top of page


Lineage: Jane Parker Moody was born on January 30, 1913 to Henry M. Parker (1862-1940) and Cynthia Miranda Wood Parker (1857-1951). She married Clyde Leonard Moody on November 14, 1932. At the time of her death, Jane was a textile worker at a Gastonia mill. She died in a house fire on May 12th, 1947.

Lineage: Jimmy R. Moody was born on June 14, 1943 and was the youngest child of Clyde Leonard (1915-1989) and Jane Parker Moody (1913-1947). Jimmydied, along side his mother, in a house fire on May 12th, 1947.

On the evening of May 12th, 1947, Jane Parker Moody, the first wife of famed bluegrass musician and my uncle, Clyde Leonard Moody, along with two of their young sons, Henry Alonzo, age 10, and Jimmy R., age 3, were asleep in their home in Gastonia, NC when a fire broke out.

According to 2 NC newspaper articles (click links) that we found, a neighbor spotted the fire and rushed into the home in an attempt to save the family. The neighbor managed to awaken Henry Alonzo

(1937-2010) and get him to safety. Unfortunately, Jane and Jimmy, who were sleeping together in the same bed, could not be awaken and they perished in the fire. The cause of the fire was thought to be accidental and due to an overturned or exploded lit oil lamp.

The death certificates for both Jane and Jimmy indicate they were "burned to death" as opposed to having died due to smoke inhalation. The death certificate does not indicate if autopsies were performed or not. This leaves open many possibilities as to the actual circumstances that caused their deaths.

Clyde and Jane had been separated for a while and, at the time of the fire, he was living in Tennessee. There had been rumors in the family that young Jimmy was not Clyde's son as it was known that Jane had been "seeing" another man since her separation from Clyde. Rumors also rose that the fire was an arson fire and not accidental. So far, we have not found any evidence of either claim being valid. No one could (or would, if they knew) tell us the name of the man Jane was supposedly dating. I contacted the Gastonia/Cleveland Co. Fire Department, and, to the amazement of the fire department personnel to whom I spoke, the records on the fire have disappeared. It is thought that the records became lost when the department relocated to their current location some years back.

I had thought that the fire's surviving child, Henry Alonzo, had passed on years ago. Instead, I learned in 2010 when I saw his obituary, that my information was wrong. Although Clyde had children by another marriage, Henry Alonzo was the last known survivor of his and Jane's children. Not knowing that Henry Alonzo was still living, I, sadly, missed an opportunity to talk with him about his life, his family, and, had he been willing to share, what he could remember about that the night of May 12th, 1947.

Just as they had died, Jane and Jimmy are buried together at Chapel Hill Cemetery, Marion, NC.

bottom of page