Elizabeth M. Moody 1918 - 2023
January 11, 2024
Elizabeth M. Moody passed on July 25, 2023 at 105 years of age. She was born on May 21, 1918, in Marshall, Missouri, to John H. and Ruth J. Marschall. Her family relocated to Miami, Arizona where her father was a high school science teacher for many years. She graduated from Miami High School at the age of 16. She attended the American University in Washington D.C. on a scholarship for two years earning a Liberal Arts Degree. She then stayed out of college for a year to earn money to attend the University of Arizona graduating cum laude with a Bachelor in Science in Botany and a minor in Entomology in 1940.
While growing up, the Marschall family went camping throughout Arizona. She loved camping, and made sure she continued the tradition of camping with her own children exposing them to the wonders of nature. It was an outdoor classroom with nature walks.
While at the University of Arizona, she was a member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. She met and married University of Arizona classmate Robert "Bob" J. Moody, who was hired as the Agricultural Agent for Pima County, in 1940. She helped by writing Victory Garden pamphlets during the war. Bob was reassigned to Yuma County and they moved to Yuma in 1944.
Elizabeth was very active in many different youth, civic, and garden clubs, sororities and societies. She became an expert in Arizona desert plants and would often give talks and presentations to groups, not only in Yuma, but also throughout Arizona. She also gave talks and demonstrations on varieties of roses that would survive in the Yuma climate. She is responsible for a handful of rose gardens in the Yuma area.
Bob and Elizabeth bought a farm in the Yuma Valley in 1949. Elizabeth loved being a farm wife working beside her husband Bob, for 15 years, hauling barley, pitching silage, driving tractor, feeding cattle, writing paychecks for farm workers, straining milk to make butter and cottage cheese, monitoring cotton pests, all while raising five children. In 1962 they had to sell their farm due to rough economic times. They moved to the outskirts of Yuma in 1964 where they created an oasis.
In 1964, she became a substitute teacher for Crane and Somerton schools. She attended summer school at Northern Arizona University obtaining a Masters Degree in Biology Education in 1971, and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi.
Elizabeth was a natural educator and loved teaching. In 1966 she began a new career at Fourth Avenue Junior High teaching eighth grade science. She loved her students and always challenged them with new and wonderful concepts and labs. Each student to her was important. In 1980, she retired after teaching for 15 years. Former students still remember the unique science experiences they learned in her classroom. This past year she was inducted into the Yuma County Education Foundation Hall of Fame.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, Bob, a native Montanan and who grew up in St. Ignatius, began taking Elizabeth to Seeley Lake. He told her, "I am going to take you to the most beautiful place I know." They visited Seeley Lake for a couple weeks each summer, going camping, fishing, hiking, canoeing, and exploring. On one of their trips, they met Jim and Jean Haviland, who became some of their dearest friends. In 1980, they decided to purchase a cabin located on state leased land, off of Boy Scout Road. It was also around this time that Bob and Elizabeth were able to extend their summer visits, and became members of Mountain Lakes Presbyterian Church. After the love of her life, Bob, had passed in December 2000, Elizabeth continued to annually return to Seeley Lake, staying the entire summer. She enjoyed going to the Senior Citizens Center (where she developed more friendships), going to yard sales, going to the Fourth of July activities, and continuing to go fishing, huckleberry picking, and exploring as she was able. She was able to enjoy having a 100th birthday celebration at the Senior Citizens Center in 2018. She enjoyed one last summer in Seeley Lake in 2019. She cherished the 40+ years of visiting and spending time in Seeley Lake.
Elizabeth leaves behind a legacy through her 5 children, John R. Moody (Sharon), Ruth Ann Maguire (Donald), James H. Moody, Charles D. Moody (Diane) and William J. Moody (Stefanie); 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Bob; parents, John and Ruth Marschall; siblings, Robert Marschall, Margaret Hughes, and Donald Marschall, and her daughter-in-law Sharon Moody.
A Celebration of Life service will be held in Yuma, Arizona on Jan. 13, 2024.