Patrick W. Moran, aka Pat, Paddy, and Señor Moran, an eternal optimist who lived life to the fullest, died July 16th, 2017. He was 72 years old.
All who knew Pat will remember him as a fun-loving guy who went out of his way to enrich the lives of others. He cherished his roles as husband, father, son, grandfather, brother, uncle, neighbor, colleague, educator, mentor, ¨voyageur,¨ softball teammate, golfing partner, drinking buddy, and loyal friend.
A native of Des Moines, Pat attended North High School and went on to study at Drake University, where he earned a PhD in education. He began his career as a teacher with the Des Moines Public Schools in 1967 and became an elementary school principal five years later. His tireless energy and dedication to education led him to become Chief Operating Officer of the public school system two decades later. His leadership in that position was the driving force behind the one-cent sales tax increase in Polk County in 2000 which allowed the city´s schools to modernize for the twenty-first century.
In recent years, Pat helped to make North High School’s Polar Bear Open golf tournament a major source of financial assistance for deserving students. Pat was inducted into North’s Hall of Fame, and a scholarship was established in his name.
Anyone who ever met Pat knows that he was a trustworthy and extraordinarily kind person. He didn´t judge others based on where they came from, how much money they had, their political views or the way they dressed or talked. To him, everyone deserved to be treated with respect. And when Pat made a promise, it was gold.
Pat met the love of his life and best friend, Jill Schliebe Moran, at Drake, and they were married for 50 years. They raised a family, traveled the world together, and earned the right to appreciate the mantra, ¨Life is Good.¨
Pat will live on through his beloved wife Jill; dear son and fellow beer and cheese plate enthusiast, Jay; favorite daughter and co-political pundit, Mindy; admired son-in-law and family cyclist, Chris; first-born grandson and zombie comrade, Max; shining granddaughter and ballerina, Sasha; upstart grandson and donut-hunting sidekick, Graham (aka ¨Mr. Butler¨); treasured sisters Karla Westberg and Karen Lacy; and nieces and nephews, Kristi, Melissa, John, and Christopher.
Pat loved fishing, baseball, the Hawkeyes, pizza, beer, ceviche, golf, all-things Irish, and his native Iowa. There was nothing he enjoyed more than mixing these interests with those closest to him. For nearly 50 years he spent a week every summer on a fishing trip with childhood friends — his fellow voyageurs — in Canada (¨Fish on, boys!¨). During the Fall, his enthusiasm was kid-like every time he went with family members to Iowa City on a Saturday morning to enjoy pre-game beers on Melrose before entering Kinnick (¨This is the year!¨). Pat never missed a chance to make a trip to St. Louis for a soccer game, special school event, or ballet performance (¨Glad you are here!¨), even if it meant turning around to drive back home the very next day. He and Jill visited Jay in Spain at least twice every year for tapas, cervezas, and countless good times (Dos cañas más, por favor!¨).
For Pat, life was an opportunity for good deeds and endless simple joys, and he embraced this attitude every day.
A celebration of Pat´s life will take place at 2 pm on Friday, July 21st at Windsor Heights Community Center in Colby Park. Immediately following the formal celebration, from 3 – 5 pm, family and friends will greet visitors, and there will be time for informal storytelling and reminiscing.
Memorial contributions may be made by check to: Polar Bear Scholarship Fund. The mailing address is: Polar Bear Scholarship Fund, North High School, 501 Holcomb Avenue, Des Moines IA 50313.