Elected Ladysmith leaders past and present are remembering a former city mayor, respected business owner and civic volunteer.
Ronald Moore passed away on Sunday, Aug. 25. He was 89.
Moore served two terms on the city council from 1988-92. He was mayor for four terms over eight years, from 1992-2000. He returned to the council as alderman from 2016-18. He served on the Northwest Regional Planning Commission, appointed one term as chairman, and two terms with the Northwest Business Development Corporation. He also served on the city planning commission.
Ladysmith Mayor Alan Christianson said Moore’s contributions to the community during his time as a business owner, mayor, council member and civic leader were nothing short of impressive.
“All of the hours he logged in service to our community and all the development and resources he helped generate for the public good cannot be overlooked,” Christianson said. “As Mayor, Ron guided the city through a period of strong economic growth which included the opening and closure of the Flambeau Mine, development of many of our industrial buildings that still provide hundreds of jobs and the development of a new library.”
In 1964, Moore began working for a local construction company and mobile home dealer in Ladysmith. While employed, he became a licensed plumber.
In 1974 he and wife, Helen, purchased a mobile home dealership in Ladysmith and renamed it American Mobile Home Sales. They operated the business with son, Dick and son-in-law, Don Barker, they operated it until 1995. The couple sold the business at that time to their son, Dick and his wife, Tammy. Then, Moore became a licensed insurance agent.
Moore served as mayor from the beginning to closure of the Flambeau Mine in Rusk County. He made many trips to Madison, making sure the city, county and townships received all the mining tax revenue they could possibly get.
While mayor, he represented Ladysmith on many different projects such as Wisconsin League of Municipalities serving three terms on the legislative committees, Governors Conference on Tourism, representative to the U.S. Department of Commerce, Northwest Regional Planning Commission, Northwest Business Development Corporation and serving one term as chairman, Board of Directors for Mount Senario College.
Moore served with the Ladysmith Lions for 40 years with three terms as president, two terms as secretary and three terms as Lions Zone Chairman. He received the International Presidents Achievements Award and the Melvin Jones Fellowship Award, being the highest award bestowed upon a Lions member.
More also served 40 years with the Knights of Columbus and 18 years with the Greater Ladysmith Area Chamber of Commerce, serving many terms as president and director.
After his time as mayor Moore continued his work to benefit the community. Moore helped spearhead the push to establish a Main Street program. He also remained active on city committees before eventually returning to the council.
“Mr. Moore’s legacy will forever be that of the ultimate community servant. He served not only in elected positions but also in volunteer roles with community organizations including the Chamber of Commerce, Knights of Columbus and Lions Club. This was all in the name of improving our community,” Christianson said.
Former Mayor Dan Gudis praised Moore for his volunteer work and remaining active with the city.
“Anything he could do he did it, and he enjoyed that,” Gudis said. “Even after he wasn’t mayor he remained active in the community.”
Moore was a long-time member of the Ladysmith Lions Club. He also helped serve meals at area fundraising breakfasts and fish fries at Our Lady of Sorrows Church.
“Ron is going to be sorely missed,” Gudis said.
Ladysmith Ald. Marty Reynolds, who also is a former city mayor, described Moore as a man who loved life, family and community and was respected by his friends.
Reynolds called Moore good for the community, saying Moore always had the city’s best interests at heart. He added Moore’s was very strong in promoting the city through tourism.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize how big the community was to Ron. He was very proud of the city, and he loved his community,” Reynolds said.
“He was dedicated to the city of Ladysmith in more ways than most people will ever know, or will personally ever be,” Reynolds said. “I don’t think a better legacy can be left by any individual, and I was proud to call him my friend.”