Obituary: Woodside resident Gordon Alex Moore

Toy store owner and traveler

Woodside resident Gordon Alex Moore spent his working life as the owner of a toy store, and his free time enjoying the outdoors with his family at their cabin in Butte County, in the north country, and on walking tours of Europe. Mr. Moore died on May 18 at the age of 88.

Mr. Moore owned Talbot's Toyland, an independent toy store founded in San Mateo by his father-in-law, and now a Bay Area destination for toys, bicycles and hobby materials. The family-fun website Red Tricycle calls Talbot's "the mama of all indie toy stores," and "super-duper legendary."

Gordon Alex Moore
Mr. Moore was a native of Chico, California, and went to high school in North Sacramento. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1946. He had a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley, where he met his future wife, Joan Talbot.

Joan's father, Wilburn "Lank" Talbot, founded Talbot's Toyland in 1953 and turned it over to Gordon in 1967. In 1995, Mr. Moore's sons, Gary and Steve, took over store management. Owning a town store is "a matter of having fun and making a profit at it," Gary Moore told the Almanac. "That is a fine line."

Gordon Moore was a past president of the Greater Downtown San Mateo Association. In 1999, the Western Toy and Hobby Representatives Association honored Mr. Moore with the Retailer of the Year award.

He liked the outdoors. He fished Chico Creek as a youth, and he and Joan skied and golfed, and traveled in the West, Canada and Alaska. The family spent summers at a cabin in Jonesville in Butte County.

With a group of 16 to 18 alumni of UC Berkeley, the same people every year, the Moores went on walking tours in England, Switzerland, northern Italy and France, Gary Moore said. The hikes were casual three days here, three days there, so as to absorb the local culture, he said.

Mr. Moore is survived by his wife, Joan; his sons Stephen and Gary; his brother Gilbert; four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

The family requests that memorial donations be made to Warriors and Quiet Waters in memory of Gordon Alex Moore. Go to

— Dave Boyce

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