Jesse P. "Cotton" Moore

Posted: Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Longtime Moose River homesteader Jesse P. "Cotton" Moore, 87, died May 15, 2010 surrounded by his loving family at Central Peninsula Hospital in Soldotna.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 22, at the Moore homestead on Moose River. The family reminds attendees to dress for the weather.

Mr. Moore was born Jan. 2, 1923, in Edhube Texas to Jim and Celisa Purdy Moore, and was raised by his mother in northeast Texas. He attended commercial art school, honing his artistic ability. In 1942 he joined the U.S. Coast Guard and was stationed in New Orleans, patrolling the mouth of the Mississippi River. After his discharge from the Coast Guard as a boatswain, He served in the U.S. Navy for two years as a boatswain mate.

"He was proud of his military service, proud to be an American, and very proud to be a veteran. Those who knew him were always amazed at his ability to splice cable and rope, and tie many amazing knots. Fulfilling his dream to come to Alaska finally came true in 1950 when he drove the Alcan Highway, with good friends Bob and Mel Snider. After arriving in Anchorage, he worked as a crane operator with the longshoreman unloading boats in Anchorage and Whittier. His wife Lorrayne and children arrived shortly afterward and they took up residence in Debar in Anchorage, building a house and living there until they left to homestead. Later he became a Ironworker and traveled Alaska helping to build the military bases, and helping to erect the white Alice towers thru the state. In 1958, he left Anchorage with his family and homesteaded on mile 2 Moose River. There he built a house using a military Quonset hut and logs, filled with many creations built with rocks, bent poles and burls. The incredible artistic ability of this man showing in everything he made. He worked as a welder with his own truck for several years in the oilfield, starting his business Cotton Moore Enterprises in 1960. This business consisted of his artwork, welding, ornamental iron, and what he became most known for, his Bush Gourmet Barbecuing. Through the years, he did barbecues for just about every occasion you could think of, and it was one of the thru loves of his life. He was a 32nd degree mason in the Masonic lodge, a Shriner, a Jester, and a shrine clown," his family said.

Mr. Moore was preceded in death by his parents; wife of 63 years; and grandsons, Dwayne McFarland, Eric Moore and Arthur Congdon.

He is survived by his daughter and son-in-law, Myla and Lee McFarland; sons and daughters-in-law, Shamadeva and Peshanidevi Dandapani, Todd and Kirsten Moore, Mark and Loretta Moore and Denty and Kris Moore; grandchildren, Marquita, Jessica, Chad, Matt, Marissa, Lacey, Kayla, Cody, and Lisa Moore and Robert Carlson; and great-grandchildren Keaton and Aaron Andrus, Josh Smith, Daniel Rouggly III, Keely and Taylen Moore, Tanner Moore and Jossie Moore.

The family requests that memorial donations be sent to the Shriner's Hospital, or Hospice of the Central Peninsula.

Arrangements were made by Peninsula Memorial Chapel.

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