Thomas Anthony Moura, 77, passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by his loved ones on Friday, May 19, 2023, after losing a courageous yearlong battle with cancer.
Tom was born on October 9, 1945, to Azorean (Portuguese) immigrants, Manuel Moura and Virginia Moreira Moura in Lovelock, Nevada.
Tommy, as he was affectionately known by so many of his childhood friends, grew up in “Upper Valley,” attending Fairview School, a country schoolhouse a short distance from his family’s farm.
When he was in sixth grade, the old country school closed and Tom rode the bus into the “town school,” graduating from Pershing County High School in 1963.
He continued his education at the University of Nevada, Reno, graduating with a degree in Agriculture Education in 1967.
Tom completed his student teaching in Moapa, Nevada and returned full circle to his alma mater, Pershing County High School, where he was a much-loved substitute teacher.
His ambition to teach young people was not meant to be contained in the walls of a classroom. Soon after returning home from college,
Tom assumed the responsibilities of his family’s farming and ranching operation and began his lifetime of volunteering. He had a passion for his community and focused the majority of his time and talent on the youth of Lovelock.
Tom helped with the Lovelock Little League Association for many years, serving as a coach and as an officer of the board, including President.
He was involved in the Pershing County Alumni Association and was inducted into the Pershing County Alumni Hall of Fame.
However, the organization that Tom took the most pride in was 4-H. Tom was a member growing up, showing sheep, and attending 4-H Camp.
He loved telling stories of riding the cattle truck to Lake Tahoe for 4-H Camp. Upon returning from college, he became involved in 4-H again as a leader.
Tom was a 4-H Leader for over 50 years, leading various livestock clubs, serving on the state 4-H Camp Advisory Board, organizing countless years of Livestock Shows, Frontier Days 4-H BBQs, and numerous other 4-H events.
In 1998, he received the Pershing County Outstanding Leader of the Year Award and in 2009 was inducted into the Nevada 4-H Hall of Fame.
Tom was also a loyal supporter of the local Nile Valley FFA chapter and received an honorary FFA degree.
Education was important to him, and he was elected to the Pershing County School Board from 1980 to 1992, serving as President during his term.
Tom married the love on his life, Darlene Johnson, on August 28, 1971, and they spent the next 52 years building a life together on their family farm with their three children -not only through sickness and through health, but through drought and fluctuating cattle and hay prices.
As a couple, they spent an immeasurable amount of time selflessly serving on boards and committees, as well as proudly attending their children and grandchildren’s athletic events and activities.
Tom was devoted to his family, and they brought him considerable pride and happiness. Faith, hard work, and love for family is the legacy that he passed on to his children and grandchildren.
Being a farmer and working the land was something that also brought Tom great joy. He had a passion for promoting agriculture both on a county and state level.
After college he was president of the Pershing County Farm Bureau. In 1971, he was named Nevada’s Outstanding Young Farmer.
From 2003-2009, he served on the State of Nevada Dairy Commission. Tom also served on the Pershing County Water Conservation District Board for 16 years, as well as being elected to the Lovelock Meadows Water Board.
He knew that water was the lifeblood of the Lovelock Valley and did what he could to make sure that it continued to be a viable resource for years to come.
In 2018, Tom held his head high when his family received recognition from the Nevada Centennial Awards Program, recognizing agricultural families that have owned and operated the same land for over one hundred years.
Tom’s Catholic faith played a significant role in his life.
He prayed often to the Holy Spirit for guidance and intercession. Beginning at an early age as an Altar Server, his commitment to his church continued throughout his life until the very end.
He was an active member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, in Lovelock, serving on the Pastoral Council as President until his illness no longer allowed him to. Tom also took pride in his Azorean heritage and was an active member of the Lovelock Portuguese Festa Committee.
He felt it was especially important to be a part of carrying on this faith based, cultural tradition by helping organize and put on the annual Portuguese Festa.
On May 21, 2023, we celebrated the 87th Annual Festa, which was dedicated in his memory.
Tom’s commitment to the community of Lovelock and the Lovelock Valley is evident in the time he gave.
He had a contagious smile and a twinkle in his eyes that made everyone feel instantly at ease around him.
Tom lived his life demonstrating what genuine kindness should be. He had the ability to befriend most anyone, but at the same time was not one to hold back saying what he believed in and standing up for what he felt was right.
Family and friends will celebrate Tom as a great man, whose life was guided by faith, service, loyalty, and love. He will be deeply missed.
Tom is preceded in death by his parents, Manuel and Virginia Moreira Moura and grandparents.
He leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Darlene Johnson Moura; children: Anthony (Lisa) Moura of Lovelock, Nevada, Amy (Chad) Blanchard of Sparks, Nevada, and Mark (Cody) Moura of Cambridge, Idaho; grandchildren: Donovan and Dylan Campbell, Daralyn and Devin Moura, Alyse and Kyle Blanchard, Wyatt, Kellan, and Ryker Moura, as well as Megan Peterson, who was very special to him; niece: Melissa (Matt) DeMattei of Gardnerville, Nevada; nephew: Brian (Lindsay) Casci of Verdi, Nevada and their children Lena and Jace; many beloved lifelong friends; and numerous Moura relatives throughout the east and west coast and Canada.
In lieu of flowers, Tom’s family has established a scholarship fund in his memory.
The family feels this is a fitting tribute to a man who devoted his time to the youth of the Lovelock Community. Donations can be taken to Nevada State Bank in Lovelock or sent directly to the family.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held on Monday, May 29, 2023, at the Pershing County Community Center followed by interment at Lone Mountain Cemetery.
The family also held a Rosary at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Lovelock on Sunday, May 28, 2023.