Nickerson Funeral Home

77 Eldredge Park Way, Orleans, MA


William Bryant Moore

May 18, 1928February 15, 2020

Out of an abundance of caution for our family and friends, the Celebration of Life service for William B. Moore has been postponed. Bill’s service - on Saturday, March 28 at Orleans Yacht Club - will be re-scheduled at a later date. If you would like to be notified of Bill’s service, please email Diane Dodge at dianemooredodge@gmail.com. Thank you for your understanding.

William B. Moore, 91, of Orleans, Massachusetts passed away peacefully on February 15, 2020.

Born in Boston in 1928, he was raised in Newton by his parents Harry and Gladys Moore. He graduated from Newton High School, spent a post-graduate year at Tabor Academy, and one year at Colby College before transferring to General Motors Institute to complete his education. Bill enlisted in the US Navy during the Korean War where he served four years, primarily on the USS Antietam as an airplane mechanic. In recent years he was proud to wear his USS Antietam hat and enjoyed many conversations as a result.

Bill and his first wife Sally moved to Orleans in 1957. Bill started Orleans Motors with his partners Merton Gill and Stanley Burton where they repaired and sold used cars, International Harvester Scouts and Land Rovers. Bill and Sally soon joined the Orleans Yacht Club and bought an O’Day Day Sailer.

Bill loved sailing and spent as much time as he could on the water. The Orleans Yacht Club, its members, and all things water-related brought him great joy.

Bill, with Sally as crew, won the Day Sailer North American Championship on Lake Cowan in Ohio in 1963. As defending champions, they finished in the top five for several years at various yacht clubs across the country. When the Orleans Yacht Club and Chatham Yacht Club co-hosted it on Pleasant Bay, Bill organized it and chaired the race committee.

In 1976 Bill created and ran the Great Bicentennial Bathtub Race. What began as an excuse for a party at the yacht club quickly became a media sensation with thousands of people lining the shores of the Cove to watch an impressive variety of homemade boats (attempt to) sail on Town Cove.

Bill was Commodore of the Orleans Yacht Club from 1967 through 1969. He enjoyed competing in Sunday races; his three daughters often crewed for him or sailed together while he chaired the race committee. He tirelessly participated in weekly work parties and monthly social events.

In later years, after selling Orleans Motors, Bill and his second wife Nancy spent over twenty winters living aboard their Krogan 38 cruising the Bahamas. They enjoyed sharing this idyllic lifestyle with family and friends.

During the summer, Bill worked in a variety of positions at Nauset Marine and helped with boat deliveries, which earned him the nickname “Captain Sandbar.” He and Nancy continued to be involved with the yacht club – racing in Sunday races, assisting with the junior sailing program, developing an adult sailing program, running social events, and enjoying the company of friends at the Friday night cocktail parties.

Bill and Nancy could often be seen on the Orleans waterways in their tugboat replica, the Nancy J, that he built from a catboat hull. Bill also enjoyed building and racing model sailboats.

Bill was the husband of Nancy J. Moore for 37 years and the brother of the late Leslie Waldbillig (Craig). He leaves behind three daughters, Diane Dodge (Brad) of Alpharetta, GA and East Orleans, Susan Moore (John Mix) of San Anselmo, CA, Carol Penfield (David) of Wellfleet, MA, four grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, and two great-granddaughters. He also leaves behind three stepchildren, Linda Weik of Mashpee, Doug Savonen of Orleans, Steve Savonen (Krista) of Ukiah, CA, and four step-grandsons. Bill enjoyed time spent with his two nieces, Karen Kasich (John) and Kristen Ferraro (Mike), and their children.

Memorial donations may be made in his name to the Radke Fund at Orleans Yacht Club which supports sailing opportunities for children.




William Bryant Moore

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Truman Henson

February 29, 2020

I was saddened this week to learn of Bill’s passing, but at the same time flooded with so many wonderful memories. Growing up in Orleans, and in the Henson family particularly, messing around in boats was just the way it was. As a result it was inevitable that I would cross paths with the Moore family at some point. That interaction started when I joined the junior sailing program at “The” Yacht Club. In Widgeons for a couple years, then graduating to Day Sailors, I found myself competing weekly against Diane, Susan and/or Carol…….all very formidable competition aboard sail number 734 (and I have to confess that all too often I was looking at them over the bow, not the transom!). By then Bill was chairman of the Race Committee and he and my dad were at the starting line every weekend. Bill and my dad also “worked” tirelessly in his garage to prepare for the Great Bicentennial Bathtub Race. Of course, being only in my middle teens I was not allowed to even peek in the windows for fear that I might reveal the details of their secret weapon. In later years, while working at Arey’s Pond Boat Yard, Nauset Marine, and as Orleans’ Harbormaster, I had many additional opportunities to interact with Bill. Without exception I found him to be a fun-loving, gentle man, who loved to laugh and freely imparted his wisdom in a relaxed and non-condescending way.

