There are few more remarkable life stories than that of Betty Moor MacGuire, who was adopted as an infant by Lee and Beulah Moor. Lee had struggled out of poverty to become a wildly successful rancher, contractor and founder of a gas company.
When Betty was a young woman, she marred John MacGuire. According to her own account, she sneaked out of the house to elope with him in 1943. Their marriage lasted 58 years, until he died in 2001.
Her parents established a trust that founded the Lee and Beulah Moor Children’s Home on Cliff Drive in 1959, which Betty and John would later support as trustees, and where she has served as president. Over the years, more than 20,000 children have found a safe home there.
In 1989, Betty, who is a pilot, and John MacGuire established the War Eagles Air Museum at Santa Teresa Airport to house their growing collection of vintage planes. The nonprofit museum continues to grow and attract visitors.
Now in her early 90s, Betty has left her mark on the community. In 1986, when forces at City Hall were aligning to demolish the Plaza Theatre, Betty, as chair of the El Paso Community Foundation, kicked off the $1-million campaign to save it.
Betty was later involved in the restoration of the theater, now one of the most popular and historic venues in the city.