The dogs and cats of Harlingen, Texas now have a unifying cause: they want April 29 to be declared a national day of pet mourning. This was the day that beloved veterinarian William Thomas (Tom) Moseley passed away in the arms of his family.
Born in Kingsville, Texas in 1923, Tom was riding horses through the Wild Horse Desert before his feet could touch the stirrups of a saddle. On weekends, he often camped on the sprawling King Ranch, listening to the stories of cowboys and the distant howl of coyotes.
He began his studies at the Texas A & M College of Veterinary Medicine during World War II and after graduation joined a United Nations mission to Europe, bringing horses to countries devastated by the war. When he returned to Texas, he began working at the place he knew so well, caring for the King Ranch's famous Santa Gertrudis cattle and quarter horses. But when his college roommate asked him to join a vaccination campaign designed to eradicate foot and mouth disease in Mexico, he accepted the new challenge. For the next four years, he traveled to wild and remote areas of Mexico by horseback, jeep and planes that seemed capable of flight only with divine intervention.
Returning from Mexico in 1951, he met and married Lettie Yvonne Hartsell. She convinced him to try a different kind of adventure and produced two challenging girls, Marilyn and Brenda. And after working with another veterinarian in Weslaco, Tom opened the Arroyo Animal Hospital in Harlingen, Texas.
When he wasn't helping dogs, cats and even a miniature kangaroo, Tom played classical violin, rebuilt cars, built boats, ran in 10K races and worked in his wood shop. He was also an active member of the Church of Christ and the North Harlingen Rotary Club.
In 2011, three years after the death of his wife Yvonne, he was blessed with new love and married Eloise Martin. He then finally retired from veterinary practice but began doing volunteer work, helping at the Harlingen Neighborhood Food Pantry and translating for doctors helping those without medical care in Mexico.
Known for his kindness and compassion, Tom's life was a perfect example of the quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
Tom is survived by his wife, Eloise Martin Moseley, his daughters, Marilyn Moseley LaMantia and Brenda Moseley, his grandchildren, Houston W. Deaton, Joseph Vincent LaMantia IV and Angela Reine LaMantia, and his great grandchildren, Hope Deaton, Hannibal Deaton, Joey Vincent LaMantia V and Iris LaMantia.
In lieu of flowers or gifts, Tom asks that memorial contributions be made to the Harlingen Neighborhood Food Pantry (956-428-3972), Culture of Life Ministries (a provider of free medical services - 956-970-9327), or the Humane Society of Harlingen (956-425-7297).
A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Sunday May 6, 2018 at the Church of Christ on 801 E. Harrison in Harlingen, Texas.