Don Gaines Moorhead
December 20, 1937 – August 7, 2019
Don Gaines Moorhead, 81, passed away peacefully August 7, 2019 at home in the care of his wife.
Don was born December 20, 1937 in Fort Worth. He was a retired firefighter, a natural athlete, classical pianist, supporter of the arts and an excellent story teller. Don deeply loved his family and friends. The family expresses gratitude for the love and support provided by Community Hospice of Texas and the City of Arlington Firefighters. Don was a graduate of Paschal High School and attended Texas Wesleyan and Tarrant County Junior College. His career started as a rookie firefighter and he went thru the ranks of engineer, lieutenant, captain, and battalion chief. He loved teaching and was in the fire training department for several years, and was instrumental in developing the physical fitness program as well as prompting changes that would lead the city to have the best fire department in the country. Don loved being outdoors. He enjoyed tennis, golf, running, and hiking. He ran eight marathons plus numerous ½ marathons and fun runs. He was a member of the Arlington and Fort Worth runner’s clubs, and the Arlington Senior Men’s Golf Association. After retiring he traveled to the Texas Coast in the winter and the Rocky Mountains in the summer. His golf clubs, running and hiking shoes always went with him. Don had a love of learning and was an accomplished pianist with Chopin was his favorite pianist. He enjoyed cross word puzzles, learning new words, trivia and was an excellent story teller.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, Edgar Lee and Ruby Gaines Moorhead; sister, Savelle Skillern; and brother, Lee Roy Moorhead.
Don is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janet Helm Moorhead of Arlington; son Marc Moorhead of Amarillo; daughter, Melissa McConnell and husband, Rodney of Boise, ID; granddaughters, Lindsey Carpenter and husband, Riv of Dallas, and Lauren McConnell and husband, Jesse Wensel of Boise, ID, Jason McConnell of Laramie, WY; great grandson, Dylan Carpenter; sister-in-law, Sue Moorhead; God-daughter, Kelly Perkins of Weatherford; nieces and nephews and many friends.
- Visitation Sunday, August 11, 2019
- Funeral Service Monday, August 12, 2019
Don Gaines Moorhead
August 11, 2019
I remember as a pre teen Don and Jan coming to pick me up on Saturday mornings to go running along the Trinity River with their running club and then take me out for breakfast. They introduced me to hash browns and I still think of them when I have them now. They also took me to many fun runs and I especially remember going to the Muenster TX fun runs with them. Years later they let me join their tennis group and I played tennis with them for several years each week. Missy also helped me get my first official job as a bus boy at The Shrimp Bucket where she waited tables. Today my kids groan when I tell stories about bussing tables back in the day. I will miss Don very much as he was a good influence in my life and will always appreciate the time he let this kid go running and hitting tennis balls with him.
Jerry and Renee Helm
August 10, 2019
Don was witty, kind, intelligent, devoted, unique. He was our brother-in-law. We will remember him well and miss him greatly.
- Jerry and Renee
August 9, 2019
I think I always idolized my uncle. He was tall, handsome, talented and “sometimes” made time for his pesky little niece. One of my earliest memories was sitting on a stool one inch away from the living room so I could listen and watch as his high school band practiced. I wasn’t allowed in the same room, but I got as close as I could legally get. As I got a little older, I could even join in on family games. He also grew more patient with me, but I think it may have been because I was willing to listen for hours to him talk about the differences among all the pipes in his new collection. And years later when I took Ed over to meet my fun aunt and uncle, Don immediately decided they needed to go get a beer. Ed passed the uncle inspection, and the four of us had many fun times although he once had to admit he had a hard time remembering I was now a grown up, I will never forget the times we shared, and I have my uncle to thank for loving and knowing the lyrics to so many 1940s songs. He did let me sit by him on the piano bench when his friends weren’t around, I’m sure he’s in heaven now entertaining everyone on the piano and/or trumpet. He’s an uncle who will remain in my heart and in my memories. Jan, Marc and Melissa, we love you all. Our prayers are with you.
August 9, 2019
Jan, Marc, and Missy,
I loved uncle Don so much. So many wonderful memories especially our trips to Padre Island. I’ll never forget getting up so early to watch the sun come up with him and we shared family feelings. Fred always enjoyed playing golf with him . I love to think of them on the back nine in heaven. He was a great brother, brother-in-law, and uncle to us. He was extremely gifted and handsome. Our hearts are broken but thankful he is no longer suffering.