Des Moines/Burien native and longtime resident/activist Jeanne Moeller passed away on June 16, 2016.
She was 90 years old.
A rosary and funeral will be held at St. Francis of Assisi (15246 21st Ave SW) this week:
- Rosary: Wednesday, June 29: 7 p.m.
- Funeral: Thursday, June 30: 11 a.m.
Jeanne was raised on a farm in Burien and went on to become a community activist that fought for various causes. The groups that Jeanne help found, forced The Port of Seattle to insulate homes in the area to mitigate airplane noise, help to stop a dirt conveyor system for 3rd Runway fill, and fought The Port over the 3rd Runway. She also stopped various developers in the 70’s and 80’s from building cheap multi-family apartments in downtown Des Moines and worked for Des Moines City Council reform as well as water district leadership reform. Her biggest victory came while she was taking care of her elderly mother at a local convalescent home owned by Beverly Enterprises, Beverly was the largest elderly care provider in the country. Jeanne was appalled by the sub-standard care her mother received and circled the wagons (her political friend’s – local and Olympia) and she got a law passed making it criminal for sub-standard care for the elderly. The law was adopted by various other states allowing criminal prosecution of executives of care facilities that provide poor and neglectful care for the elderly. Karma kicked in during Jeanne’s golden years, she received the best care possible at various facilities in Des Moines and Burien.
Jeanne also worked on dozens of political campaigns over the years, including George HW Bush and Ronald Reagan. Jeanne was a delegate at the 1976 Republican Convention supporting Ronald Reagan. Jeanne eventually abandoned the Republican Party and proudly voted for Obama, because she no longer agreed with the direction of The GOP.
Florence Jeanne (Boyle) Moeller
May 24th 1926 ~ June 16th 2016
F. Jeanne Moeller died peacefully surrounded by family, three weeks into her 90th year.
Jeanne was born in Seattle to George and Florence Boyle, the third of four children. She was president of her 1944 graduating class of Highline High School and went on to attend Seattle University, where she met her husband William (Bill) Moeller. Jeanne and Bill had eight children and were together until Bill’s passing in 1999. Jeanne loved baking and spending time with family and friends. Jeanne was deeply engaged in her community, always fighting for causes she believed in. Jeanne was also the extended mother to the youth of The Hi-Liners Theater Group that her husband Bill founded, as well as a mentor to various local public servants.
Jeanne was preceded in death by her parents George and Florence Boyle; husband Bill; and sister Francis Downing. She is survived by her sisters Patricia (Tom) Drilling, Janet Boyle; children Lin (Mark) Medicus, Joanne Meyers, Dianne (Robert) West, Kevin (Kathy) Moeller, Julie (Karen) Moeller, Tim Moeller, Terri (Terry) Pearson, Matt (Kim) Moeller; seven grandchildren; and two great grandchild.
Here’s a statement from Mayor Matt Pina and the City of Des Moines:
Des Moines has lost one of its champions – Jeanne Moeller.
Jeanne was a lifetime South King County resident committed to maintaining and enhancing our quality of life … especially in Des Moines.
In quality of housing – she single-handedly fought the building of poorly constructed apartment buildings in the 1970’s and 1980’s, particularly in downtown.
In quality care for the elderly – she was responsible for current legislation that protects our elderly residing in nursing homes, legally challenging the world’s largest care-giver to win those changes.
In quality arts – with her husband Bill, committed to the musical and theatrical arts that have enriched the lives of many … including the children of our community. Their commitment led them to be founding members and mentors of the “Hi-Liners”, a performing arts, youth group.
A little known fact is that she turned down an RCA recording contract so that she and Bill could have a family.
In quality provision of utility services – serving as a Highline Water District Commissioner, she worked to ensure an adequate supply of fresh, clean water.
And in the quality of our environment – as a founding member of the RCAA (Regional Commission on Airport Affairs), and as President of CASE (Citizens Against Sea-Tac Expansion), quickly and correctly assessing what the impacts of construction and operating a Third Runway would mean to Des Moines. She helped to lead the charge, in the fight against the Third Runway that resulted in millions of mitigation dollars coming to this region.
For all of these efforts at promoting and working to make the quality of life in Des Moines the foremost reason we all have chosen to live here, Jeanne Moeller earned the respect and admiration of our community, and became the third recipient of The Spirit of Des Moines lifetime award.
Jeanne was also a mentor and a role model for me. In the early 80’s I was in a band with her son Tim. It was at that time I got to know her the best. We would often talk for long periods about music and politics.
In the sunset of her journey I had the opportunity, to spend an afternoon with her at one of her care facilities. Again we talked about many things, but when the time came for me to leave, she said something to me that I will never forget. She asked me what the one thing was that I always needed to remember. When she saw that I was confused and trying to think up something witty. She looked at me and said “Just always remember that the Old Lady loves you”.
Thank you Jeanne. You will be missed.