Lola Moore celebrated 100 years of life on New Year’s Day.
Moore was joined by her son, daughter-in-law, daughter, son-in-law, all four grandsons and six great-grandchildren for a day-long celebration in Brookings.
She followed her daughter and son-in-law to Brookings 20 years ago, where she immersed herself in local organizations and activities for many years.
Some of her favorite memories of Brookings involve the Chamber mixers, Sea Gal’s Club, Art Walks, the Azalea Festival, dance classes, TOPS, lunches at the activity center, Tai Chi, numerous games with friends, and watching the sun drop into the Pacific Ocean from her backyard.
Moore’s birthday celebration started out several days earlier when her family began arriving from California. The activities included New Year’s Day celebrations, a concert at SeaView by Two Times Nelson (which, of course, included singing “Happy Birthday”), a cake and root beer float party in the soda fountain at SeaView, and pizza at Wild River’s with the entire family.
It was a magical day that ended with planning for her next birthday involving the theme, “Turning 101 on Highway 101.”
How do you reflect on such a long, active life? Her son summed up his mother on the occasion of her 90th birthday by using a faux dictionary definition:
“Lola: (lo-la) (c.1920): a small, strikingly beautiful women, very energetic and optimistic in outlook. Often found in the western regions of the United States, esp. south-coastal Oregon and southern California deserts. Has also been found as far away as the high-mountain regions of Peru, particularly Machu Picchu; and navigating the Pacific Ocean Islands around Hawaii and Singapore. Said to have adventured in several countries in the Far East, Middle East and Europe. Evidence of these travels has been found in her various dwellings. She is known widely to be an excellent companion, a true best friend, faithful in prayer and support of her family and friends. Lola is recognized as a champion of correspondence, as her address book totals several hundred entries. Her computer correspondence is equally impressive. All and all, there isn’t a special occasion or celebration that she doesn’t generously acknowledge. One to be admired and imitated. Always caring and hospitable.”
Lola Moore was born in Iowa and moved to California as a child. At age 13, on March 10, 1933, she was living in Long Beach when a 6.2 earthquake hit, destroying her school and many homes in the neighborhood.
Her family’s home survived, although an aftershock nearly flipped the family vehicle - with them inside.
In high school, she was a drum majorette and led the Long Beach Christmas Parade in 1936.
Moore lived in Sacramento during the early years of World War II, working at McClellan Field. Transferring back to Long Beach and attached to the Ferry Command, she became an administrator in the personnel unit.
Moore married in 1943. Her husband, Oscar, was a Navy man, so San Diego became their home.
After his discharge, the Moores moved to Pasadena, where they built their home. The sale of the property allowed them to build a small apartment building, then in turn an even larger unit.
In 1959, they moved to Palm Springs where their children, Bette and Dick, attended junior and senior high school. Her memories of Palm Springs include watching Bob Hope’s house burn in 1973, and husband Oscar selling one of the first condominiums in the U.S. to Groucho Marx. Another brush with stardom was when their Sunday School teacher’s daughter, Barbara, married Frank Sinatra.
Lola has lived in two retirement communities during the past 10 years - one in Roseville, California and the other in Brookings. Her son and daughter-in-law helped her choose particularly meaningful items to decorate her apartments. She prizes her collection of purses, each of which holds a special memory … from the evening bag she carried on her first date with Oscar to two handbags, one with a picture of a palm tree and the other a lighthouse that remind her of living in the desert and by the ocean.
A small plaque next to her bed may be the secret to Lola’s long and happy life: “Before you go to bed, give your troubles to God. He stays up all night anyway.”