John W. Moeller


John W. Moeller passed away on April 16, 2023, in Tucson, Arizona. John, or “Jack” as he was known to family and old friends, was born in Biwabik, Minnesota, on May 4, 1943. He is survived by his daughters Mary Moeller and Anne Jones (Morgan); grandsons Morgan Jr. and William Jones; and John’s two brothers, Jim Moeller (Carol), and Gary Moeller (Mary Bedore). John is also survived by his life partner and soulmate, Mary Jean Goulet, along with her son Todd Sample (Jeannette), daughter Alison Sample (John Freeman), and grandchildren Nora, Greta, Eva, and Brennan.

John graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth (UMD) and became a teacher of the natural sciences. He taught earth science at Washington Junior High and Woodland Junior High Schools in Duluth, where he met and started a family with Connie Moeller (Harms). He went on to teach Biology at Denfeld High School for the remainder of his career. In retirement, photography and a storytelling ability allowed him to pass on his passions at UMD’s University for Seniors by teaching classes such as Utah Canyons, the Colorado Plateau, and Evolution. Nature was always an underlying theme in his classroom.

John’s passion for wild places and travel was promoted early on by his parents, both teachers, with their summer often open to travel. It began when his dad and mother took him at an early age into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, then family trips to the mountains of the West. As an adult, he was on to Alaska, and finally “home” to the canyons and archeology of Southeastern Utah. He spent his last ten winters in the Southwest that he loved so much with Mary Jean at their home in Tucson. He lived a wonderful, satisfying life of exploration, and he passed his love of the outdoors along to countless family members, friends, and students over many decades.

Services for John will be on Friday, May 5, at Peace United Church of Christ in Duluth, with a 2:00 P.M. Visitation and 3:00 P.M. Service, followed by a reception at Mr. D’s lounge in West Duluth. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Minnesota Conservation Volunteers or to Wilderness Volunteers.

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