Kay Eby Moore, vice president of public affairs at Pfizer, political, enjoyed hosting events

By on October 18, 2017

Every once in a while, the world is touched with the magic of someone whose time on this earth seems larger than life. Kay (Kate) Eby Moore was one of those people.

Born in Lancaster on Dec. 6, 1946, to Robert Stehman Eby and Marion Ruth Landis Eby, Kay attended schools in Manheim Township, and graduated from Christopher Dock High School in 1964. She was a member of the Forest Hill (previously called Monterrey) Mennonite Church.

Upon graduation, Kay traveled to Holland for a year with the Mennonite Central Committee in a cultural exchange program that sparked her passion for traveling the world. When she returned to Pennsylvania, Kay honed her business skills working as a secretary for Derck & Edson Associates, an architecture company in Lititz. Soon after, she moved to West Chester and poured herself into the community, as well as the local drama theater, participating in West Chester Theater’s performance of “After Dark.”

In the early 1970s, Kay began her very long and fulfilling career with Wyeth Pharmaceuticals (which eventually was taken over by Pfizer, becoming Pfizer Pharmaceuticals) first as a copywriter, then rapidly working her way to the position of vice president of public affairs, highly involved in issues involving women’s healthcare. Her involvement in this career carried her to places all over the world, and opened fascinating opportunities to meet many high-profile people such as Geraldine Ferraro, Ted Kennedy, Michelle Obama, Bella Abzug, and others. She retired in 2011.

On June 19, 1987 Kay married the man who was truly the love of her life, W. Gerald Moore. True to the passion with which they lived life, Kay and Jerry celebrated their beautiful and unique wedding surrounded by family and a few close friends in a historic stone chapel built in 700 A.D., followed by a reception in Thun Castle that rests on the edge of the breathtaking lake in Thun, Switzerland, her family ancestral home. Together over the years, Kay and Jerry shared warm and inviting homes in West Chester; Avalon, N.J.; Naples, Fla.; and in Kennedyville, Md. Hospitality was the heart of every one of these lovely places.

Family and friends were sacred to Kay, and gatherings readily provided ideal opportunities for her to create beautiful and memorable events. Fun, daringly independent, dramatic, and stylish, she was the “hostess extraordinaire” in the very truest sense of the word, exceptionally skilled in decorating, arrangement, dinner preparation, and perfect service- her style, “the bigger, the better!”

Referring to herself as a “Blue Dog Democrat,” Kay was actively involved in political issues and events, often through the vehicle of her work in public affairs for Wyeth. A highlight in 2000 was an amazing dinner party event that Kay planned, organized, and hosted for state representatives in the spacious gardens of Kay and Jerry’s beautiful home “Mayfield” in West Chester. Like everything she put her hand to, it was a stellar success.

During that time, Mayfield was open for two individual Chester County Days, one of which was, significantly, the 50th anniversary of West Chester. Further, Kay’s amazing expertise and hospitality was evident when Mayfield was open for an YWCA Christmas Home Tour, where Kay transformed the beautiful, spacious home into an amazing Christmas showcase featuring no less than seven breathtaking Christmas trees.

Their seaside home in Avalon was also a center for much entertainment, and in 2014 at Avalon, Kay hosted the 50th anniversary celebration of her Christopher Dock graduating class. In June 2017, their Avalon home was featured in the New York Times special real estate issue of outstanding properties.

In 1980, Kay planned and organized West Chester’s very first Old Fashioned Christmas. That first event was a smashing success, and has become a highly anticipated annual West Chester tradition that still continues. In conjunction with the Old Fashioned Christmas, Kay also initiated the Historic Walking Tours that QVC now sponsors, of the beautiful historic homes of West Chester.

In 1981, Kay became the first woman to run for Mayor of West Chester. The election was close, and she lost by less than 10 votes.

Kay’s love of beautiful historic homes and her amazing talent in interior decorating and design won her a position as a member of the Historic Review Board, participating in awarding outstanding homes.

In 2006, Kay and her team were honored to be awarded the President’s Achieving Excellence award for their participation in Alzheimer’s Disease policy and advocacy.

In 2010, Kay was commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel by Governor Steven Beshear. This honorary commission is given by the state of Kentucky to individuals noted for their public service and their work for the advancement of Kentucky.

Highlighted throughout these involvements over the years, Kay and Jerry also continued to enjoy extensive travel to such places as New Zealand, Greece, Italy, France, Belgium, England, Ireland, Fiji, Hawaii, Asia, Spain and many other places including spectacular sites in the U.S., such as the Grand Tetons, Chicago, and the Pacific Northwest. Twice, they experienced memorable river cruises in Europe.

Even though life was always full and overflowing with projects, events, and people, Kay’s compassion always drove her to care wholeheartedly for those she loved. She was a committed caregiver to both her parents as they aged, and to her elderly aunt, Anna Eby, especially after the stroke that debilitated Anna. Staying vitally connected to her siblings was a constant priority, and Kay delighted in hearing about the successes of her nieces and nephews.

Well-loved in her close family, Kay was pre-deceased by her parents; and siblings: Julia and Linda.

She is survived by her husband: Jerry; siblings: Barb [Glen] Landis, Ann [David] Royer, Dan [Susan] Eby, Mark [Angel] Eby; 10 nieces and nephews; and multiple great-nieces and great-nephews.

Our heartfelt thanks are extended to Dr. Kevin Fox and his team for their excellent and compassionate care during Kay’s illness. Throughout her life, Kay was a trail-blazer, going places where the rest of us had not yet been, but we always followed behind her. Once again, she is leading the way. We can no longer see her with our eyes, but we will forever hold her in our hearts.

There will be a memorial service in celebration of Kay’s life on Saturday, Oct. 21, at 11 a.m., at First Presbyterian Church, 130 W. Miner St., West Chester.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to any of these: Abramson Cancer Center at HUP, giving.apps.upenn.edu; or breastcancer.org, founded by Dr. Marisa Weiss; or Women’s Congressional Policy Institute, at womenspolicy.org

Arrangements by DellaVecchia, Reilly, Smith & Boyd Funeral Home, West Chester. Condolences may be offered at DellaFH.com.

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