(Photo: The Lion's Roar Yearbook) 1970 edition, p. )
David Eimon Moe, 87
(Obituary Reference: Published in the Northfield News, Northfield, MN, Tuesday, 10 April 2012)
David Eimon Moe, age 87, passed away on the morning of Friday, April 6, 2012, at the Care Center of
the Northfield Retirement Community, attended by his nephew Tryg Velde and the nursing staff.
David was born on his father’s birthday, Feb. 8, 1925.
The third of five siblings, he grew up in Paso Robles, Calif., where he graduated from high school in 1943. During World War II, he attended navy officers’ training at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo. In 1944, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the U.S. Navy Reserve at Notre Dame in Indiana. He served in Shanghai, China, helping troops return stateside. He once remarked that he was the only officer aboard ship to suffer from seasickness.
After the war, he returned to complete his education at Missouri Valley College, earning a B.A. in Physics and Math in 1948. He then studied physics at Washington University in St. Louis, earning an M.A. in June 1950 and a Ph.D in February 1956. His thesis topic was the ionization of positive ions. Subsequently, he served as instructor of physics at the University of Kansas (1950-53) and as an assistant at Washington University (1953-56).
After that, he taught at Case Western Reserve and eventually returned to California to teach at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo. In 1964, he moved to Putney, Vt., where he taught at Windham College. During that time he was married to Lynne Walker, and they had a son, Ion.
After retiring in 1979, he divided his time between Putney, Vt., Northfield, and Paso Robles, Calif., traveling cross-country by Greyhound Bus (which he perfected to an art form, writing that “a leisurely trip across America by bus is not the worst way to wait out eternity.”)
He summered in Putney, living simply in a one-room cabin and growing most of his own food; wintered in Northfield with his sister, Solveig; and spent the time in between in California. He also traveled extensively in Europe, England, Norway, and India.
Starting in the mid-1980s, David produced over 400 devotional tapes consisting of scripture, prayers, readings, and hymns. Using these tapes, he and his sister, Solveig Moe Velde, began the tradition of afternoon Vespers services at the Northfield Retirement Center. For their volunteer ministry, David and Solveig received a Minnesota Health and Housing Alliance Volunteer of the Year Award in 2002 and were recognized as Unsung Heroes in 2004 in the Northfield News.
In 1987, David helped develop a summer educational program in Covelo, Calif. Its purpose was to “provide practical experience in organic gardening and basic shelter construction ... as an exercise in the techniques and philosophy of self-reliant living.” Readings for that program were taken from the works of his heroes: Thoreau, Gandhi, Wendell Berry, and Scott and Helen Nearing.
Around that time he also designed and helped build a one-room home with sleeping loft in Cambria, Calif., where he enjoyed walks in the woods and along the Pacific shore, visiting with friends and neighbors, and “savoring ample leisure time for reading, writing, and day dreaming.”
During his later years in Vermont, David attended the United Church of Putney. After Sunday services, he would host a gathering in the church garden called “Afternoons with the Muse.” Participants would bring favorite poems to read with the group.
In 2006, after a fall, David moved to assisted living at Parkview East of the Northfield Retirement Community. In 2008, he transitioned to the Cardinal Unit of the Care Center. In November 2010, he was delighted to meet his first and only grandchild, Evan Moe.
David is survived by his son, Ion (Yvette) Moe, Ion’s mother, Lynne Walker, and grandson, Evan Moe — all of San Diego, Calif.; sisters, Solveig Moe Velde of Northfield, and Clara (Ken) Reidel of Paso Robles, Calif.; sisters-in-law, Marilyn Moe of Paso Robles and Jeanette Moe of Whitehall, Wis.; neices and nephews, Dr. Tryg Velde of Minneapolis, Inga Velde of Northfield, and Sonja (Kenneth) Wall of Wilbraham, Mass., Steve Moe of Clovis, Calif., Sydney (Dale) Andersen of Arroyo Grande, Calif., Don (Joni) Moe of Paso Robles, Calif., Linda Reidel of Atascadero, Calif., Debra (Dick) Weisgerber of Defiance, Ohio, Robin (Bob) Skaggs of Neosho, Mo., and Karen (Dennis) Bradley of Glendale, Ariz.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Sigrid and Melvin Moe, and his brothers, Clark and Bick Moe.
Services will be held at 2 p.m., Saturday, April 14, 2012, at the Northfield Retirement Community Chapel with Pastor Kristine Braaten-Lee officiating. Music will be provided by Arthur Campbell. Refreshments and time for reflection will follow.
The family wishes to thank all those at the Northfield Retirement Community for their tender and professional care, and to the UCC Church of Northfield for pastoral care. Memorials are preferred to the Northfield Retirement Community Foundation.