By Heidi Lutz
Connie Moore, of Galveston, Texas, died on August 24, in her home, with her wife and devoted partner, Debbie Hunt, at her side. She was 59 years old. In January 2012, Connie was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer. She was both hopeful and realistic about her survival chances. In June 2015, when it was clear that her last treatment had failed, she accepted her impending demise with grace, coming home into hospice care that lasted 10 weeks.
She met her wife, Debbie, in law school in 1984, and they made the commitment to be life partners in 1986. Their law practice, Moore & Hunt, has helped families all across Texas by defending child custody battles, providing disability and death planning, and securing adoption and surrogacy rights for LGBT couples. The firm provided legal sanctuary in a time when it was challenging for many to obtain help.
Connie devoted her professional life to ensuring that the definition of family was never limited to one narrow perspective. It is that passion for families that was the driving force for Connie through much of her life. Married to a man earlier in her life, Connie embraced the role of stepmother. She and her stepdaughter, Lina, continued a strong relationship beyond the end of Connie’s first marriage. Then in 2008, Connie’s family grew again when she was reunited with her birth daughter, Andrea.
Connie described the entrance of Andrea into her life as one of those “classic lessons of everything happens for a reason.” As an unwed mother giving birth at age 17, she knew it was in her child’s best interest to give her a chance with another family. Then, later in life, both expressed interest in finding the other. After years of searching, their paths finally crossed in a network designed to connect birth parents with their children.
Through the longtime relationship with her stepdaughter and the new relationship with her daughter, Connie became a grandmother. It was not something Connie ever imagined for herself, but something she embraced fully, as she did with most passions in her life.
“Never do what you don’t want to do,” Connie said. “When you find what that passion is, you have to follow it.” She also encouraged people to not let fear conquer their lives. “There’s a difference between playing in traffic and taking a few risks in life. Fear is a debilitating thing,” she said, and she never let it stop her—from falling in love with a woman, to starting a law practice soon out of school, to performing with the Houston Pride Band, to embracing a definition of family that for most of her life wasn’t the traditionally accepted version.
That spirit carried Connie through her life to the very end, where she spent her last weeks entertaining visits from her extended family of friends, sharing laughs, tears, memories, and thoughts on the fullness of her life.
Connie and Debbie visited Galveston for a weekend in 1995, staying with friends who introduced them to a wonderful community. After that first visit, they set out to buy a weekend home on the island, and finally succeeded in early 1996. That home became their permanent residence in 2001, where they built a life together that grew along with the community around them.
On August 19, 2013, Connie and Debbie legally married in California. Debbie survives her wife and will continue their law practice in Houston. Connie is also survived by her loving sisters and their families, her daughter, stepdaughter, and their families, her sister-in-law, mother-in-law, and hundreds of grieving friends.
A celebration of Connie’s life will take place on Friday, September 18, 2015, at Ashton Villa in Galveston, Texas, from 6pm until 10pm. Connie’s family has asked that contributions be made in Connie’s memory to the NCLR Connie Moore Family Law Fellowship, 870 Market, Suite 370, San Francisco, California 94102, or to the Houston Pride Band through its website, HoustonPrideBand.org.