Ernest L. Moody III, president and chief executive officer of Moody’s Jewelry, dies
BY TIM STANLEY World Staff Writer
Monday, February 18, 2013
2/18/13 at 1:35 PM
Ernest L. Moody III, president and chief executive officer of Moody’s Jewelry, a 70-year-old family-owned chain of stores in Tulsa, died Sunday.
He was 56.
Services are pending with Ninde Brookside Funeral Home.
Moody III succeeded his father, Ernest Moody Jr., as company president and CEO in 1989.
Moody’s spokesman Craig Ehrman said Moody’s death was unexpected and that no cause has been determined.
“We are all still in shock,” Ehrman said. “But he built a strong legacy. We’re going to take some down-time to deal with our grief and consider the future. This company will survive and do well.”
Moody’s, which operates seven stores in the Tulsa area, was founded by Moody Jr. and his wife, Mildred Moody, in 1944 at 1137 S. Harvard Ave.
A Tulsa native and 1974 Memorial High School graduate, Moody III attended Oklahoma State University, earning a degree in business management, and then the Gemological Institute of America.
He joined the family firm as a full-time employee in 1979.
One of his first big tasks was converting the business to computers.
Moody III was 33 when his father died of a heart attack in 1989, forcing him to take over as president and CEO.
The sudden loss of the company’s longtime leader left it with formidable challenges, Moody III told the Tulsa World in 1997.
“The first couple of years after my dad’s death were rough,” he said. “But Mom got behind me and that helped tremendously. She knew that he’d trained me. She knew I could do it. She’s been with me all the way.”
The business’s history is well documented.
At age 19, Moody Jr. bought Gilmore’s Repair Shop for $106, changed the name to Moody’s Time Service, and soon added jewelry.
Over the years, Moody’s proved durable, surviving the incursion of national jewelry chains into the Tulsa market, several downturns in the economy, and the demise of the oil business.
Moody III’s survivors include his wife, Rhonda, and children; a brother, Kevin Moody; and three sisters, Melinda Claiborne, Patricia Kaltenbach and Emily Boyd.
Ernest L. Moody III. Tulsa World File