By Rick Viczorek
I was extremely saddened a few days ago when I learned that my friend Bob Moore had passed away. Many of you knew Bob, some much better than I did. But despite our age difference, and relatively short time that I knew him, I considered him among my closest friends in Dana Point and a true hero and mentor.
I was first introduced to Bob when I joined the local VFW Post 9934, where Bob was already a member. And although our wars were 60 years apart (and he was in the Navy), we formed an instant bond. We found that we had much in common including our outlooks on our country, faith and family to name a few. I was extremely impressed that after all the service he had already provided during his life, that Bob was still serving our community on the South Coast Water District board as an elected director. And when I decided to run for City Council, Bob generously offered to help me and did so greatly despite the fact that he was in a difficult battle for his own reelection at the time. I will always be grateful to him for the kindness he showed, the time he took, the advice he provided and the introductions he made to assist me when no one would have faulted him for focusing on his own race. But that’s the kind of person Bob was.
But Bob’s generosity with his time did not stop there. He was a Past Commander of our VFW Post and every meeting that he was able to attend, he did. I always looked forward to seeing him at least once a month at our meetings. But let me tell a quick story that sums up why he was such a great man and why I admired him so much.
I greatly value character as a trait that is so important to have in our elected officials. And Bob had enough to put us all to shame. As many of you know, Bob decided to run for the South Coast Water District again in 2016, even though he had been unseated in 2014 after roughly a decade and a half of service on the board. Certainly, Bob knew how to run a campaign for this position, but he called and asked to meet with me so he could ask me questions about the upcoming election. Now here I was, a man half his age with just a sliver of the knowledge and experience he had, yet he was asking me for advice. We always hear that, “you’re never too old to learn.” Well, here was a man who didn’t think that was just a platitude. But what really struck me about that meeting wasn’t how Bob had humbled me by asking for my advice; it was how humble a man Bob truly was.
He showed me a campaign letter he had prepared to send to voters and asked for my opinion. I liked it, but told him I thought there was a glaring omission in that it made no reference to his background, specifically that he had served in World War II. Bob had left out his veteran status because most veterans are very humble about their service and he didn’t want to give people the impression that he was bragging about himself or deserving of special treatment. And there was the dilemma. Bob was demonstrating his character, which was shaped in part by his military service, by refusing to provide voters the information that showed that very character. I gave him my opinion that it was important to include that part of his background so voters could understand a little about who he was before deciding to vote for him. Ultimately, Bob included one understated line in the letter that said simply that he had served “in WW II,” but he did it begrudgingly. And that character is just one example of why he was a role model to me.
There’s a reason people of this age group are known as “the Greatest Generation.” It’s because it had people like Bob Moore. Bob, you will be missed.
Rick Viczorek is a Marine Corps reservist and Dana Point City Councilman.