The local shooting scene has suffered a couple of big losses in the past few months, first with the death late last year of Dave Cramer and this week with that of Bob Moore.
Affectionately called “The Old Man,” at Frazier-Simplex, a club he helped found in 1947, Moore, who was 101 years old, basically mentored the past four generations of local shooters.
“I first met Bob when I was 14,” said Jim Husk, who now helps organize the successful junior program at Frazier-Simplex. “I was at a rifle match with my father in Waynesburg and Bob was as old as my father then.
“He taught everybody a lot. He’s really going to be missed.”
A national championship shooter along with his wife, Bertie, who was also a national champion, Moore was part of the group at Frazier-Simplex that put Washington County shooting on the map at the national stage back in the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s. Frazier-Simplex dominated the Greater Pittsburgh and Suburban Rifle League in those days, winning 19 consecutive titles from 1941 through 1960.
Moore would often shoot last in those matches, waiting to see what he needed to help Frazier-Simplex to another win.
“One year, Coraopolis had a good team and they were beating Frazier-Simplex,” said Dean B. Trew, whose father, Dean, was a national and world champion mentored by Moore. “Bob came off the line and smiled and said, ‘You got us that time.’
“One of the young guys said that they felt bad for the old guy. But Dave Cramer, who was shooting for Coraopolis then, told him, ‘Why do you feel bad for him? Usually, he beats us like that.’”
Moore, who was first alternate twice each on the U.S. Olympic and Pan-American teams, still shot competitively into his 80s and always remained interested in how the team he helped found was doing.
“He was pretty responsive until the last couple of months,” said Husk. “I always had to call him on the way back from our matches, and he’d make me go down through the scores one by one to see how everyone did.”
Even though he hadn’t been around as much lately, Moore was still a big part of the club.
Photos of Moore and some of the other founding members adorn the walls at the club’s shooting range in Wolfdale and Husk still uses many of the techniques shown to him by Moore to train the club’s young shooters.
“The discipline, the concentration, I always refer to him,” said Husk. “He took me hunting to places that probably nobody else really knows. I would come back from them and call him and he’d make me describe them and he knew exactly where I was talking about.”
Moore had been such a constant on the local shooting scene that a match in his honor when he was named first alternate on the Olympic team just celebrated its 60th anniversary.
That match was won by Jim Husk’s son, Trinity rifle coach John Husk, a member of yet another generation of shooters influenced by Moore.
“His legacy is storied and long,” said Trew.
Outdoors Editor F. Dale Lolley can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.