James Norman MooreArlington, TX, 1931 - 2017 0comment
Dr. James Norman Moore, formerly of Fayetteville, Arkansas, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, Sunday, January 22, 2017 in Arlington, Texas. Jim (or Norman, as he was known to family) was born June 10, 1931 in Vilonia, Arkansas and grew up in Plumerville. He served in the Air Force following high school and met his wife, Janita (Jan) Fitzgerald of Morrilton, soon after discharge. Encouraged by his mother while growing up, he displayed a strong interest in academics and attained an associate degree from Arkansas Tech in 1954, followed in 1956 by a bachelor's degree in horticulture and in 1957, a master's in horticulture, both from the University of Arkansas. After earning his PhD from Rutgers University in 1961, Jim worked for the U.S. Agriculture Department at Beltsville, Maryland, as a fruit breeder. When asked to move back to Arkansas to begin a faculty appointment in fruit breeding at the University of Arkansas in 1964, he was more than glad to come back to his home state.
Dr. Moore developed a very broad breeding program that encompassed the first upright primocane blackberries, strawberries, peaches, grapes, and blueberries, with more than 50 varieties released from his efforts. Among the most important were Cardinal strawberry, Navaho and Shawnee blackberries, Reliance and Mars grapes, Bonfire peach, and Ozarkblue blueberry. After retiring from leadership of the Arkansas fruit breeding program in 1996 and handing it over to his successor and one of his brightest students, Dr. John Clark, Dr. Moore's genetic contributions continued to result in new varieties of fruit, including Prime-Jim® blackberry, Norman blueberry, GoldJim peach, and Amoore Sweet nectarine. The most famous of Jim Moore's collaboration with Dr. John Clark resulted in the mother plant used in hybridizing the "Cotton Candy"™ grape, with its flavor of pink cotton candy coming from the Arkansas plant.
A prolific writer, Dr. Moore had more than 300 professional publications in his career, including co-authoring international reference books on fruit breeding. In addition, he was an accomplished speaker, giving presentations to grower and professional meetings in his career. He served as president of the American Society for Horticultural Science and American Pomological Society as well as numerous department, Division of Agriculture and university committees. Having received many awards in his career, he was recognized as a distinguished professor at the University of Arkansas, its highest academic appointment. He also received the UA Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award, the University Of Arkansas System Division Of Agriculture Spitze Land Grant University Faculty Award for Excellence and the Wilder Medal from the American Pomological Society. He was a Fellow of the American Society for Horticultural Science and was inducted into the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame as well as the Hall of Fame of the American Society for Horticultural Science.
For all his successes in the orchard and vineyard, Jim Moore's real love was growing students at the University of Arkansas. He taught at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, averaging six to 10 graduate students each year. His students described him as both approachable and unassuming. As one outstanding student remarked, "We were being taught by a great man, yet you would never know it from his manner. He loved to work with students on their various research projects and inspire them to make a difference in their careers".
Jim promoted scholarship and education in his students and his children. Every summer the family vacation was an educational adventure. He drove very circuitously to the final destination so his family could see cultural and historical sites, ruins and national parks. Likewise, he instilled the conviction of wisdom and learning into his grandchildren, of whom he was very proud.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, Jimmy L. and Mittie (Terrell) Moore, brothers Vancil and Billy, sister Geraldine and granddaughter, Lauren Millican. Jim is survived by his wife, Janita (Jan) Fitzgerald Moore, daughter, Pam Millican (Scott) and grandchildren Ryan Tharp (Amy) and Hilary Millican, son, David Moore (Diana) and grandchildren, Chris Riley and Shawn Riley (Janie), great-grandchildren, Elliott Tharp and Ethan Riley and several nieces and nephews, as well as his students, who became a part of his family.
Visitation will be held 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Friday January 26, 2017 at Moore's Chapel .Funeral services will be at First Baptist Church in Fayetteville, Arkansas, at 2pm Saturday, with interment following at Fairview Gardens. Memorials may be made to the University of Arkansas Foundation for the James N. Moore Fellowship. Arrangements under the direction of Moore's Chapel. Memorials may be made to the University of Arkansas Foundation for the James N. Moore Fellowship, c/o Department of Horticulture, 316 Plant Sciences Bldg., Fayetteville, Ark. 72701. To sign the online guest book visit www.mooresfuneralchapel.com.
Published January 26, 2017
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206 West Center Street, P.O. Box 1149, Fayetteville, AR