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A Memorial Tribute to Ava Moore

Patsy Stuart, 2017

Ava Moore, the sitting president of the Friends of the Museum, died of a heart attack on Thursday, November 20, 2014. If she had attended the meeting on the morning that she died, she would have been elected for a second term at the scheduled FOM board meeting. She had agreed to serve another 2 years at the organization’s helm. Her friends from across the community were shocked and saddened when they learned of her sudden, unexpected death. Ava was a hard worker who demonstrated passion and commitment for the causes she became involved with. She shared her leadership skills with many organizations, offering ideas, then following through with action. I first knew Ava through our involvement in P.T.A., when our children were in the Starkville public schools. When the Friends of the Museum originated in 2008, I helped organize it and became its first president. I invited people who shared an interest in history and the Heritage Museum to serve as its first officers and board members. I asked Ava to be on the board because I remembered her dedication and enthusiasm. She willingly agreed to serve on the board, although she owned Ava’s Monogramming and was still working. Anytime there was an event at the museum, Ava volunteered to provide refreshments, and she helped in many other ways. She was a great cheerleader for the museum. She volunteered to cochair Denim & Diamonds, the Friends’ fund-raiser for the museum. Ever resourceful, she secured the DJ for Denim & Diamonds, got drinks donated, suggested the idea for the Legends Tribute, and provided serving help from young women who were in a social/volunteer group that she mentored. Ava served on several committees committed to improving race relations in the community. At the time of her death, she was providing guidance for a group of young people who are participating in a UNITY project. The project is attempting to pave the way for the city and county schools’ consolidation in 2015 by fostering friendships among students in all the schools within our community. As the museum representative on the Starkville Area Arts Council board, Ava became involved with the group’s Oktibbbeha County Barn Quilt Trail. She cochaired the committee that shepherded the trail to fruition. The Heritage Museum has one of the barn quilt squares on its exterior, and the Friends of the Museum funded its construction. A Friends of the Museum committee is exploring a way to provide an appropriate memorial to Ava at the museum. As FOM president, each time that the museum website was updated, Ava wrote a letter that appeared on this page. One of her favorite sayings was that the Heritage Museum was Starkville’s best-kept secret. She continually urged people to visit the museum, to donate to it, or to become a museum volunteer. I’ll close this tribute by ending it as Ava did in each of her letters: “Through preserving our history . . . yesterday continues to live.” Respectfully, Wanda Thorne Past President, 2008-2012

Ava Moore Award

The Ava Moore Award is presented by the Friends of the Museum Board to individuals

who have made a significant impact on the Heritage Museum. Below is the list of recipients.


Bill Powe, 2016


Wanda Thorne, 2015


Ruth Morgan, 2022


Cory Gallo, 2019

joan wilson.jpg

Joan Wilson, 2018


Patsy Stuart, 2017

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