Arleta “Lee” Moore was born April 20, 1927 in Malin, Oregon to Lester and Kathryn Vanblericom. Her mother moved both Lee and her older brother Ralph to Grants Pass where they were welcomed to live with Lee’s Uncle Pete. Both Lee’s mother and uncle had to work, leaving Lee and her brother home with their elderly grandparents who had been living at the home as well. By the time Lee was nine years old her grandmother had become ill and was confined to her bed. Lee soon learned to cook and clean as the woman of the house. When her grandparents passed away, she was a young teenager. Her mother and uncle were still working and her brother had moved up north to live and learn how to become a butcher. A couple years later, her mother married and moved to Portland, leaving Lee to figure life out pretty much on her own.
Lee met George Eggers on a blind date and shortly after they were married. They had a daughter Linda in 1944 and in 1946 a son Dennis. They moved to Cave Junction and built a home. In 1949 they had a second daughter Carol. Not long after that Lee stopped to help a person who was driving drunk and wound up in a ditch. She injured herself while attempting to pull him from the car. This injury became life-threatening so they moved back to Grants Pass to be closer to medical help. Lee was later sent to Portland for surgery that had only been performed on one other person in the world. She pulled through after months of recovery. She and her family enjoyed the next four years in their home on S.W. I Street in Grants Pass. At this time her Uncle Pete had an injury and was unable to work so they went together, and bought a larger two-story home on “N.W. B” Street where they lived until 1966. During that time, the family did a lot of camping at Griffin Park; fun movies at Redwood Drive-in; a trip to Canada and after their oldest daughter was married, they took the two other kids and traveled back to South Dakota enjoying all the beautiful scenery on the way. By now George had encountered serious health issues and could no longer work. Lee turned their garage into a business and started her own ceramic shop where she made, sold and taught classes to help their income. By now her children were grown and gone so they had a new home built on the north end of Grants Pass. Lee cared for her Uncle Pete and her mother Kathryn.
In 1971, her husband George passed away at the age of 48 while Lee was 44 and had never had to work outside the home. She found a job working for an answering service, a denturist, and later went to work for Champion Outlet where she enjoyed working for several years. It was at this time she met Charles Moore. Shortly after, they were married in Hawaii. She sold her home and moved to the country with Charles where she enjoyed the peace, the wildlife, creating her garden and lots of flowers.
Lee and Charles enjoyed camping at Hyatt Lake and traveling to Hearst Castle and Las Vegas to see Charles’s family. She started golfing and became a natural. Winning several awards, she became the manager of Colonial Golf Course until the owner passed away and the course was closed. Lee was always willing to help anyone in need. During her life, she enjoyed many different kinds of crafts: rock tumbling; making quilts for both children and Veterans; making furniture for the grandkids; making wooden cutouts for their yards; Bibs for the nursing homes; gathering yarn for hats to give to school children and so much more.
She was raised to be independent and never quit no matter how hard it might be. She proved that when she broke a hip, had two weeks of rehab and returned home good as new. Two years later had a stroke that paralyzed one side. Her daughter was told if they flew her to Springfield immediately, she had a 10% chance of survival so off she went. Three days later she was back home working in her yard, good as new. A year later she fell and broke her other hip. The doctor refused to operate leaving her to live the remainder of her life in bed. However, she never quit making things to give to others.
During her life, she belonged to Degree of Honor, Rebecca Lodge and the Grants Pass Emblem Cub #444.
Lee lived in Grants Pass her entire life with the exceptions of the few months after birth and four years in Cave Junction. Lee proud to be an Irishwoman with the names McClay and McBriety in her family heritage.
Lee was preceded in death by her parents; brother Ralph; husband George; husband Charles; daughter Carol and her husband Rich Wright; and son-in-law Irvin Bridge. She is survived by daughter Linda; son Dennis (Janet); seven grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; and 11 great-great-grandchildren. She claimed many more as family including Wes, Lavern Wilson, Jan Reese, Sandi Smith, and Charles Shorb, without his dedicated love and time helping Lee, she would not have been able to remain at home. So many more referred to her as Mamma Lee.