Click photo to enlarge
Assemblyman Jim Frazier, the 11th Assembly District, wipes away tears as he talks about his special relationship with Antioch City Councilman Reggie Moore at a public memorial at the Antioch Family Church in Antioch, Calif., on Saturday, Feb. 22, 2014. Moore passed away on Feb. 10 after a lengthy battle with cancer. (Dan Rosenstrauch/Bay Area News Group)

ANTIOCH -- Reggie Moore's friends and family eulogized him Saturday as a tireless, dynamic leader whose passion to help those who could not help themselves was exceeded only by his love for his family.

More than 200 people, including droves of political leaders from the region and longtime union colleagues, turned out to Antioch Church Family to pay their respects.

"He is a permanent part of Antioch's history. He's one of the great Californians. Out of the 39 million, he stands tall, he stands toward the top," said Tom Torlakson, state superintendent of public education.

Antioch Church Family Pastor R. Mario Howell added: "Reggie was what I call a door opener."

Moore, 56, was elected Antioch's first African-American councilman in November 2006, serving one term.

The 24-year Antioch resident and longtime meter reader for EBMUD, served as union president for Local 444 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, or AFSCME, from 2003-2007. He died on Feb. 10 following a two-yearlong battle with cancer.

Speakers gave lengthy remarks, most including anecdotes about Moore's fiery attitude, manner-of-fact style of speech and thorough work ethic.

Longtime family friend Johnny Banks shared a tale of how Moore was sick this past Thanksgiving, and tried to see if the paramedics loading him into an ambulance were union workers.


Advertisement

"As only Reggie could do, he asked them: 'Hey, are you guys AFSCME? You ought to start a union if you're not,'" said Banks, adding he could picture Reggie keeping up with the questions on the drive.

"That's the way he lived his life. Each encounter was that important."

Quentin Finley, Moore's son, said that he learned a lot more about his dad in the past two years and gained a greater appreciation of him.

"He was there to push us in the right direction and make us strong men," he said.

"I didn't realize how many people he touched. He's a part of history. I'm going to regret the years I didn't learn more about him."

Antioch councilwoman Mary Rocha, who appointed Moore to the city's planning commission in 1999, said that though he was a fighter, he was also sensitive and slow to judge.

"He was a conscience for the city, and he was for the rights of people," Rocha said.

Moore created a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration in Antioch while on the council in 2009.

Mayor Wade Harper, who took over that event, said that a community service award will now be presented at the event in Moore's honor.

He urged Moore's three sons to be there next year to present the award in his honor.

Torlakson, a former Antioch councilman, said he admired how Moore put his heart and soul into walking many precincts during his run for office.

"I was so proud of what he stood for, what he was going to do and his belief in the greatness of this city," said Torlakson, who swore Moore into office.

Willie Pelote, AFSCME's political and legislative director, said Moore set a great decorum when he became part of the union's executive board that continues today.

"Reggie's a guy who believed in getting it done, staying focused and being prepared when you get to the door to the meeting," Pelote said during the eulogy.

Moore graduated from Berkeley High in 1975, was an avid sports fan, especially baseball and horse racing.

During one moment in the services, Howell directed Dishon Moore, Reggie's wife of nearly 24 years, to turn and look at the "flood gates of lives Reggie touched," noting it people of all races were there.

"They have come here today to show you how he touched their lives," said Howell, as Dishon started to tear up.

The services ended in a unique way, as family friend and Antioch Councilman Tony Tiscareno led the crowd in a "solidarity clap" for Reggie at Dishon's request, honoring his love of labor.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.

Online extra:
Scan this code on a smartphone to view a photo gallery or see it at http://photos.mercurynews.com