Jo McCabe Moore

May 9, 1930March 5, 2018
Play Tribute Movie

Jo Moore, 87, of San Marcos, California passed away March 5, 2018 after a long battle with COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). She was the beloved widow of Lt. Col. (retired) Charles F. “Chuck” Moore, the mother of Carole, Gail, Dawn and Glenn, grandmother of Tiffany, Melissa, Nicole, Kyle, Samantha, Erin, Ryan, Bizzy and Molly, the great-grandmother of Dylan, Payton, Hayden, Parker, and Belle. Known for her mesmerizing smile, she was a mother-in-heart to Gina, Goretti, Tim, Anne, and Randy, and a grandmother-in-heart to Samuel, Alexandra, Olivia, Catherine, Matt, Erik and many more children.

Jo and her fraternal twin sister, Geri, were born on May 9, 1930 in Santa Monica, California to Orin Arthur McCabe and Dorothy Martin McCabe. The first twins born in Santa Monica Hospital (now UCLA Medical Center), Jo and Geri made a stir because they were not identical twins, but rather fraternal twins of the same sex. The family (including older brother, Bob) moved to Fresno, California a few years later.

Throughout her early life, her family traveled to Yosemite National Park, Bass Lake, and Badger Pass to camp and ski. These early trips developed into a lifelong love of and passion for Yosemite and other national parks.

Athletic, Jo enjoyed swimming competitively in her younger years and dreamed of joining the swimming stars of her generation at the Los Angeles Athletic Club. The lure of Hollywood was strong and because of her talent, her parents agreed to allow her to move to Los Angeles and go to Hollywood High School while boarding with a family. There she joined the Los Angeles Athletic Club competing in multiple swimming events and entertaining thousands as a swimmer on a water ballet team traveling throughout the State (now known as synchronized swimming or artistic swimming).

After graduating from Hollywood High School in 1948, she pursued her Bachelor’s degree at the College of the Pacific (now University of the Pacific) in Stockton, California. There she met the love of her life, Chuck Moore, while playing water polo. They married June 13, 1950 and she continued her college pursuits transferring to San Francisco State University. She graduated from SFSU in 1952 with a degree in physical education.

While her husband continued with his college studies at UC Berkeley, Jo worked as a physical therapist at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in San Francisco. Their first child, daughter Carole, was born in Berkeley, California in 1955. After Chuck graduated from college in 1955, he joined the Air Force.

Chuck and Jo transferred from base to base as Chuck learned to fly. Gail was born in 1957 in Austin, Texas followed by Dawn in 1958, born in San Diego, California. Glenn, the youngest and only son, was born at Yokota Air Force Base, Japan in 1961.

The young Moore family lived in Japan for three years. While there, they enjoyed driving through the beautiful Japanese mountains and countryside detouring through various cities and touring numerous Japanese gardens. Jo studied the art of Japanese flower arranging while living in Japan and she enjoyed perfecting her craft with floral arrangements scattered around their home. This experience launched a lifelong love of gardening.

A stay-at-home mother, Jo’s focus was raising their four children. In addition, she was an expert seamstress and made many of her and her children’s clothes. She loved knitting, macramé, and other crafting activities. She was a huge football fanatic and never missed watching a USC game (her parents’ alma mater) or Chargers game. And, watching the different Bowl Games was a given.

They returned home from Japan in 1964 aboard the cruise ship USS President Roosevelt creating lasting memories for their children. Settling in Smyrna, Tennessee at Seward Air Force Base, they lived there for 6 years before transferring to Little Rock, Arkansas (Little Rock Air Force Base).

During their children’s school years, the family went camping, waterskiing, sailing and more, all facilitated by Jo (Chuck went along for the ride). Throughout the Air Force years, Jo coached children’s swimming teams, was a Girl Scout leader, and went to all of Glenn’s baseball and football games. A funny memory for Glenn is that he learned to catch and throw a baseball from his mom, who would play with him for hours in their front yard in Tennessee. While living in Arkansas, Jo began her career with the Girl Scouts of America as a Field Executive.

She loved animals and throughout her life had several dogs and cats. While Jo never owned a horse, she loved horseback riding and would ride horses at friends’ ranches and farms. Plus, several times during her lifetime she joined multi-day, overnight excursions through Yosemite’s backcountry on mules.

In August 1975, Chuck retired from the Air Force and they moved to San Diego, California. She loved walking on the beach no matter the time of day and climbed Half Dome in Yosemite with her son when she was 57 years old.

After they moved to San Diego, Jo continued her career as a Field Director until she retired around 1985. She studied for and obtained a real estate license and worked as a real estate agent for a couple of years. But, something was missing from her life and real estate wasn’t the answer. Perusing the employment ads in the local newspaper one morning, she came across an ad for a nanny. That was it! She wanted to be a nanny!

So, around 1989 she switched gears and became a nanny for the first time to a family that had moved to San Diego from England. After they returned to England, she worked as a nanny to a family that later moved to Texas. She worked for one last family in San Diego County until she was forced to retire because of serious heart problems.

After Chuck broke his neck in 2011, they moved to an assisted living facility where they lived together until Chuck’s death in January 2013. Jo transitioned to a smaller facility in 2014, where she lived her remaining days.

Jo is survived by her 3 Daughters, 9 grandchildren, and 5 great-grandchildren:

If you would like to send flowers, please call Carousel Flowers at (760)741-5740.


  • Memorial Service Cruise Sunday, March 18, 2018

Jo McCabe Moore

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted