Norman Leon Moorehead
“The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Psalm 37:23
A true “Renaissance Man” … a husband, father, brother, mentor, community leader and servant of God. He was a man born of little means but who never allowed this to be an impediment to his achievement or the achievements of those he loved. His commitment to community service is legendary and he used his life in the service to others.
Norman Leon Moorehead was the oldest child born to Mary T. Wright Moorehead and Lucius G. Moorehead on May, 28, 1929 in Wills Point, Texas. His walk with Jesus Christ began as a small child at Pleasant Hill Baptist Church. He later joined his wife at Bethlehem United Methodist Church (UMC) in Hawkins,Texas and upon moving to Dallas, the family united with Community UMC formerly known as Crestmoore King UMC where he remained a faithful member until his death.
He completed his early education graduating from Cartwright High School. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Butler College at nineteen years of age. He entered the Army where he served his country in the Military Police. After leaving the military, he obtained his Master of Education in Administration from Texas Southern University, Master of Education in Personnel Administration from North Texas State University and a Master of Public Health in Health Services Administration and Population Studies from the University of Texas.
Mr. Moorehead began his professional career as an educator in his hometown of Wills Point actually having the opportunity to teach his siblings. He taught Spanish in addition to other subjects. He loved the students at Allen High School where he served as principal and eventually was appointed Interim Superintendent of Laneville Independent School District. During college he starred in basketball and football and used those skills to coach and referee throughout East Texas. It is a little-known fact that Norman played baseball in the historic Negro Baseball League. Like a true Renaissance Man, he spoke several languages, including Spanish, Chinese and American Sign Language. “Mo” as he was often called, was a self-taught musician and played the trombone, piano and bass guitar. He was always willing to sit in with bands throughout Dallas. Being fluent in Spanish, Norman began working for the Texas State Health Department in 196 coordinating nurses, doctors and other health personnel in an effort to establish a comprehensive network of health service throughout 36 counties in Texas. In addition to his primary role, he was given two critical projects: Educating the rural community regarding sexually transmitted diseases and educating the community regarding tuberculosis. Texas had become the home of one of the largest Tuberculosis hospitals in the country and North East Texas had no one capable to provide lifesaving education in Spanish and English.
Congress passed the Older Americans Act (OAA) in 1965 in response to a lack of community social services for older persons. The OAA created the National Aging Network comprising the Administration on Aging on the federal level and Area Agencies on Aging at the local level. Mr. Moorehead was selected to serve as the first Director of the Dallas Area Agency on Aging with
the Community Council of Greater Dallas in 1973. From the Dallas County Nutrition Program in the 1970’s to the Coalition on Aging and Developmental Disabilities in the late 1990’s, Norman worked to develop a seamless system of services for older adults guaranteeing equal access to all. Senor Moorehead was one of the founders of La Voz del Anciano, the only bilingual/bicultural non-profit organization in the Dallas area whose primary focus was serving the needs of the Latino elderly population. In 1977, Mr. Moorehead took a community concern and developed a solution. He approached the Senior Source, formerly known as Senior Citizens of Greater Dallas, with an idea that grew into Off Our Rockers Program, an intergenerational program that places older adults as volunteers with children in kindergarten through third grade. This is only one of many programs that became a model which has been replicated all over the United States. To address the needs of the frail elderly with multiple problems, Norman conceived the idea of the Access Center for the Elderly (ACE). A case management component, ACE brought together over 30 social service agencies in the community to ensure that no older adult was unable to access services due to an inability to advocate on his or her own behalf. For these people, this program has made the difference between remaining in the community or being forced into a nursing home. This award-winning program has received visitors from around the globe seeking to create their own “ACE”. He served as Director for thirty-two years.
During his long illustrious career, Norman Moorehead worked as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Health Sciences Center at Dallas and University of North Carolina. He hosted a radio show and made many television appearances. He was a published author and had a regular column in the Texas Senior News.
Norman Moorehead was a trainer for the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission (Amarillo, TX) and The Children’s Center in New Hampshire. He served on the Governor’s Committee on Aging, National Advisory Board of the American Foundation For the Blind, Incorporated, the Texas House of Representatives Senior Citizenship Committee and a key educator for the American Public Health Association 110th Annual Meeting in Quebec, Canada.
Norman Moorehead was the recipient of many awards, including the Older Women’s League (OWL) Community Service Award, Freedom’s Foundation at Valley Forge National Award, Certificate of Appreciation from the C.A.W. Clark Legal Clinic, Award of Appreciation from the Korean Senior Citizens, The Young At Heart Award from the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, Outstanding Service Award from Friendship-West Baptist Church and was the first recipient of the National Council of Jewish Women’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
A resolution was presented to him at Dallas County Commissioner’s Court by Commissioner John Wiley Price on January 18, 2005 for not only his work with the elderly but also because his “experience in Maternal Health and Child Care allowed him to play an active role in efforts to reduce the incidence of teenage pregnancy, raise the childhood disease immunization level against preventable diseases, and encourage senior participation in the fight to reduce influenza and pneumonia” as a member of the Dallas County Health and Humans Services
Public Health Advisory Committee. He has received Special Recognition from the City of Dallas for his selfless service including establishing the Supporting Our Caregiver Project, a faith-based initiative to identify caregivers and provide caregiver support, signed by then Mayor, Laura Miller. Former State Representative Helen Giddings presented him with a Resolution for his tireless, unwavering commitment to improving the quality of life for senior citizens in Texas. On January 19, 2005, Governor Rick Perry wrote, “Public service is an honor, for its foundation is in the public trust. Daily, you earn this trust, demonstrating dependability, initiative and wise stewardship of public resources. Your endless dedication highlights that this state’s greatest asset lies with the people who call it home.”
Norman Leon Moorehead had been a confirmed bachelor but in 1958, he married the smart and beautiful Texas College campus queen, Nita Faye Brown. The happy couple honeymooned for nine years before beginning a family. Norman and Nita have been married sixty-one years. This union was blessed with two children, the Honorable Audrey Moorehead and Patrick Leon Moorehead (Katrina) both of Dallas. He leaves to cherish his memory, his devoted and loving wife, Dr. Nita Moorehead; daughters, Audrey Moorehead, Tracey Carter (Harlan) and; son, Patrick Moorehead. His legacy includes his three grandchildren: Xaviara Walker, Xavier Walker, Maya Banks and one utterly adorable great-granddaughter, Tiyanah. He also leaves one brother, Erskine Moorehead (Bobbie Lee) and one sister, Esther Gibson. He leaves many other relatives and friends, including Goddaughter Anita Faye Faber; his Executive Assistant for thirty years, Corina Castro; and his very special nurse, Ruthie Mae Simmons.
Date: Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Time: 1:00 pm - 6:45 pm
WAKE: 7-8PM, Tuesday, March 19, 2019
Black and Clark Funeral Chapel
2517 E. Illinois Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75216
In Lieu of Flowers donations may be made to: Senior Source.org and VNA-Meals on Wheels Texas.org
Date: Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Time: 11:00 am
St. Luke Community United Methodist Church
Address:5710 East R.L. Thornton Freeway, Dallas, TX, 75223