Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Maurice Moneymaker


December 17, 2020

Maurice Moneymaker

Maurice Moneymaker

Maurice Raphael Moneymaker died Sunday, November 29th, 2020. He was 81 years old. Maurice was born on June 29th, 1939, to Roy and Bertilla Moneymaker, in a house near Uniontown, Wash. His brothers Dave and Danny joined the family in 1943 and 1951 respectively.

Maurice attended grade school at St. Boniface Catholic School and graduated from Colton High School in 1957. He graduated from WSU with degrees in Chemistry (1962) and Horticulture (1995). He married Rita Mae Zellerhoff of Colton, Wash., on September 10, 1960. They lived in Yakima and Pullman for a time and then moved to Uniontown to raise a family.

He loved his family. Maurice is survived by his wife of 60 years, Rita Mae (Zellerhoff) Moneymaker and children Bruce (Susan) of Shelton Wash., Lisa Kimery (Steve) of Vancouver Wash., Laura McDonagh (Matt) of Boise, Idaho, and Brian (Julie) of Zillah, Wash. His grandchildren are Melissa Arteaga (Omar), Emily Moneymaker (Adam Louis), Hailey Klein Moneymaker (Rafael), Alexandra Kimery, Thomas McDonagh, James McDonagh, Elise Moneymaker, and Paul Moneymaker. He is also survived by siblings Dave Moneymaker (Adele) of Uniontown, Wash., and Dan Moneymaker of Knoxville, Tenn. He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy Samuel Moneymaker and Bertilla (Heitstuman) Moneymaker.

He loved his community. For the town of Uniontown, he was mayor and on the city council and planning and zoning commission. He was also an EMT, fire chief, and landscape designer of the ballpark, sidewalk bump-outs, and post office bulletin board. He helped renovate the Uniontown Brewery (Jacobs Bakery) building with Marv Entel.

He loved his church. As a member of St. Boniface Catholic Church, he was a lector, maintenance worker, and on the parish council. He was very active in the Knights of Columbus council as a Grand Knight, District Deputy, and Faithful Navigator of the 4th Degree.

He loved WSU and his work there. He started working at the WSU Soil Testing lab in Johnson Hall in 1963, worked in Jordan for a time, and retired in 1999. He worked with many colleagues, including Ron Bolton and Dr. Bill Pan for many years. From Richard Koenig: "Maurice was a great friend, colleague, and mentor to hundreds of students, faculty, and staff here at WSU. I was a graduate student in Dr. Pan's lab back in the early 1990s. Maurice kept me and other students in line, teaching us the importance of good lab and field techniques, how to operate dozens of analytical instruments, and the art of optimizing repetitive extraction and analytical processes for maximum efficiency. I know he also had a huge impact internationally from the work he did to establish analytical labs in other countries." From Munir Mohammed in Jordan: "Maurice's time there and his training of technicians and scientists back in Pullman had a greater impact than all the other scientific exchanges. Maurice was a master at creating working micro-technologies that improved efficiencies in processes with limited supplies on hand. He was the MacGyver of the plant and soil analysis world - could fix anything, build anything, and was always looking for ways to improve efficiency."

He and Rita loved to travel, and took on a train trip across Canada, a Rhone River Cruise, and went to Israel, Egypt, Ireland, and Germany. They often visited grandchildren and tended to their extensive garden and flower beds.

The family of Maurice Moneymaker would like to thank everyone for their kind actions and prayers during the last few months. The internment will be at the Uniontown Catholic Cemetery on Saturday, December 19, 2020, at 12:30 p.m. and is open to the public. Kimball Funeral Home of Pullman, Wash., has been entrusted with arrangements. Memorial gifts may be made to St. Boniface Endowment Preservation, PO Box 126 Uniontown, WA, 99179. Online condolences may be sent to http://www.kimballfh.com.


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