Moon Farm matriarch shared make-believe settings with youngsters
Generations of Grand Valley students have visited Ella Moon’s dream north of Fruita, meeting farm animals and touring buildings as diverse as a medieval castle, an Egyptian temple and the abode of the old woman who lived in a shoe.
“I would say it’s easily over 100,000 children whose lives she touched,” daughter Mary Joan Seal said.
Ella Moon died Sunday at her home in Fruita. She was 94.
Ella and Wallace Moon moved to Fruita from Jensen, Utah, in 1955, and she began teaching dance classes, both in Enterprise Hall and in their basement.
The Grand Valley institution of Moon Farm, however, began in 1965, when a son, David, invited his kindergarten class to the farm to visit.
The farm had two playhouses and a treehouse.
That set the stage for more visits from schools around the Grand Valley.
After that, more schools started coming out to the farm for field trips, and each year a new building was added.
When schoolchildren began referring to the outings as visits to Moon’s farm, “it just kind of became Moon Farm,” David said.
And for 32 years, and counting, schoolchildren have visited Moon Farm.
“Ella always said she wanted to be a teacher, but never got the opportunity,” Seal said. “But she taught so many kids at the farm.”
Adults also took notice and in 1977, Ella Moon was recognized by the Grand Junction Area Chamber of Commerce as its outstanding citizen.
Big Sisters of Colorado recognized her in 1984 in its Salute to Women, and in 1987, the Fruita Chamber of Commerce recognized her as its outstanding citizen.
Moon Farm Day Camp began in 1976 and continued through 2007. It remains open from April through October.
Survivors include three sons: David of Fruita, Mike of Loma and Earl of Reno, Nev.; daughters Mary Joan Seal and Renee Workman, both of Fruita, and DiAnn Schuler of Longmont; and two brothers, Jay Curfew of Sandy, Utah, and Ed Curfew of St. George, Utah.
A funeral will be at 2 p.m. Friday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church. Interment will be in New Elmwood Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice and Palliative Care of Western Colorado, 3090B. N. 12th St., Grand Junction 81506.