Marion Moon

Marion Moon

Philanthropist, Living Legend dies at 82.

Philanthropist and Living Legend of Alexandria Marion Moon died March 31 at the age of 82. Photo by Steven Halperson/Tisara Studios

Philanthropist and Living Legend of Alexandria Marion Moon died March 31 at the age of 82. Photo by Steven Halperson/Tisara Studios

Marion Moon, a philanthropic leader who generously supported numerous nonprofit organizations, died unexpectedly March 31 at her Alexandria home. She was 82.

Named a Living Legend of Alexandria in 2018, Moon attended Easter services at her long-time church, First Baptist Church of Alexandria, celebrating with friends and visiting with senior Pastor Robert Stephens.

“This is such a shock to us,” Stephens said. “Her energy was contagious. She was an incredible example of faithfulness to a community and to a church.” 

According to friends, Moon was in good spirits over the weekend and was looking forward to removing a sling she was wearing from an injury to her elbow. When she uncharacteristically missed a meeting Monday morning at the Old Dominion Boat Club, a close friend went to Moon’s home and discovered that she had died peacefully in the night.

“I am shocked and completely devastated,” said Jeanne Jacob, a close friend who had dinner with Moon Saturday evening and attended Easter services with her. “She was so full of life and ready to go.”

Jacob described Moon as a pied piper who could rally people from different groups to work together.

“She was the organizer and I could help her build her dreams,” said Jacob, who worked with Moon to establish the George Washington Legacy Foundation. “She had vision and could draw people from all different groups to make things happen.”

Moon was born Marion Elaine Henderson on Sept. 7, 1941, in Nashville, Tenn. She moved to the Alexandria area in 1951 and attended George Washington High School. Moon was briefly married to Norman Moon. She raised her two sons, Rick and Craig, as a single mother.

“Marion would be the first to tell you where she came from,” Jacob said. “She grew up in the projects and was a self-made woman building a huge company in the trade show business.”

In the 1970s, Moon began 15-years of volunteer work for Northern Virginia Offender Aid and Restoration (OAR) mentoring detainees.

In the early 1980s Moon became the first woman leasing manager for Chrysler. She became Chrysler’s top leasing manager nationwide, earning an incentive trip to see the Washington Redskins play the Miami Dolphins in Super Bowl XVII.

A decade later, Moon founded Convention and Tradeshow Freight Specialists (CTFS, né Convention Freight Services) with her son Rick.

When the Alexandria Police Department inquired about terms to use space in one of the company warehouses for training their Special Operations Team as well as their K-9 Unit, Moon donated the space. Soon first responders from surrounding localities as well as the federal government had complimentary access to the building to meet their critical training needs.

Moon lost both of her sons unexpectedly. Craig Moon died in 2009 and Rick Moon in 2013. Craig Moon was a graduate of Fork Union Military Academy and served in the U.S. Air Force. In his memory Moon has sponsored yearly scholarships to the academy with more than 100 cadets benefiting from her generosity.

After the death of her son Rick, Moon sponsored scholarships to high school athletes through the Alexandria Sportsman’s Club. She had become the first woman to serve on the ASC board in the 1980s and the second to serve as president in 2022.

Since 2017 she has donated more than $20,000 yearly to benefit ASC’s award recipients. She was recognized as Alexandria’s Sportsman of the Year, the highest honor of that organization, in 2017, and was presented with the Distinguished Service award in 2023.

Moon has served on the board of United Community, formerly United Community Ministries, and was a presenting sponsor and donor to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Warrior Foundation which provides financial assistance and support to active-duty and veteran EOD warriors.

She donated generously and served on the board of the John Leland Center for Theological Studies, an evangelical seminary that prepares both men and women to become Christian leaders in ministry.

A longtime member of the Old Dominion Boat Club, Moon served on the ODCB board and acted as a liaison to the many charitable events that ODBC hosts.

She was a supporter of the Hiring our Heroes Corporate Fellowship Program and contributor to the Mount Olive Ministries (MOM) of Mississippi, an organization that provides educational excellence to underprivileged students in a poverty-stricken locale.

Asked why she does it, Moon told the Alexandria Gazette Packet, “Because I can. I haven’t missed a single dime of the money I have been able to contribute. It is personally rewarding to honor my sons’ memories and I just thank God I have been able to do so.”

ASC president Jerry Whitmire called Moon “transformational.”

“While many may believe they are left with a deep void with the passing of Marion, if she were here she would say there is too much still to do and so much opportunity that awaits,” Whitmire said. “Her mission was a great one. She taught all of us the importance of community, inclusiveness and giving.”

In 2022, Moon helped establish the Alexandria Firefighters Foundation, a newly formed nonprofit to fund healthy meals and provide other supplies for Alexandria’s firefighters and paramedics.

Her most recent passion was the George Washington Legacy Foundation, where she served as president.

“Marion had a vision that would never be denied,” Whitmire said. “She was the living embodiment of all things good, spunky and dedicated. She accomplished so much and more from life than anyone could have possibly expected….and never without her ever-present wide smile.”

Moon is survived by a brother and two sisters. She was predeceased by her two sons, Rick and Craig. Arrangements are pending.

“Marion brought such an energy to the room and that energy clearly had come from the Lord,” Stephens said. “She did not hesitate to point others to the love of God that she had received and that she knew. She was just a contagious individual.”