Although I’ve been “off-Cape” for more than a decade now I am still reminded and think of Bill, Diane, Susan and Carol on a regular basis. You see, I typically leave for work between 7:30 and 7:40 in the morning, and it is with alarming regularity that I jump in my truck, glance at the clock, and it says 7:34. It seems that sail number will haunt me forever! But, it always makes me smile and I wouldn’t trade those memories for anything.

So, thanks Bill, for being a part of so many memories. You’ve left a tremendous legacy in your three daughters, and made an immeasurable positive impact on countless others.

Truman Henson

Emily Richmond

February 25, 2020

There was never any question whether Mr. Moore knew the answer, he always did. It was really just how long would it take him to deliver the answer along with all the additional advice and wisdom one may not have been looking for. But that was just it; the answers have long since been forgotten, along with the original questions, but the stories remain. He’d tell them with a smile, with half closed, squinting eyes, and one arm settling in, resting steadfast against a toolbench, while he gently spoke of lessons learned on the water, or he’d press forward in his crouching stance at the tiller of a skiff with his socks rolled high and his big glasses reflecting the sun that had so deeply tanned his salty skin. Mr. Moore was ageless, almost impossible to imagine as a boy but even more impossible to imagine as anyone but who he was. Unchanging, all knowing. He was kind. He smiled at silly kids spinning circles beneath flailing booms. He bent down to roll sails with kids more spritely but less inclined to hard work. And he pushed everyone closer to the same joys that he’d found on the water, in boats, and with good friends. I came to sailing afraid, anxious and all too aware of my shortcomings. I didn’t learn quickly, but I listened. And while he enjoyed my listening, I enjoyed his teaching. At some point along the way, I’d learned enough to begin to teach others. In doing so, I always looked up to Mr. Moore as a role model. Not just as a man of knowledge but as a man of character. Mr. Moore, you are missed and you were loved!

Kathy Doyle

February 21, 2020

Nancy, Linda, Doug, Stephen , Josh, Tyler, Cody , Nathan, Krista and family.
No words seem adequate enough to say how very sorry I am for your loss. I only knew Bill a few years but i am blessed to have had the chance to get to know him. He had a good kind soul, and was a very special person. I saw what a fabulous job Nancy (Linda, Doug,Stephen) did taking CARE of Bill. It shows what true love is all about. My heart and prayers go out to you all.
Love Kathleen Doyle 😇

Tom Leach

February 19, 2020

I bought my first Scout 4x4 from Bill in 1973 and had no idea this jolly guy was such a dominant sailor. Years later, when we started racing Cape Cod Frosties, Bill jumped right in with Art Radtke and others from OYC that really helped make the Frosty challenge enduring. He and Nancy were regulars. I recall Merv Hammatt and Bill also match raced Mini 12's. It look like an expensive hoot! Really do miss "Sand Bar" and all he did for sailboat racing on the Lower Cape. Truly a Force!

Jim Freeman

February 18, 2020

I got to know Bill on Friday evenings at the OYC. He was a great storyteller with an amazing capacity for recall. In fact, I got to know even more about my family, the characters and such, through Bill. He became a kind of historian on the lore and locale of the Lower Cape. And he loved the fact that my father learned how to sail in his 60s!

With regard to that unique body of water, the Town Cove, Bill always said it came with its own unique set of winds. Or no winds. With no warning. Kind of like life.

I will miss our conversations and Bill’s friendship and endearing charm and mischievous laugh. Above all, he was a gentleman.

From the Freeman’s, God bless, Bill.

Michael Palmer

February 17, 2020

Mr. Moore was such an integral part of our summer sailing experience at the Orleans Yacht Club. He is the reason I can tie and trailer boats. His Daysailor regatta antics were legendary and we hung on every word of his stories. My brother recalls the most important lesson he learned from Mr. Moore was by example: "I looked up to him as an unstoppable force, there was never a boat problem he couldn't solve with a little clever jury rigging...if you are out there racing and something goes wrong you find a way to fix it and finish the race. I try my best to have that same kind of attitude in my daily life."

Mr. Moore taught us there was always a way to get the job done.

Thoughts and prayers from the Palmer Family, we hope to sail again with him some day at that great regatta in the sky.