As a kid growing up, my mom Mary Lou was always interested in the family tree with stacks of correspondence, news clippings and charts with branches of the early members added as they were learned about. Activities like death or marriage or new additions to the family were carefully written in with her careful cursive style penmanship taught to her years ago in Hodgdon Maine schools. Now with her gone, my brother Jonathan in Boxford Massachusetts has become the local historian for the family. He is fascinated with trips to old graveyards, searching public records and looks for family puzzle pieces. Daniel Mooers is an attorney in the Portland Maine area and he has taken the missing family persons hobby even further with a yahoogroups site set up and regular news letter on the MOOERS family name. Today receive a correspondence that gets your attention and makes me blog about what others do to stay in touch with their family roots and how they pass along the information that you want preserved and not lost. Dan writes....
This week I was jolted by an obituary I picked up on the 'net. Let me
explain my reaction to you, with a rather long explanation. Please bear
A little over a year ago, I was reading a newspaper story about a young
Swampscott, Massachusetts soldier who was killed in Iraq. The soldier was
named Jared Raymond, and the article also talked about his friend and
cousin, Justin Mooers, who also had been injured several years earlier
during preparation to go to Iraq. Because I have cousins named Raymond, I
searched for a connection to our family but I could not. I filed the
obituary away with other genealogical information.
Earlier this year, I also picked up a obituary of Wayne Mooers, who died at
age 49 in Florida. The obituary said he died unexpectedly in December, 2007
and that he was formerly from Massachusetts. Again, I could not find a
connection to any Mooers in my database so I filed it away,
This week I saw an obituary of Justin K. Mooers, age 27, who died in Texas.
His obituary pointed out that he was a cousin of Army Spec. Jared Raymond
(deceased). Justin's obituary listed family members, so I pulled out Jared
Raymond's obituary and it led me in turn to Wayne Mooers' obituary. As I
re-read the three obituaries, I realized that Wayne Mooers was the brother
of Justin's mother, Kathleen Mooers. Wayne Mooers also was the father of
Jared Raymond. Wayne's parents were John R. And Patricia Mooers of Pelham, NH.
I then realized that John and Patricia Mooers had, in a little over a year,
lost a son, Wayne, and two grandsons, Justin and Jared. I was overwhelmed.
I found the telephone number for John and Patricia and telephoned their
home to express my deepest sympathies. I reached Patricia and had a long
conversation. She explained that her husband, John, is confined to a
nursing home and they have not dared to tell him of Justin's death.
Patricia further explained that as the US was prepared to invade Iraq,
Justin's tank battalion was being transported by rail and Justin was in his
tank. At some point, he stood up on top of his tank and came in contact
with a high tension wire above the tracks. The electrical charge went into
the top of his head and out his toes and he was severely burned on half his
body. He eventually lost a leg and was retired from the military. However
he did get married, to Jessica A. Holmes Mooers, herself an Air Force staff
sergeant and she was stationed at Lackland in Texas. They had a daughter,
Bailey Mooers, who, at the beginning of June, was 20 months old. Justin
laid down in June, 2008, to take a nap with Bailey and he never woke up.
Justin's wife, Jessica is pregnant with their second child, who is expected
I have to tell you, I am telling you this story with tears in my eyes.
Although I have never personally met this family, I feel the deepest
heartache for their losses. I intend to contact Jessica Holmes Mooers to
see if she will accept a small donation to help with the expenses of
Justin's children. Because of her circumstances, she has found it necessary
to resign from the military. If any of you would also like to help Jessica
and her children, please contact me.
I did learn that John R. Mooers' father's name was Arthur Mooers. I still
am unable to identify the family with others in my extensive database but I
will keep trying.
Let's all keep this family in our prayers. They have been through more than
one family should have to bear.
Who is tracking developments in your family for the next generation to carry on the tradition? Now that my parents are gone, it makes you realize all they shared with you about stories, events and family history needs to be taught to my four children.