Soldier, Farmer, Father, Teacher, and Friend to All
William Elliott Moorman Jr., known to everyone as Bill, left this life peacefully on Feb. 21st, 2020. He is survived by his daughter, Lorena Logan Caprio, and was preceded in death by his parents, William Elliott Moorman of Glen Dean, Kentucky, and Dorothy D.S. Moorman of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; by his siblings, Patricia Moorman Neall, Roger Moorman, and Catherine Madelaine Riley; and by his son, William Elliott Moorman III.
Bill was home-schooled during his early years, and graduated St. Christopher School in Richmond, Va., before enrolling at the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, Va., where he earned a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 1950. His education there was interrupted by his father’s illness, and he took leave for a semester to help at home, before returning to finish with the following class (1950-B).
In 1951, he accepted a commission in the U.S. Army, trained at Fort Knox, Ky., and was deployed to Germany to serve with the 40th Armored Battalion of the 4th Infantry Division. He quickly rose to 1st Lt., and assumed command of C Company, a tank unit. During this time, Bill also served as a military prosecutor for Special Courts Martial within the Battalion.
In 1953, Bill’s father passed away, and he left the Army to return to Virginia and manage the family farm. This began a 22-year career in farming—both row crops and livestock—involving the family acreage and leased land in various parts of Gloucester and Mathews counties. Bill remained interested in agriculture for the rest of his life, closely following developments in technology and practice.
Bill was that very rare individual who loved words and loved mathematics. He liked nothing better than to sneak a pun into a conversation. In 1964, while still farming, he took a job teaching math at Hampton Roads Academy. That would occupy him until 1977, and during that time, he enrolled at the College of William and Mary, graduating with an M.S. in Physics, with a minor in Math. These would serve him well for the remainder of his teaching career at Gloucester High School, Mathews High School, and Rappahannock Community College.
The final phase of Bill’s working life began in 1980, with a Real Estate Broker’s license, and an opportunity to develop residential properties, primarily along the Ware and North rivers.
Throughout all of this, Bill remained proud of his roots in Gloucester County, and maintained friendships with countless contemporaries, their children, and their grandchildren. He befriended people who were new to the area, and delighted in introducing them to people he’d already known for 60 or 70 years. Bill loved gatherings of any size: lunch with his daughter and friends, community events like the annual Boy Scout fundraiser at Elmington or parties like his own 90th birthday, where more than 100 folks came to wish him well.
Nearly everyone who knew Bill Moorman has a story—or several—and we cherish them. His physical absence makes those memories precious to each of us.
A graveside service for Bill and his sister, Madelaine, will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 4, 2021, at Ware Episcopal Church Cemetery, 7825 John Clayton Memorial Highway, Gloucester, Va. 23061. A Celebration of Life will follow and additional information will be provided at the service.
Services under the direction of Hogg Funeral Home.