RIP: The Venerable Dr. Kathleen M. Moore

Diocese of Southwest Florida
Posted Mar 3, 2022

The Venerable Dr. Kathleen M. Moore died peacefully on Friday, February 18, 2022, in Tampa, at the age of 70. She is survived by her husband Nicholas Nitch, sister Christine Harrison, brother-in-law Hal Nitch, and sister-in-law Carol Clemens. Please keep Nicholas and the family in your prayers. May Kathleen rest in peace and be raised in glory.

“All of the hearts in the Diocesan office are deeply saddened by her absence. She was a wonderful colleague, a great deacon of intellect with a serving heart, and a distiller of creative formation in the lives of the Diaconate of this diocese, ” said the Right Reverend Dabney T. Smith.

Archdeacon Kathleen was born and raised in the market town of Driffield in the north of England. She shared with a colleague at Diocesan House that having grown up in a rural small-town environment, she found university life full of exciting and stimulating things and people. She developed a true love of learning, and eventually teaching—that love guided her life direction. Kathleen received a B.A. (Honors) in Modern Languages from Durham University in 1973, an M.S. in Counseling and Human Development from Troy State University in 1977, an Education for Ministry Mentor Certificate from The University of the South in 1996, and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of South Florida in 1989. In the summer of 2009 Kathleen completed a program in the Management of Lifelong Education through the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Teaching English as a second language in Europe marked the beginning of Kathleen’s professional career. She deepened her career in education when she settled in the United States in 1977—a career in which she excelled and that she found to be a source of much joy. She spent 35 years positively touching the lives of others through her vocation and ministry as a teacher and administrator in higher education. In June 2014 Kathleen concluded 24 years of service at the University of South Florida, retiring from her most recent position as an Associate Vice President.

Kathleen and Nicholas married on October 8, 1989. In February 1990, she and Nicholas were directed by a friend to St. John’s Episcopal Church in Tampa— they both knew immediately that they had come home. That wonderful church community became an important part of their lives as a couple and as individuals. It was at St. John’s that Kathleen’s gifts for ministry were honed and her personal path of discernment would be revealed. After being confirmed in 1991 at St. John’s, her lay ministry grew to include serving: as licensed Eucharistic Minister, on the Verger Team, the Vestry, the Christian Education Commission, on the Board of Directors of the St. John’s Episcopal Parish Day School, and as a retreat leader. Kathleen also served as a planner, developer, and leader of adult education programs at St. John’s — including being a founding member of Contemporary Women’s Bible Study (CWBS), a dynamic program for women who want to benefit from reflection upon biblical texts that address faith and life today.

Much of Kathleen’s voluntary service and community involvement was centered around adult religious formation and education Dr. Moore served for a number of years on the Board of the Franciscan Center of Tampa, briefly on the Grants Committee of the Community Foundation Tampa Bay and, until her passing, was a member of the Board of Directors of Cornerstone Kids, Inc. For the past several years, Dr. Moore volunteered with the Faith Cafe, a homeless outreach partnership of several South Tampa churches and Metropolitan Ministries; more recently she also served on their Board of Directors. Since 2017, Kathleen was involved with Love INC of Metro Tampa, an organization dedicated to alleviating poverty, homelessness, and unemployment in the Tampa Bay region, where she has served as a member of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair since 2019.

Dr. Moore was a founding member and past Chair of the USF Women in Leadership & Philanthropy program.  During her tenure as Chair the organization experienced significant growth in size, scope, and impact.  In addition to her dedicated volunteer service, Kathleen also demonstrated her leadership by her generous philanthropy, establishing the Elsie A. Moore Memorial Scholarship fund in memory of her late mother and endowing the Dr. Kathleen Moore Faculty Excellence Award Program to recognize research and creative efforts focused on women, women’s issues, and women’s initiatives.

In 2018 Dr. Moore accepted an invitation to join the Athena Society, an organization of Tampa professionals who have demonstrated leadership in the community and committed themselves to promoting equality and opportunity for women.

In 2013, as she prepared to retire from her position as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of South Florida, Dr. Moore entered discernment for Holy Orders.  Kathleen was ordained to the Sacred Order of Deacons by Bishop Dabney Smith on December 3, 2016.  She served as Deacon at her beloved St. John’s from January 2017 until her death.  On February 1, 2017, Bishop Smith appointed Dr. Moore to be Archdeacon of the Diocese of Southwest Florida.

In the autumn of 2018 Archdeacon Kathleen graciously accepted the Bishop’s invitation to serve as Dean of the School for Ministry, at which she excelled.  As Dean, Dr. Moore oversaw the School’s participation in the Iona Collaborative at the Seminary of the Southwest.  On learning of Kathleen’s death, the Reverend Dr. Nandra Perry, Director of the Iona Collaborative offered these words: “How I am going to miss her!  Kathleen was hard at work with me and our pedagogical consultant on building an assessment matrix that will benefit every diocese in the Iona Collaborative.  There are no words to express how much I am going to miss our delightful conversations.  She was an educator to the core, as well as a gifted clergy person, an ideal Dean for the School for Ministry. Kathleen was extraordinary, and she was an important contributor to some key conversations we are having about Spanish Language instruction and assessment. I am going to miss her insights and her wonderful laugh.”

“Kathleen was not only an amazing and gifted colleague, she was also a dear friend with whom I could be vulnerable.  She was a blessing and a gift to me.  I looked forward to our weekly time together—we would spend a good hour dreaming, discussing, and planning pre-ordination formation, all seasoned with a shared sense of humor and good helpings of laughter.  I most certainly will miss hearing her delightful Yorkshire accent in Diocesan House.  She was so very insightful . . .  I recall a particular conversation we had about calling.  She told me it was immensely helpful when she came to realize that we don’t have to go looking for our calling because it will become apparent to us . . .  we will trip over it, once we have (in Gandhi’s words), ‘gotten ourselves out of the way.’  Kathleen then told me, ‘I continue to pray for the grace to get myself out of the way.’  And thanks to Kathleen, I made that prayer my own,” said the Reverend Canon Richard Norman, Canon to the Ordinary.

Music was always one of Archdeacon Kathleen’s great loves.  She sang in various community choirs and was a long-time supporter of the Florida Orchestra, the Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, and the St. Petersburg Opera.

A service in celebration of the life of the Archdeacon Kathleen Moore will take place at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 906 S Orleans Ave, Tampa, FL 33606 on Saturday, March 12 at 11:00 a.m., the Right Reverend Dabney T. Smith presiding.  A reception follows at the church.

In lieu of flowers, gifts to the Elsie Moore Memorial Scholarship may be made to the USF Foundation c/o the Office of Donor Relations, ALC100, 4202 E. Fowler Avenue, Tampa, FL 33620 or online at, or to St. John’s Episcopal Church, 906 South Orleans, Tampa, FL 33606.