The town of Selma has lost a stalwart supporter and he will be greatly missed."
Selma dentist and close friend Dr. Dicky Parrish said Moore was a "quiet leader that made things happen and got things done."
"Joe Moore was an exceptional guy and one of the finest people I have ever known," said Parrish. "He was a good friend of everybody and helped a lot of people. I have never known anyone who did more for people across the spectrum."
Parrish, who was in the same Sunday school class with Moore for 45 years, called him "Selma born and bred."
Selma Mayor Cheryl Oliver said Moore was known for his leadership and outstretched helping hand.
"Whether as an elected official, businessman or civic leader, he was focused on serving others and improving our town," said Oliver. "He did not seek recognition for his service, he just sought to meet a need wherever he saw it."
"With the passing of Joe Moore, Selma has lost a strong and dedicated advocate," said Johnston County Commissioner Ted Godwin. "When I first met Joe, he was the sitting mayor of Selma and was still active in his business, which was a community icon. He was active in the chamber and was always a supportive voice for the county, but make no mistake, his first love was for Selma and its growth and well-being."
"Joe Moore was a fine man - a man that I have always respected greatly," said Johnston County Manager Rick Hester. "We will all miss him."
"When discussing service to others, Abraham Lincoln said it best,' said Ann Williams. "'And in the end, it is not the years in the life, but the life in the years.' If that is, indeed, the measure of a great man, then there are few who can measure up to Joe Moore. He dedicated his life to us - to Selma."