James Charles “J.C.” Moore began life’s greatest adventure on November 9th, 2017 passing quietly from this life with his family by his side. J.C. was born January 22, 1925 in Sullivan to Shelby and Fern (Pifer) Moore. J.C. was raised by his mother and two aunts, Freda and Irene, with the loving support of his grandparents. His nickname was Deacon, after a band of traveling gypsies came through Sullivan. Its leader played the clarinet, and was named Deacon. J.C. also played the clarinet, and for some reason he picked up the gypsy-leader’s name.
At Sullivan High School, J.C. was a standout athlete in football, basketball and baseball. He won a full scholarship to Illinois Wesleyan University, where he played football and basketball. He was a history major and a member of Sigma Chi Fraternity. He credits the success of the Dunkin’ Donuts chain to a paper he wrote at Wesleyan: “Duncan Donuts with Deacon.” *We somewhat question that story, but it’s one of so many he told over the years!
After graduating, J.C. returned to Sullivan to teach school. It was there he met the love of his life, the beautiful music teacher, Joyce Martin. They were married May 28, 1949 in the Sullivan Presbyterian Church. Joyce and J.C. had three daughters while living in Sullivan and teaching and coaching in several school districts in Central Illinois. For several summers, they owned and operated the Dairy-Ette in Shelbyville. J.C.’s favorite slogan was “I et at the Dairy-Ete!” During that time, J.C. obtained his Masters Degree in Education from Eastern Illinois University, and the family moved to Mattoon, where he would become the head guidance counselor at Mattoon High School.
J.C. was a Master Bridge player and a huge Cubs fan, but his real passion was playing golf. He scored several holes in one in his life, 4 on hole #11 at Mattoon Country Club. He loved playing with Joyce, his friends, and buying everyone a special new golf club for Christmas.
His true joy was in raising his three daughters, encouraging them through difficult times and cheering their success. At a time when men did not usually take an active role in child rearing, he learned to change diapers. Since Joyce also worked, J.C. was the one who attended daytime school events for the girls, like the ceremony to “fly up” from Brownies to Girl Scouts. He was also the dad who showed up with treats for the class on Julie’s birthday.
He was so proud of his girls as they graduated college, began careers and got married. However, he was perhaps even more proud of his grandchildren. He loved taking them on golf cart rides, letting them drive and teaching them how to putt, as well as where to find golf balls.
J.C. was a dedicated husband to Joyce for 67 years. Together they built a wonderful life, and set the standard for a loving relationship. He was a fun-loving guy who loved a good joke, a Cubs win, and once in awhile a good cigar. He enjoyed his friends and loved his family.
He is survived by Joyce and daughters Debbie (Chris) Olsen, Deanna (Chris) Andriano, Julie (Doug) Moore Wolfe; Grandchildren Matt (Jeanine) Andriano, Paige (Kevin) Toth, Bryce Olsen, Lisa (Anthony) Julian, Scott (Jenny) Andriano, Travis, Hannah, and Mallory Wolfe. Great grandchildren Elizabeth, Anna and Kate Andriano; Henry, Sam and Jack Toth; Scarlett Andriano; Jimmy, Emily and baby boy Julian due in April. He was preceded in death by his granddaughter Stacia Olsen.
Services to celebrate J.C.’s life will be Tuesday, November 14th at the First Presbyterian Church in Mattoon. Visitation at 10 a.m.; funeral at noon, and burial at Greenhill Cemetery in Sullivan. Memorials may be made to the Mattoon Schools Foundation, First Presbyterian Church or the Alzheimer’s Foundation.
The family of James Charles “J.C.” Moore is being served by Moran & Goebel Funeral Home, 2801 N. Monroe St., Decatur, IL 62526. Send condolences and share memories with the family at www.moranandgoebel.com