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July 8, 1925 - July 4, 2021
LaRea passed away peacefully at Hospice Simcoe in Barrie on July 4th after suffering a stroke a week earlier.
Predeceased by her husband Bill (2001), both LaRea and Bill had a strong sense of family and they were especially proud of the accomplishments of their children: Rusty (Linda), Diana, Scott (Ellen) and Doug (Joan). And grandchildren: Bryce Moody, Jeffrey Moody, Alison Jordan (Lance) and Great-Grandchildren: Brooklyn and Hudson Jordan
LaRea was born in Staten Island New York on July 8, 1925, the youngest of five children. Her parents and four Siblings were Russian Jewish Immigrants who had escaped to the States in 1923 to start a new life. Her birth represented new hope and prosperity to her family and that was something she never forgot; and perhaps that is one of the reasons she was so special.
LaRea attended Columbia University and Brooklyn College and earned a B.A. in Political Science in 1948. She worked as a Sales Promotion Director for Pittman Publishing in Manhattan until she met Bill Moody, who persuaded her to get married and move to Dallas Texas as he started his career in Mechanical Engineering.
In 1954, a transfer to Canada (Cambridge, Galt) saw LaRea, Bill, Rusty and Diana take on a new challenge that had a tremendous impact on the rest of their lives. Quickly learning to play golf and bridge, they developed lasting friendships and also added to the family with the arrival of Scott and Doug before leaving Cambridge in 1963. The family saw moves to Burlington (where LaRea supply taught in five area High Schools), Pittsburgh and back to Burlington with an eventual move to Thunder Bay in 1971.
With her usual positive attitude, LaRea embraced this northern Ontario city and immediately enrolled in Lakehead University to further her education; subsequently accepting a teaching position in the University’s School of Library Technology for 10 years. In 1981, she was asked to be the Courthouse Librarian at the Ontario Superior Court of Justice where she worked for 19 years. Upon her retirement, the Thunder Bay Law Association renamed it the “LaRea Moody Law Library.”
In addition to taking on multiple careers, LaRea was actively involved in the cultural scene, serving
on the Thunder Bay Symphony & Regional Arts Council Boards, fund raising for Lakehead University and other charities. She also produced (along with Bill) and hosted a TV show “Best Seat in the House” for 10 years that saw her interview a wide range of artists from the performing arts. She produced a special documentary that won the MacLean Hunter Award in recognition of her outstanding public service. LaRea also did special narrations for the CBC; and in 1994, the mayor and members of City Council recognized her cultural achievements noting that her volunteer work ”springs from a sense of the importance of the arts as the soul of a city.” She was also involved in local theatre performing in several plays and recently joked that whenever they were looking for a crabby old lady to play a part, she was considered a natural!
In 2003, LaRea moved to Barrie to be closer to family and continued to be a patron of the Arts in her new community – frequenting the Maclaren Art Centre and attending Concerts and Shows in local theatre which she enjoyed so much with special friends and volunteering on several Committees well into her eighties.
In 2004, LaRea was inducted into the Curtis High School (Staten Island) Hall of Fame as a distinguished graduate honouring her contributions. She was so humbled to be able to go back to her beloved New York to accept this recognition.
The Family would like to thank the staff at the Waterford Retirement Home in Barrie where LaRea resided so comfortably for the past 5 years.
A private family celebration is planned at the family’s cottage on “Mary’s Island” in Pointe au Baril where LaRea will join Bill in her final resting place later this summer.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Hospice Simcoe or RVH Foundation. Messages of condolence may be forwarded to the family through www.adamsfuneralhome.ca