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Willis Francis “Paco” Moore


Our beloved Paco, 87 years young, of Bandera, Texas, passed away on a beautiful Thanksgiving morning, Nov. 23, in the year of our Lord, 2017.
Willis Francis Moore, more affectionately known as “Paco,” was born in Fort Worth, Texas, to Phoebie and Dewey Moore on March 10, 1930. Paco was married to the love of his life, his precious Marie, on Dec. 24, 1949. That match made in Heaven lasted 63 years, until she preceded him in death. Not a day passed that Paco did not long to see her smile, hear her voice, or know her touch again. Although bitter for us who remain, we rejoice in the thoughts of their reunion in heaven with our Lord, and look forward to when we can all be together again.
Paco attended Fort Worth Technical High School, where he was a recipient of the Bausch and Lomb Science Award and was selected “Who’s Who in Electronics” in 1948. Thankfully, this was after he survived blowing up his middle school’s 8th grade chemistry lab! After graduating high school, he attended Texas Christian University (TCU) in Fort Worth, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in chemistry, with a minor in physics and mathematics. His education was earned by attending night classes while his daytime activities included owning his own television repair shop, and helping raise his four children. He also earned several hours in graduate school, where he designed and manufactured specialized instrumentation for the chemistry, physics and geology departments of TCU.
Paco worked for Convair Incorporated of Fort Worth for five years, where he designed electronics test equipment for the Inspection Test Laboratory, to test vendor items used to manufacture the B-36 aircraft. Paco worked for Westronics Incorporated and Worth Wells Surveys Incorporated of Fort Worth for the next 15 years. There, he designed and manufactured nuclear geophysical instrumentation for oil well logging and served as chief of electronic research for five years.
On Thursday, Oct. 10, 1963, he started his illustrious civil service career. His first assignment was in the bio-medical engineering branch of the School of Aerospace Medicine at Brooks Air Force Base, Texas. He worked primarily in support of military physicians in their aerospace-related medical research projects. Most of the instrumentation needed was not available at the time, and had to be designed and manufactured or required modifying existing equipment by Paco and his co-workers.
The last nine years of his assignment at Brooks Air Force Base was in the laser laboratory of the Radio Biology Division to investigate the effects of electo-optic devices on pilots and astronauts. He probably shot more lasers than any sci-fi movie ever dreamed of doing.
In 1972 Paco accepted a position at Kelly Air Force Base in the automatic test equipment section of the engineering division of material management and served as the electronics engineer for the Malfunction Detection and Recording System (MADARS) on the C-5 Galaxy aircraft.
From October 1981 to June of 1984, he provided engineering services to the Non-Destructive Inspection (NDI) Branch, which managed the Air Force wide task of standardizing inspection techniques, testing NDI inspection specialists, and the acquisition of NDI equipment.
In June of 1984, Paco joined the Electronic Security Command (ESC), later known as Air Force Intelligence Command, and currently designated as the Twenty-Fifth Air Force. Serving in the prime of the Cold War, Paco was assigned to the Air Force Electronic Warfare Center, Electronic Warfare Directorate, Simulator Validation Division (SIMVAL). He provided engineering direction and assistance for conducting investigations and tests to determine the impact of simulator modifications for electronic warfare training, operations and testing. He was the project officer for many field tests, and a consultant for numerous others, to gather data to be included in the Operational Performance Validation Reports (OPVRs) published by SIMVAL. Although he could never talk about his work due to security restrictions, he did always believe reporting to a Colonel was better than reporting to a Lieutenant Colonel, because all that promotion “B.S.” was out of the way.
Paco retired from ESC in 1990, and received the Department of Defense Distinguished Civilian Service Award, the highest honor bestowed upon a civil service employee. From the time he graduated from high school until the time he retired, he was only ever un-employed for three days, during his entire working career.
After retirement, Paco focused many interests and hobbies. He was a lifelong amateur radio operator known as “W5AWK” to his many friends, but was most often heard speaking to Marie, as she was “K5FUL.” Long before today’s modern text message, Paco and Marie sent “Honey, I’m ok check-ins.” Many a mile was traveled across the country with his grandchildren in tow, listening to radio chatter and calling up repeaters. Paco always thought it was funny to find a radio antenna installed low to the ground as opposed on top of a hill, because the landowner did not want it obstructing their view.
Paco enjoyed raising cattle and hunting on the beautiful Rancho De Moore located at the top of Jackson Creek, west of Medina, Texas. He often took his grandchildren there for weekend getaways of hunting, target shooting, feeding the cows, eating canned Vienna sausages, saltine crackers and peanut butter. Once known as a track star in his youth, he would often bound from a moving vehicle to run up the side of a hill, or down a creek bed to come back showing the latest Armadillo he had caught.
