“Out of the most tragic events in our life, have come some of the finest things in our life.” At 92 years old, Frank Moore has more perspective on life than most. Frank grew up in Carlton, Oregon, with loving parents and 4 sisters. Every summer, his father, an avid fly-fisherman, would take them all over the Northwest looking for the best places to fish. Tragically, his father, a man Frank had idolized, passed when Frank was 9-years old. Around the same time, the family business burned down leaving them nearly destitute. So they moved to Canby, OR where Frank eventually met his wife, Jeanne Marie Maes, a woman he says is the most precious gift he’s ever received. They married on July 1, 1943.
After one short year of marriage, Frank joined the army and was sent to the beaches of Normandy to join the fight to liberate France. Although Frank has countless stories of his experiences during World War II, one that left a lifelong impression on Frank did not occur in the midst of battle. As Frank was passing over a bridge in the a small village near Mont Saint Michel, he looked down and amidst the death and destruction surrounding him, he noticed a large salmon swimming quietly in the river. On the bank nearby, resting against a café wall, was a forgotten fishing rod. In the intense clarity of that moment, Frank knew he wanted a fly rod.
After retuning home from war, Frank and Jeanne moved to Roseburg, OR and made their home near the North Umpqua River. They founded the Steamboat Inn, often referred to as Mecca for fishermen, and spent his life sharing his love of fishing and rivers with others. Frank’s appreciation of the environment and the destruction he witnessed as a result of logging drew him to fight for regulations to protect the environment and save the North Umpqua. His dedication led him to served on the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission. In recognition of his work, he received numerous awards including the National Wildlife Federation Conservationist of the Year and the Wild Steelhead Coalition Conservation Award. Frank was recently inducted into the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame.
Now 92 years old, Frank keeps himself active, chopping his own firewood, fly-fishing every day and cherishing every moment with his most precious gift, Jeanne. “No matter how old you get, you never want to stop dreaming. Dreaming what you CAN be or CAN do. Never forget: There is NO impossible dream if you work hard at it.” If that’s not living a genuine life, then we don’t know what is. Hats off to you, Sir.