Salute to dad for Father’s Day

Published 3:50 pm Monday, June 20, 2011

By NIVA DOROUGH / Community Columnist

Around Father’s Day, everyone begins thinking of something special they can do, or how they can find a way to honor their fathers. What a great time to express your love to one who has influenced your life, and my dad was one of those inspirational people to me.

James Byron Moore grew up in Springville, Ala. with four brothers and one sister.

He attended Springville High School where he and his twin brother were star basketball players. As one of the oldest siblings living at home, after the loss of his father during his senior year, he began working to help support the family as a truck farmer.

While truck farming with one of his best friends, Allen Washington, whose family lived in Westover, he met his bride-to-be, Bertha Blankenship.

I remember his stories of how he walked to see her and pretty much everywhere he went at the time. They were married in 1942 just before he enlisted into the Army.

Former Westover resident and dad, James Byron Moore. (Special/Niva Dorough)

As a veteran of World War II, he served his country from 1942 to 1945 and was in the Army Corp. of engineers.

After returning from his tour of duty in Europe, he settled in Westover in 1945 for a lifetime residency.

He was a bulldozer operator and also enjoyed being a mechanic on heavy equipment.

Byron, a man of faith and integrity, served as a deacon and taught Sunday school classes at Mt. Zion Baptist and Prospect Baptist Churches in Westover.

He loved to sing along with the gospel quartets, never played a musical instrument but was always keeping time with his hands.

My mother said he never sang a solo except one night in his sleep he sang Amazing Grace beautifully.

An old favorite song he used to sing with his brother was “Life’s Railway to Heaven.”

His hobbies were mowing grass, bush hogging, which always seemed like work to everyone else, and fishing in his small pond. He was very content to just be outdoors.

He enjoyed his three grandchildren and would be so proud he now has seven great-grandchildren.

He was a loving father, and I’m so thankful for the steadfastness and contentment he showed me in his daily walk. The best advice he ever gave me was to be accountable for my own life each day.

Niva Dorough can be reached at