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Sunday, Jun 24, 2018
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Matriarch of longtime Plant City family dies at 99

PLANT CITY — Irma Moody, known for her church and civic work, and as the mother of U.S. District Judge James S. Moody Jr., died Monday at age 99.

Moody had a cheerful personality to the end. “Some people get cranky as they get old, but she was always smiling and she was always happy,” James Moody said.

She was the matriarch of the Moody family, which has been a part of Plant City for more than a century. Her husband, James S. Moody Sr., who died in 2001 after a 62-year marriage, was a state representative and circuit court judge.

Her granddaughter, Ashley Moody, is a Hillsborough Circuit Court judge.

Irma Moody was teaching in Mayo, a tiny North Florida community, when she met James S. Moody Sr. during a visit to the University of Florida campus. She moved to Plant City after their 1939 marriage.

She didn’t make as many headlines as her husband, but she did her share of community work through service on the city planning board, civic clubs and at First Presbyterian Church, where she taught Sunday school for at least a half-century.

“Her Christianity was her guiding light,” said her daughter, Carole Shelton.

She was mostly a stay-at-home mom but worked as a substitute teacher and was active in the PTA.

James Moody said his mother made sure her three children took their schoolwork seriously.

“She ingrained in me the importance of being able to write. She was always a big help to us in school,” he said.

“She made sure we did the best we could and didn’t just slide by,” added Shelton, who is a retired teacher.

Besides James Moody and Shelton, survivors include son William C. Moody Sr., eight grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Wells Memorial and Event Center, 1903 W. Reynolds St. The funeral will be 10 a.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church, 404 W. Reynolds St.

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