Being a life-long “rock-hound” led him to travel more farm-to-market roads than major interstates. At times, he could be found studying roadside exposures searching for geodes, fossils, or quartz crystals, sometimes even when he was running late for an event. Many a family vacation was spent camping and rock-hounding as a family. Once, they even used a century plant stalk as the center pole for a tent, because it did not get packed.
Of all the interests and various subjects Paco was familiar with, the one he bloomed the most at was his love of flying. L.C. Amos, a Stinson Airfield-based flight instructor, taught Paco how to fly, and his passion for flying never left him. Besides Marie, his other love was a Cessna 172 Skyhawk, affectionately known as “Lizzie.” Lizzie opened up a whole new world for Paco and Marie, and they flew all over the country meeting new friends and visiting family. From working air shows in Kerrville, Hondo and Fredericksburg, to providing first flights for people who had never flown before, Paco shared his love of flying with anybody willing or not who he could talk to about planes. He traveled to many an air show across the country including several trips to the experimental aircraft association premiere event, AirVenture, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, proving to his grandchildren that it was more than just a place to get coveralls.
He was known to travel down the center lane on an empty country road demonstrating the proper procedures for take-offs and landings to his passengers riding along with him in the car. Some of those passengers will tell you that the road was not always as empty as he thought. On crisp clear days if a plane could be heard flying about or seen, it would draw a foul-mouthed envious remark about the pilot and his craft being about while he was being pre-occupied with some other endeavor at the time.
Paco dedicated his life to the brotherhood of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons and had a superb record of Masonic service. Paco was initiated, passed and raised as a Master Mason in 1960. Paco belonged to the following Masonic organizations: Scottish Rite of Freemasonry including 32 degree Knight Commander of the Court of Honor, York Rite of Freemasonry, Tranquility Lodge #2000 as a charter member (First Masonic Lodge on the Moon), Maj. John B. Jones Masonic Rangering Company, Alzafar Shrine, Texian College, Bandera Masonic Lodge #1123 (Past Worshipful Master), Rising Star Masonic Lodge #429 (Past Worshipful Master), Bandera Chapter #643 Order of the Eastern Star (Past Worthy Patron), and Medina Chapter #988 Order of the Eastern Star. His Grand Lodge of Texas appointments were as follows: District Relations Officer of Masonic District #51, years 1999-2000; District Deputy Grand Master of Masonic District #51, years 2001-2002; and served as secretary for three different lodges for 25 years. Paco’s involvement in Masonry helped with his biggest passion for service, and that was to support widows and orphans. If you ever want to know more about being a Mason remember, “To be one, you have to ask one.”
Paco is preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Kitty Marie Farris Moore; brother, Dewey Odell Moore; son-in-law, Larry Brooks; mother, Phoebie Serilla Moore; grandson, Louis Eric Stein; and father, Dewey Francis Moore.
He is survived by daughter, Frances and her husband, Harold Lemons of Llano; daughter, Sylvanne Brooks, of Elmendorf; daughter, Deborah Allbritton and her husband, Roy of Bandera; son, Alan Moore and his wife, Cindy of La Feria; grandchildren, Katy Lemons Lundy and husband Sid, Larry Brooks, Cody Moore and wife Roxanna, Andrew Brooks and wife Leanne, and Dustin Moore and wife Ana; great-grand children, Brady and Bailey Lundy, Finn and Summer Moore, Augustus Brooks, and Henry Joaquin Moore; and one cantankerous border collie and constant companion, Bear.
A memorial service will be at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 2, at Grimes Funeral Chapel in Bandera, with Chaplain Pam Traver officiating. Gene Carnes will preside over the Masonic funeral service. John “Hutch” Hutcherson will play “Amazing Grace” on his bagpipes to conclude the memorial. The Bandera Masonic Lodge and Order of Eastern Star of Bandera will provide a meal following the service at the Bandera Masonic Lodge. After the meal, we will celebrate Paco’s life with a wake at the world famous 11th Street Cowboy Bar, complete with a mariachi band and cold Dos Equis. Please come help us celebrate with a smile our father, grandfather, great-grand father and friend to many, our precious Paco.
In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be made to Shriners Hospitals for Children or the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children.
The family of Willis Francis Paco Moore wish to extend their sincere thanks and appreciation to Dr. Johnson, Dr. Gallagher, Dr. Jones, Hill Country Memorial Hospice and a special thanks to Diane, Yadi, Irene and Pam. Bandera Masonic Lodge #1123, Rising Star Masonic Lodge #429, Bandera Order of Eastern Star, Grimes Funeral Home, John “Hutch” Hutcherson, Stella Tedesco, James McGroarty and 11th Street Cowboy Bar and all their staff.