Remembering Leaders
in the Field of Blindness and Visual Impairment

Dr. Moore, Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh
died Sunday March 26, 2006 at the age of 88.

Dr. Moore, Professor Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh

Dr. Mary W. Moore dedicated her life to her family, teaching children who were blind and visually impaired, preparing students at the University of Pittsburgh to become teachers of children with visual impairments, and mentoring doctoral students to take leadership positions in the fields of special education and rehabilitation in blindness. Inspired by a friend's blind son, she dedicated her career to teaching how to enable individuals who were blind to fulfill their life goals.

Dr. Moore was a Pittsburgh native and was the youngest person to attend the University of Pittsburgh at age 14, after graduating from Peabody High School.  She retired from the University of Pittsburgh's School of  Education as a professor emeritus at 70. Her education was interrupted at age 16, when her mother died. While working, she met John H. Moore, on May 4, 1938. They eloped three months later. The Moores moved to Pleasant Hills and raised three sons.

Dr. Moore returned to Pitt and finished her bachelor's degree in 1962, and earned her master's of education in 1965 and her doctorate in special education in 1970. At age 52, she joined the School of Education's faculty.

In addition to Pitt students, Dr. Moore taught Braille to inmates at the old Western Penitentiary so they could spend their time preparing textbooks and other reading materials into Braille.

She worked with inventors John Linville and James Bliss, whose Optacon device enabled individuals who are blind to read print without Braille. She taught American and Japanese teachers how to use the device, because it was also popular in Japan. She was the first in the country to train other University professors the use of the Optacon so they could teach teachers of blind children to train blind children in its use.

She was passionate about Pittsburgh and Pitt. She had at least eight Cathedral of Learning paintings in her home (the architectural symbol of the University of Pittsburgh) and often spoke about her grandfathers cattle that grazed on the land on which the Cathedral of Learning is erected.   Dr. Moore was a member of Pleasant Hills Community Presbyterian Church, where she started projects for the blind. She raised orchids and was a member of the Pleasant Hills Garden Club.

She is survived by three sons, Paul Moore, Professor of Pharmacology at Pitt's School of Dental Medicine, John H. Moore of State College and James W. Moore of Atlanta; Sister Nancy Welfer; eight grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

The family suggests contributions to Pleasant Hills Public Library, 302 Old
Clairton Road, Pittsburgh 15236