Former Tempe Mayor John C. Moeur died today, May 7, at his home at the age of 91.
A second generation native Tempean, Moeur was mayor from 1964-1966. He was a member of the Tempe City Council from 1962-1964. Serving on the Tempe City Council during his years as mayor were Ray Ashley, Wayne Forde, Hayden C. Hayden, Gil Montanez, A.P. Rowd Sanders and Robert Svob. He also served on the Tempe Zoning Board during the 1950s.
“The City of Tempe is grateful to former Mayor Moeur for his service to our community,” Tempe Mayor Mark Mitchell said. “I am keeping his family in my thoughts and prayers.”
Tempe was very different in those years. Moeur oversaw a population growth of 85 percent – from 26,000 to 46,000. Arizona State University had only 16,000 students. Diablo Stadium was being planned but had not been built. Charles Trumbull Hayden was still serving in the U.S. Senate.
Interstate 10 had not been built in Tempe yet and people traveling long distances used Mill Avenue and Apache Boulevard as part of the series of connected roads to get across country. Moeur led discussions about the type of freeway that would be built and where it would be located. He also helped get one of the first traffic lights in south Tempe – at Mill and Southern avenues, which was considered to be a rural area at the time.
Mouer was the last mayor chosen by members of the Tempe City Council. After his tenure, mayors were elected by voters, according to the newly created City Charter.
Mouer owned and operated two nurseries in Tempe before retiring. He was the grandson of Arizona’s fourth governor, Gov. Benjamin B. Moeur, who served Arizona from 1933-37.
He was active in the Kiwanis Club of Tempe from 1955-2005 and became only the fifth Kiwanian to earn a 50-year Legion of Honor Medal for his service to the community.
The Tempe History Museum interviewed Moeur as part of an oral history project. A transcript of that interview is online for those who wish to learn about Moeur’s life in Tempe.
Services have not been scheduled at this time.