Douglas H. Moore

Douglas Houston Moore, a longtime resident of Claremont, died Tuesday, September 17, 2013 in the Health Center at Mt. San Antonio Gardens. He was 93.

Mr. Moore was a math whiz from an early age, an ability that naturally led to an interest in computer technology well before the phrase “computer geek” had been invented. A native of Los Angeles, he graduated in 1938 from Manual Arts High School with a Science Award from Bausch and Lomb. At UC Berkeley, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, he graduated in 1942 with honors in mathematics and then was drafted by the US Army Air Force. He became a weather observer and teacher of Morse Code.

In 1946, Mr. Moore entered the master’s program in math at UCLA, where he found love, as well as numbers. The math department had just hired a secretary named Nan Ferris, who was a graduate student in education.  According to Mr. Moore, she was not only pretty but also drove an impressive gray Plymouth coupe with leather upholstery in which they went to see “Fantasia” in Hollywood. They were married on December 23, 1947.  One year later, Mr. Moore finished his master’s thesis on “Geodesic Coordinates and Parallel Displacement of a Vector.” The marriage lasted 64 years.

With advanced degree and wife in hand, Mr. Moore began his professional life as a teacher of mathematics at West Coast University in Los Angeles. A daughter, Nancy Gaye Moore, was born in 1950 followed by a son, Eric Stuart Moore, in 1952. The family moved to Claremont in 1958, when Mr. Moore was hired by Cal Poly Pomona. There, he taught mathematics while completing a PhD at UCLA in engineering.

His doctoral thesis was entitled, “Convolution Products and Quotients of Sequences: An Operational Calculus for Sequences and for Pulsed-data and Digital Systems.” The marriage survived.

Mr. Moore briefly left California in 1968 to work as a professor of environmental control at the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay. He published his first book, Heaviside Operational Calculus, in 1971. But the job didn’t agree with him and he grew tired of digging the snow out of the driveway every morning in order to get to work, so he returned to his home state and began teaching math at Northrop University. In 2003, he wrote, “my most pleasing teaching experience was at Northrop, in analog computer simulation, where I could simulate sending a rocket to the moon.”

In 1989, Mr. Moore moved with his wife to Mt. San Antonio Gardens, where he offered his computer expertise to those in need. In addition to his son and daughter, he is survived by 4 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, one of whom is currently studying for a PhD in astrophysics.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations be made in Douglas Moore’s name to the Nature Conservancy or to Mt. San Antonio Gardens Homeship fund, which supports residents in need of financial assistance.


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