Billy Moore was a bigger-than-life personality and patriarch of a well-known Chelsea family
Chelsea High had some great football teams in the 1940s and Billy Moore was very much an integral part of that golden era as a Red Devil captain and rugged lineman. He was an All-Scholastic player that drew the attention of national colleges such as Niagara University.
It was also during that time that the young man from Second Street met his high school sweetheart and classmate, Nancy Sartini, who was a cheerleader.
While Billy was serving in the United States Marines, he married Nancy in 1950. Their son, Billy was born at Camp Lejeune in 1952. Their daughter, Michelle, was born in 1954 at the Chelsea Naval Hospital.
Billy and Nancy would raise 10 children – Billy, Michelle, Linda, Tom, Johnny, Kimberly, Nancy, Stacey, Allison, and Patrick – each possessing the magnetic personality and charismatic nature of their parents. Their son, Billy, carried on the family’s football tradition in the late 1960s. If you grew up in Chelsea in that decade, you knew a member of the Moore family and you enjoyed their warmth and enjoyed their company.
Billy Moore passed away on June 14 at the age of 92. He was one of those bigger-than-life personalities that Chelsea people came to admire and respect. He was a detective in the Chelsea Police Department. He also worked part-time at Danny’s on Revere Beach.
Many residents will remember the Moore family’s popular Richdale store at the corner of Central Avenue and Highland Street. He also once owned an ice cream stand, The Cream Cup, located near the Elm Street Synagogue.
Billy Moore ran for a seat on the School Committee and was elected. His wife, Nancy, continued the family’s public service when she, too, was elected to the Committee, serving alongside other giants in Chelsea’s history such as Andrew P. Quigley Sr., Paul “Choc” Glazer, and Doris Waxman.
The Moore family moved in 1974 to New Hampshire where Mr. Moore bought a 200-acre farm in Alton.
“He wore the overalls, drove the tractors, and raised the cattle,” recalled his son-in-law, Charlie Sherman, who married Michelle Moore in 1974. “Billy and Nancy also opened a restaurant called Mama Rina’s that had homemade Italian meals. Billy loved it. He was in the kitchen from morning ‘til night. and they operated it together.”
Interestingly, Charlie would become one of new Hampshire’s most popular sportscasters during the time.
“When it was busy on Sundays at the restaurant and they needed help, I would wait on tables,” said Charlie. “People would ask me, ‘What are you doing here – I watch you every night on the Channel 9 News?”
Billy returned to the political arena in New Hampshire and was elected as a town selectman for a few years.
“Billy was larger than life,” said Charlie. “He may have moved from Chelsea, but he was always a Chelsea guy. Billy and Nancy loved Chelsea. He was kind, generous, and always willing to help those less fortunate because he never forgot where he came from, because his family struggled when he was young.”
When Charlie married Michelle in 1974, Mr. Moore welcomed him warmly into the family.
“We became very close over the years, especially in his later years,” said Charlie. “We got to spend a lot of time together. I knew Billy for 50 years and I knew my own father [Allen Sherman] for 37 years. I was 32 when my father died.”
The Moore children will have a celebration of life for Billy Moore on July 26. Billy will be buried next to his beloved wife, Nancy. The tribute will include military honors for the former Marine.
Reflecting on his father-in-law’s generous nature, sparkling wit, and wisdom, Charlie said,“I feel so fortunate to have known Billy Moore and to have been a part of his wonderful family. “He was very, very proud of being from Chelsea. We’ve truly lost a great one, another tremendous link to the city’s glorious past.”