MOORE — Burl Moody was born in Tishomingo on July 13, 1930, to Sam and Kate (Shelton) Moody. He passed away of natural causes on Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Sam and Kate Moody; three brothers, Jack Moody, A.J. “Babe” Moody and H.B. Moody; and four sisters, Edith Moody, Lillian “Sis” Jones, Maxine Szedeli and Shirley Robertson.
He was married to Margee Huffman Moody from 1969 until her death in May of 2009. They were both longtime residents of Moore.
Burl and his family moved to Olustee when he was a young boy and where his family worked as farmers. Burl and his brothers would hunt, trap and fish to supplement the family’s food supply. Burl was introduced to the working environment at a very young age following the Depression.
Burl would develop his faith as a God fearing man from his mother’s dedication and devotion to the Methodist Church and his father’s allegiance to the Church of Christ. The Moodys loved singing gospel music together. Burl and his brothers would whittle on the back porch and listen to their father sing. He loved his momma, papa and all of his siblings, and he had a bunch!
Burl was never too busy to help his family or neighbors; he would always say, “I’m just a phone call away.” Burl would eventually travel throughout the United States participating in the wheat harvest.
After a few years of blood, sweat, tears and frustration, Burl decided he had had enough. He threw his bag of cotton into the river and headed to the nearest recruiting station, where he joined the Army National Guard. Over the next several years he successfully gained training and knowledge in various trades that would ensure he had a prosperous future.
Burl served with the 45th Infantry of the Oklahoma Army National Guard. He volunteered to serve as a tank driver in the 245th Tank Battalion during the Korean War. While serving, he achieved the rank of E-6 sergeant and distinguished himself with heroism. On May 17, 1952, he and another soldier were working on a combat-loaded tank when a fire started. Burl jumped clear and realized his comrade was still in the tank. He jumped back into the burning tank, pulled his comrade out and used his jacket to extinguish his fellow service member, who was on fire. Because of Burl’s heroic actions, he was awarded The Soldiers Medal in August 1952. Also during his service, he was awarded several distinguishing honors for his service and patriotism. Serving his country is what he held close to his heart.
After returning home from his military service, Burl owned and operated the filling station at Olustee for several years, changing flats, filling gas tanks and seeing friends on a daily basis. In addition, Burl and his brother Jack would use their skills for roofing homes in Oklahoma. These are things that he enjoyed — Burl never met a stranger, and once he became friends it was a friendship for life.
During the ‘60s Burl moved to the Oklahoma City area, where he started his future in the concrete business. During this time he would meet his future wife and her three sons. His life would never be the same. He would have to change his focus from single and carefree to a husband and father of three.
Over the course of the next four decades, Burl and his wife would raise a family, build a business and live life to the fullest. They would travel all over the United States on vacation; enjoy fishing, hunting and site seeing. They would watch their family grow from three boys to three daughter-in-laws, nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
Burl and his wife would survive the worst tornado in American history in May of 1999. In a blink of an eye, their worldly possessions were gone. All they had was each other huddling together in a closet. After all was over, they did what any survivor would do — they started rebuilding their lives.
Their love and devotion for each other never wavered. Burl would spend the next ten years dedicated to the love and care of his wife. He continued to live a very independent life — taking care of himself and his loving dogs, and a stray cat, and would visit his wife’s graveside several times per week, longing for the time they would be together again.
He is survived by a brother, Cecil Moody and wife Sharon of Texas; brother-in-laws, Troyce Robertson of Altus and family, Theresa Jameson and husband Steve of Headrick and their son Kyle, also of Headrick; Troy Dale Robertson and wife LaDonna of Altus; Don Moody and wife Faye of Olustee and their families, Raymond and Cheryl Moody of Olustee, Larry and Sherry Moody of Altus, Michelle Furtell and husband Josh of Frisco, Texas and Chris Shelton and wife Lavern of Tishomingo; Willa Dean Adams of Altus; and a host of other nieces, nephews and many friends.
He is also survived by his three sons and their families, Jim and Jo Huffman of Lewisburg, Tenn. and their two children, Lisa Huffman of Wayne and Buck Huffman and his wife Stacy and two children, Sabrina and Fiona of Birmingham, Ala.; Jerry and Charlene Huffman of Newalla and their four children, Amber and Jason Malcolm and their three children, Evan, Isabel and Annabel of Marlow, Lindsay and Chase Huffman of Denver, Colo., and Brandi and Darian Gee and their four children, Kya, Kamara, Javien and Jonah of Pelham, Ala.; and David and Carol Huffman of Lamar, Ark. and their children, Jessica and Shawn Crowe and Richard Huffman and Jennifer Huffman all of Lamar, Ark.
It’s not easy to sum up a life with a few words, but to put it simply, Burl lived a full and blessed life as a son, brother, uncle, husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He loved and cherished his wife even through her passing, was a stranger to no one, a friend to all, an American hero, and a survivor of the Depression, war and a massive tornado.
Burl worked hard his whole life and now walks the golden streets with the love of his life. He will be missed and thought of often. But we have no reason to feel sorry for him or think his life was cut short. He was part of the few that truly lived life.
Moore American, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014