Bob Moody has been selected as the 2017 Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year from a pool of 15 nominees.
The award is presented each January to the citizen who best exemplifies the qualities of leadership and hard work that have made Surry County a better place to live and work.
“The chamber is proud of what Robert Moody has accomplished,” said Randy Collins, chamber president. “He has a long record of serving others in the community. He’s been a part of about every major organization and charitable group in the community. We are proud he was selected.”
Collins added that the secrecy surrounding the identity of the honoree was even more important than usual this year with Moody as the recipient. “If he knew it was going to happen, he just wouldn’t come.”
When Moody took the podium to accept his award, he characterized his reaction as shocked, glad, happy and speechless. He said, “This is the best community in the whole world.”
Moody said, “I couldn’t have done it without my family,” adding that his father was a huge advocate of the Chamber of Commerce. Moody’s father, Dennis, founded The Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce in 1959 and was a charter member.
Moody and his wife Kathy have three children, Nicole Harrison, Meredith Moody and Wade Moody, as well as one granddaughter, Mary Miles Harrison, who Lewis characterized as the apple of Moody’s eye when presenting the award. Upon accepting the award, Moody further clarified the place of Mary Miles in his heart when he said he now tells his children, “Y’all used to be the center of the universe. You ain’t no more.”
Robert Hues “Bob” Moody was born and raised in Mount Airy, the youngest of four children born to Rose Tilley and Dennis Wade Moody. He graduated from Mount Airy High School before attending the University of Minnesota where he received a bachelor of mortuary science. Moody has spent his career as a funeral director in the family business, Moody Funeral Service, where he now serves as president, maintaining a seven-day-a-week schedule.
He served as president of the North Carolina Funeral Directors Association as well as the president of the North Carolina Board of Funeral Service.
Despite his busy work schedule, Moody has racked up an impressive array of community service credentials which were listed by Teresa Lewis in her introduction of the award winner.
“Community service includes serving as a member of the advisory board for Bank of America and currently serving as chairman of the board of directors of Surrey Bank and Trust, where this individual has served since the bank’s inception in 1996,” Lewis said. “A lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church, our nominee has served as an elder and clerk of the session.
“Other community service includes serving several terms on the Board of Trustees of Northern Hospital of Surry County. This individual is a past president of the Mount Airy Rotary Club and current member, past president of the Reeves Community Center Board, past president of the SCC Foundation, past president of the United Fund of Greater Mount Airy and past director of the Greater Mount Airy Chamber of Commerce. Additional memberships include the Granite Masonic Lodge and the Surry Shrine Club.”
Moody is a supporter of youth sports teams, and in 2013, accepted the Granite City Award on behalf of his family for the Mount Airy Sports Hall of Fame. The award is given to someone other than a player, coach or official who makes significant contributions to local sports.
Moody was nominated by Deidre Rogers, who said, “This person is kind, compassionate, selfless and giving, always looking for the good in those with whom the person comes in contact. Our winner is the epitome of what it means to give of oneself to community and to family.”
Nicole Harrison said of her father, “My parent is the most generous, hard-working person I have ever known. Never wanting people to know how much is given and done for others, but it is quite impressive. A strong belief in all types of people and teaches me daily to be a better person. One of our employees reminded me recently of something my parent said at my granddaddy’s funeral which was, ‘If you take care of your family and your friends, the business will take care of itself.’ My parent considers all in this community to be a friend and has definitely gone above and beyond to take care of them. People regularly tell me how lucky I am to have this person as my parent and I could not agree more.”
“Although it is a very cliché thing to say,” said Meredith Moody, “I truly believe I have the greatest parent in the world. The support given me in everything I have ever wanted to do, which there has been no shortage on my end. Always there for me, through all the good and hard times. My parent taught me that if you not only work hard, but make sure to be kind and help others that you will go far. There is no one else I would rather watch ‘The Office’ with, which is saying a lot. No one deserves this more than you and I love you more than you will ever know. You are the Michael Scott of my heart!”
Wade Moody said of his father, “Of all the traits I admire in my parent (and there are many), the one I admire the most is humility. My parent would be cringing at the thought of receiving this award, but I cannot think of someone who is more deserving of this recognition. The dedication to serving the people of Mount Airy through both work and spare time is remarkable. The fact that my parent does so without the slightest hope of personal recognition is what makes my parent my parent. I’m proud that my parent is selfless, kind, smart and funny, but above all else, I am proud to be my parent’s son.“
Bob Moody follows Catrina Alexander, city director of parks and recreation, who won the award last year.
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.