It is with great
regret and sorrow that we must notify you of the death of our Classmate, Thomas
"Trux" Moebs, on 20 September 2011, in Gainesville, FL. Trux was found deceased
in his apartment. The cause of death is unknown at this time. Trux fought
Parkinson's disease for many years.
Trux is survived by
his brother Seth Moebs x-60, who lives in Europe. Gary Webster is trying to
More details will be
provided when available.
Trux's brother, Seth, has asked that
donations in memory of Trux be sent to:
Gainesville Area Rowing, Inc.,
Attn: Mark Dubose
4404 North West 36th Avenue, Suite B
Gainesville, FL 32606
Donations are tax deductible.
Information on Gainesville Area Rowing can be found at
Well done, Trux. Be thou at peace.
Class Memorial Pages\K-1 Tom Moebs.pdf
Tom Moebs was one of the most distinguished dealers in
Americana as well as being one of the most endearing eccentrics in his trade. He
will be well remember and well missed.
Taps Memorial Article:
Thomas T. Moebs 1961
Cullum No. 23647-1961 | September 20, 2011 | Died in Gainesville, FL
Cremated. Ashes at the Jefferson Building, Library of Congress and Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
From Thomas Truxtun ‘Trux’ Moebs earliest remembrance, Anna and Joseph Moebs pointed their two sons toward West Point and Annapolis. Anna’s parents, Admiral Joseph Jayne and Elizabeth Eastman Jayne were from notable military lineage: Commodore Thomas Truxtun (USS Constellation), appointed by George Washington and recipient of a Congressional Gold Medal; BG Seth Eastman, renowned painter and Classmate of Robert E. Lee; and Gen. Archibald Henderson, longest serving Marine Commandant. Their given names reflected their lineage—Seth Eastman and Thomas Truxtun.
As expected, Trux followed Seth (then Class of ’60) into the Corps with the Class of ’61, but, since the Academy had eliminated its traditional height criteria for company assignments, he found himself the tallest plebe in K-1. His height drew much undesired attention, but his reserved personality and thoughtful responses prevented their attention from becoming troublesome. Those same traits also served him effectively in later encounters with the academic and other challenges at West Point.
Serving in Germany as a cable construction platoon leader and battalion S-3; resigning; and joining Honeywell as a Sales Engineer/Marketing Manager, mirrored the path of many graduates. After reading Charles Everitt’s Treasure Hunter, however, with its stories of a rare bookseller’s remarkable finds of historical documents, books, etc., Trux decided upon a different path. Excited that being a rare bookseller provided a means to live his love for history, he launched plans to become a “treasure hunter” within two years.
Trux relocated to Atlanta, working as Special Assistant to EPA’s Southeastern Regional Director, and reconnected with Dan Halpin ’61, a Professor at Georgia Tech. “Trux and I met for the first time since graduation when he came to register for an MS in Construction Management. I was his academic advisor, and we have continued to be close friends.” In Atlanta, Trux also met Gary Webster ’61.
Trux was a unique person! He approached his new career in an equally unique manner, “I traveled widely in the US and Europe hunting ‘treasures’ by sailboat and RV so I could carry my home and office with me.” His colleagues added, “Trux had The Cherokee Rose built to be his research headquarters. For years, he compiled and issued catalogues, living in his sailboat, which he berthed in England, France, or along the Chesapeake Bay. On land, he lived and traveled in his Airstream trailer. Initially collecting books about Mary and Seth Eastman, his hunt grew into a lifelong vocation. He scouted Europe and the U.S. for obscure Americana. His catalogues were prized by special collections librarians, archivists, collectors and dealers on both continents. He built an excellent reputation as a cataloger and bibliographer. His eye for the rare, his expert descriptions, and his fair prices were recipes for success.”
Trux called his ‘finds’ remarkable: The original 1792 legislation signed by Thomas Jefferson on how to elect the U.S. President and Vice President; several hundred drawings by Combat Artist Edwin Forbes of the Army of the Potomac; a letter from Thomas Jefferson citing Washington as the greatest man in world history; “Stonewall” Jackson’s bank book; an 1849 pocket guide of the California gold fields; and a copy of the Mexican Constitution signed by General Santa Anna. He made significant contributions to scholarly research, spending thousands of hours in the Thomas Jefferson Building at the Library of Congress. In addition, he authored and published four noteworthy books relating to the research and naval history. His publication, Black Soldiers—Black Sailors—Black Ink: Research Guide On African-Americans In U.S. Military History, has been hailed as his magnum opus.
Trux was seen as a man of many talents: a Kentucky colonel, an author, a publisher, a researcher, an appraiser, an antiquarian bookman, a history and image hunter, a treasure hunter, but also a sailor and a bicyclist. Trux and Seth bicycled Paris (his favorite place), Chantilly, Senlis, Amsterdam and Haarlem; they pedaled through France, Belgium and Italy; and they rode from Madrid, Spain to Montpellier, France. Loving sailing and named for Commodore Thomas Truxtun, he was destined to be a maritime adventurer. In Europe, he sailed in the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay. During one trip, he “rode out” a storm by strapping himself to the rudder—rolling upside down several times. He sailed to Tenerife in the Canary Islands. He crossed the Atlantic alone and lost power, making him a speck in the water without lights to alert oceangoing ships while he made repairs with pliers and screwdriver. To amuse himself, he baked a cake. He confided in Dan, “Doc, those were the loneliest 20 days of my life” As Trux liked to give nicknames, his friends named him, ‘The Great Navigator.’ He took friends and colleagues on cruises on the York River and up the Chesapeake Bay, to Alexandria via the Potomac, and to Maine and points south along the Inter-Coastal waterway.
Trux began to notice problems with his coordination finally identified as Parkinson’s. He battled the disease for over a decade, moving to Gainesville, FL, for its warmer climate. Dan drove with Trux to the Hyde’s Mini Reunion in Orlando, providing his last contact with several ’61 classmates.
Thomas Truxtun Moebs lived an extraordinary life. To the very end, he was proud that on ‘good’ days he could walk a mile or more. He left friends and colleagues with many fond memories, and his contributions to American historic research and African-American scholarship will live forever. Always the gentleman, his charming demeanor will be sorely missed. We are each better for having known him. Be Thou at Peace.
Thomas T Moebs, Dan Halpin, Jack Hamilton, Rebecca Hanmer, and Bill Tyler