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Silver Crown
Tuesday, 27 October 2009


Maj. General (ret.) Robert Grant Moorhead 88, of Indianapolis, passed away on October 11, 2009. Mr. Moorhead served as USAC Chairman of the Board from 1982-2001 after serving as a Board Member since 1968. A past president of the 500 Festival Committee, he conceived the very successful USAC Winners’ Circle Club. He was born on Sept 4, 1921 to Robert L. and Roxanne Sanders Moorhead in Orleans, Indiana. He was a graduate of Indiana University where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity. After college, he began Officer Candidate Training School and soon found himself in Europe as a replacement officer assigned to the 115th Infantry, which had been decimated on D-Day. When he returned from Germany as a young Captain, Bob joined the Indiana National Guard, eventually rising to the rank of Major General and Division Commander. He later was appointed Deputy Commander of the U.S. Training and Doctrine Command. He earned numerous military decorations, including the Distinguished Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster, and the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. One of the high points of his military career was being elected president of the Association of the United States Army. Bob joined Central Publishing Company in 1947 and was its President and owner from 1960 – 1989. He loved the Indianapolis 500, and was one of a handful of city leaders that founded the 500 Festival Association, serving as its President in 1963. He continued his involvement, heading the 500 Parade Safety and Security for decades. A longtime member of the downtown Kiwanis Club, Bob was instrumental in the relocation of the Kiwanis Headquarters from Chicago to Indianapolis. He served Kiwanis faithfully at every level; as a club President, a District Governor and as International Foundation President. As a tribute for the many Kiwanis clubs he built, members he recruited and hours he devoted to the children of the world, Bob was recognized just last year when Kiwanis unveiled a state of the art facility, the Robert G. Moorhead Auditorium and Leadership Education Center. He was a Member of the Indianapolis Board of Public Safety, the Police Merit Board and the State Traffic Advisory Committee. Bob served as President of the State Armory Board for decades, and was proud to have the downtown Armory renamed the Tyndall-Moorhead Armory. Until his health failed him, he never missed an American Legion Convention, continuing the legacy his father began in 1919. Growing up on a farm in southern Indiana, Bob never had the opportunity to participate in Boy Scouts as a child. He certainly made up for that as an adult, serving as President of the Crossroads Council of Boy Scouts of America. He cherished his Scouting Silver Beaver Award. Whether the call was for help developing a public television station in Indianapolis or for the American Cancer Society or the Salvation Army, Bob was always "front and center." And, in the end, he would hold a key leadership position in whatever organization sought out his expertise. For his tireless dedication to his community Bob was awarded a total of five Sagamore of the Wabash awards from five different Indiana Governors! He also found time for camaraderie and fellowship. He was a member of Northminster Presbyterian Church, the Columbia Club, the Indianapolis Athletic Club, Meridian Hills Country Club, Tippecanoe Lake Country Club, The Army Navy Club in Wash. D.C., and the Skyline Club. Bob is survived by his wife of 61 years, Margaret (Maggie) Bachelder Moorhead. Bob had known Maggie since the day she was born. He also leaves five children, James (Martha) Moorhead of Little Rock, Ark; Richard (Margy) Moorhead of Fishers, IN; Barbara (Danny) Hockett of Carmel, IN; Sandy (Ed) Hale of Dallas, TX; Janet (Ed) Hourigan of Indianapolis. He was the proud grandfather of 19 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren who will cherish memories of time spent with Papaw at Lake Tippecanoe. He was preceded in death by his sister, Anne Moorhead Burge and grandson, Robert Daniel Hockett, Jr. The family would like to thank all of the staff at Marquette Manor for making the "General" feel at home these past six years. Special thanks to Alaa, Victoria, Tony and Jerry, his wonderful care-givers, whose individual attention was so appreciated. Visitation will be Sunday, October 18 from 1:30-5:00 pm at Crown Hill Funeral Home, 700 W. 38th St. Funeral Service will be held at 11:00 am on Monday, October 19 at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1660 Kessler Boulevard East Dr, Indianapolis. Military Burial to follow at Crown Hill Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to Kiwanis International Foundation, 3636 Woodview Trace, Indianapolis, IN 46268 and to the 38th Division Association, co Monument Fund, 3912 W. Minnesota St., Indianapolis, IN 46241. Online condolences may be sent to Arrangements entrusted to Crown Hill Funeral Home.