Carolyn Moor

Modern Widows Club Founder Carolyn Moor looks at displays in the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute. Moor was visiting Chanute to view the museum as the Modern Widows Club is considering Osa for a Legendary Widow recognition at its Widow Empowerment Weekend which will be held August in Orlando.

JOSHUA VAIL

Tribune reporter

Carolyn Moor visited the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum Tuesday to learn more about Osa Johnson. 

Moor is the founder of the Modern Widows Club, an organization that was started in 2011. She lost her husband, Chad Morgan, in a hit-and-run car accident in Florida on Valentine’s Day 2000. 

Chad Moor was an interior architect and Carolyn Moor is an interior designer. They had a successful design firm in Orlando and Naples, Florida called Romanza. 

Moor had to raise her two daughters alone while dealing with the death of her husband. In 2005, she appeared on an episode of Shalom in the Home, a TLC series hosted by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an orthodox Jewish writer, speaker and counselor on family issues. 

That segment was seen by the producers of The Oprah Winfrey Show, and she also appeared on that show. 

She frequently received calls from other widows asking her to mentor them, and in 2011 she invited two women into her home. She also looked into starting widows ministries with local churches in her area, but was told there was no need. 

“There are 14 million widows in this country,” she said. “Thirty-seven percent of those are under retirement.” 

This was the seed of the Modern Widows Club that now serves about 25,000 women in chapters around the United States. 

The mission statement for the organization is to “empower widows to lean into life, build resilience and make a positive difference in society.”

The first chapter founded outside Moor’s home of central Florida was in Kansas City, Mo. One of the purposes for her trip to the Midwest is to visit this chapter. 

She came to Chanute to visit the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum because the organization is considering Osa for a Legendary Widow Award at their empowerment weekend and leadership conference that will be held this August in Orlando. 

Martin Johnson died in a plane crash that Osa survived January 12, 1937. 

Moor said that the way Osa Johnson lived her life after Martin’s death is the kind of life Modern Widows Club wants for other widows. 

She also identifies with Osa because their situations are similar. She also survived the accident that killed her husband and worked with him. 

“I know what it’s like to build a life around a body of work that you do and then to lose that person,” she said.

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