Andrew Moore lived alone and died alone. He was raised in an orphanage, never married and outlived his friends. For his last 40 years, the World War II veteran slept on a couch in a rent-controlled efficiency apartment in the nation’s capital.
The 89-year-old pensioner died in December with no will, no instructions and no next of kin. He lay in a cold room at the D.C. medical examiner’s office, where the unclaimed dead are usually destined for a nameless pauper’s grave.
... He had no family, about that he was clear. He told more than one person that his mother was a Native American who dropped him off at a Catholic orphanage in Omaha.
“I always assumed it was Boys Town,” said Sheppard, 65, who retired young from a career with an international airport vendor.“He was quite proud of it. He said the priests and the nuns taught him discipline.”
Boys Town confirmed that an Andrew Moore with the same birthday lived at the famous facility in 1942 when he was 16, but not for long. “We don’t know much, because he was only with us a month and then he ran away,” said spokeswoman Kara Neuverth.
Moore was in his 70s when Sheppard moved to the building 15 years ago. Moore had a knack for putting strangers at ease, and the two struck up a smokers’ friendship outside the front door. Soon Sheppard was helping his upstairs neighbor make sense of the cable box. They watched a few games together, even though Sheppard is no football fan.
“It was impossible not to like him,” Sheppard said.
Moore’s health faded in recent years, as did his memory. He began to call Nick Addams “Calvin” for unknown reasons.