His laugh was infectious. His smile greeted his student passengers warmly.
And he fought his illness with dignity, bravery, humour and compassion.
Michael Joseph Moore, 56, known to family, friends and colleagues as Mike, died April 17 after a lengthy battle with cancer.
The 25-year Vernon School District employee, the most recent as a school bus driver, took immense pride in providing safe transportation for hundreds of students.
Away from work, Moore could be found on the hiking and biking trails, chasing fresh powder on the trails at Silver Star, and spending time with family and friends at Kal Lake. He also cheered on his beloved soccer squads, Manchester United and the Vancouver Whitecaps, to which he had seasons tickets.
“You were more than a friend, you were like a brother,” said Ron Krause of Vernon who, like Moore, shared seasons tickets to the Whitecaps, on social media. “You put up a great fight but the cancer was just a little stronger. RIP. You will be missed.”
Moore, born and raised in Vernon, was well known for his community involvement as he was part of a variety of athletic organizations, including North Okanagan Youth Soccer and the Vernon Ski Club, where he dedicated thousands of hours as a youth coach.
He was lifetime member of the St. James Catholic Church, and a proud third-degree members of the Knights of Columbus.
A man with a never-ending work ethic and a gigantic heart, Moore’s quick wit and sense of humour will long be remembered, especially by his peers in the Vernon Secondary School graduating Class of 1981, of which Moore was one of about 500 grads.
More than 35 people had left notices of condolence on a social media page.
“Grade 7 through 12 and beyond,” wrote fellow grad Arbur Fernets. “Our fun was innocent and over-the-top. What a good attitude Mike had, and how we provoked one another to more humor and antics. My memories of basketball and volleyball (trips!) are laced with fun, fun, fun. Be at peace my friend.”
Moore is survived by his wife Tara, to whom he was married 33 years, their two children, Evan and Jenessa, two brothers, two sisters and many relatives and friends.