Santa Clara Magazine is published in print for alumni and friends of the University. It is updated weekly on the web.
Neil Vincent Moran ’51 was born on Sept. 25, 1929. He died unexpectedly in his home on Dec. 31, 2014. He is survived by the love of his life, Frederica Duffy Moran, his wife of 62 years; by his five adored sons, Neil Jerome Moran (Lynn), Kevin Vincent Moran (Sandy), Martin Thomas Moran, Andrew Duffy Moran (Cathy), and Matthew Paul Moran (Rachel); by his loving sisters Virginia Rarig and Nancy Buckley; by his darling 13 grandchildren; and by his admiring sister-in-law and his many nieces, nephews, and other precious members of his large and close family. He was predeceased by his older and venerated brothers, Thomas and Marshall Moran.
Neil was born in Oakland to Thomas Joseph and Sarah Gertrude Moran, the fourth of five children in a large Irish Catholic family. He grew up in Oakland and attended Our Lady of Lourdes grammar school, St. Ignatius High School (’47), and Santa Clara University (’51). Following two years of service in the U.S. Army, he joined the family business, Moran Supply, where he worked with his father, two brothers, and brother-in-law. Neil enjoyed a long career in the plumbing supply business, and upon his retirement, his sons Andrew and Matthew Moran took over the operation of Moran Supply, which remains in business in Oakland to this day.
Neil was a natural athlete. In school, he excelled in sports, including tennis, swimming, diving, and basketball. He continued to be an avid tennis player well into his 60’s, but ultimately golf became his second career. Neil was known for his graceful, consistent stroke, and he was a regular on the Claremont Country Club Golf Course, where he captured many club titles over the years. Family formed the heart and soul of Neil’s life. He met his future bride at the age of 12 while vacationing at the Russian River. Showing off his enviable athletic prowess from the outset, he executed multiple underwater back-flips in the river, thus capturing the interest, and, ultimately, the hand, of young Freddy Duffy. They married in 1952 and raised their family of boys in Lafayette, making their home on the same street as his parents, sisters, and oldest brother. Neil believed deeply and truly that his wife was the most beautiful woman in the world; that his sons were the most brilliant and accomplished men to walk the Earth, and that his grandchildren were the absolute cream of the crop. He had just celebrated a joyful Christmas Eve with his wife, sons, daughters-in-law, and grandchildren days before he drew his last breath.
In addition to his love of family and sports, he was a voracious reader, daily domino player, and world traveler. He accompanied his wife all across the country and around the globe for her quilt shows and classes. They recently traveled to Europe, Thailand, and China. He was very proud to travel twice to Ireland with his sons to play 36 holes of golf a day and get lost as they drove from one county to the next. What set Neil apart from everyone was his kind and loving heart. His devotion to his family and his cheerful, joyful, and sweet outlook will be missed and remembered forever by those of us lucky enough to have loved, and been loved, by him.