Norma Jean “Jinga” Moore
Norma Jean (Smith) Moore, known throughout her life as “Jinga,” died peacefully at the age of 95 on September 17, 2019. She and her two brothers grew up in New Hampton with their parents, Fred and Grace Smith, who led the New Hampton School.
Jinga attended the one-room Village School in New Hampton, Bristol High School, and the Bancroft School in Worcester, MA. She graduated from Mount Holyoke College in 1944 and completed her master’s degree in Spanish at UNH in 1979.
Jinga met T. Holmes “Bud” Moore when he was a student at the New Hampton School, and they married in 1944 while Bud was on leave from the Navy. They came to live in New Hampton in 1946 where Bud became a member of the school’s faculty.
When Bud became headmaster of the New Hampton School in 1959, Jinga graciously took on the traditional meeting, greeting, and serving obligations that were expected of the wife of the headmaster in that era. As the times and women’s roles changed, Jinga’s position evolved and she became a member of the school faculty as a teacher of Spanish and Latin, a coach, and a dorm parent. Jinga mentored countless New Hampton School students through the rough waters of adolescent life. Many came to New Hampton from far away, and she helped them adapt to a new place, cold weather, and lots of snow. For others, her support and ear in a difficult time made all the difference. She taught them to drive, took them to the dog sled races, and provided advice and guidance that went well beyond her role as headmaster’s wife and faculty member. She derived joy from their antics and motherly pride in their accomplishments. Her loyalty to the school and its alumni and friends never faltered, and she is warmly remembered by many graduates who kept in touch and frequently came back to visit her. Many people who grew up alongside the Moore children in New Hampton Village describe Jinga as a role model for them because of her love of the outdoors, the town and its people.
Jinga had a passion for languages. She inherited her mother’s penchant for correcting the grammar of anyone who made the unfortunate mistake of misusing “lie” and “lay,” substituting “good” for “well,” or making other common errors. She loved reading, writing, and discussing the English language and was accomplished in Spanish and Latin.
She was a talented athlete, avidly golfing, skiing, playing tennis, and always taking advantage of the outdoor recreational possibilities of life in New Hampshire. Her children have joked that she raised them to feel guilty if the day was sunny and they didn’t go out to enjoy it. Jinga won the New Hampshire State Tennis Championship in women’s doubles in 1963, and she played tennis well into her eighties, always proving that she was a competitive match for younger players. In the winter she cross country skied with friends and dogs throughout the woods and hills of New Hampton. She took art lessons and produced many wonderful paintings of favorite places where she had hiked, skied and walked.
She was dedicated to music, singing in various groups, practicing the piano every morning, and attending myriad plays and concerts. She and Bud were members of the New Hampton Community Church Choir and the Pemigewasset Choral Society. She could hold her own as the alto in a barbershop quartet that she and Bud formed, which appeared at local events like Old Home Day.
Jinga was highly engaged in the community and region. She often shared her comprehensive knowledge of local history, regularly giving tours of New Hampton to visitors. A generous volunteer, Jinga delivered Meals on Wheels and offered a regular weekly current events program to residents at Golden View Senior Living Community. She was a great supporter of the arts in New Hampshire and dedicated her time and energy to local organizations including the Board of Conservators of the Gordon Nash Library and the New Hampton Historical Society.
She is survived by her children, Thomas H. Moore Jr. and his wife Tina of Rohnert Park, CA; Andrew S. Moore and his wife Susannah of New Hampton, NH; Jamyn Moore Sheff and her husband Paul of Boylston, MA; Robinson C. Moore and his wife Laura of Groton, MA; Elibet Moore Chase and her husband George of Warner, NH; and by fourteen grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
A celebration of Jinga’s life will be held at the New Hampton Community Church on November 2, 2019, at 2 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the New Hampton School, the Gordon Nash Library, the New Hampton Historical Society, the Newfound Lake Region Association, the Mayhew Program, or the charity of your choice.
Thibault-Neun Funeral Home in Franklin is assisting Mrs. Moore’s Family. For an online guestbook, please visit www.neunfuneralhomes.com
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