Cover photo for Maria Rose Moran's Obituary
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1952 Maria R. Moran 2024

Maria Rose Moran

January 12, 1952 — April 3, 2024

Omaha, NE

Moran, Maria R.

January 12, 1952 – April 3, 2024

Preceded in death by parents, Ted and Marcella Ridgway; brother, Matthew (Sylvia) Ridgway. Survived by her children: daughter, Lindsey Gillespie (James); son, Patrick Leslie (Heesuk Jung); by grandchildren, Roman, Xavier, Everest and Gabriel Gillespie; by sister, Marcia Daily; brother, Max Ridgway (Carrie); by sister and best friend, Martha Zajicek (Bob); nieces, nephews; and by husband, Jerry Moran.

Maria spent the majority of her professional career in Omaha working as an Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting drug and gang conspiracy cases.  In 1999, she was recognized for her work when she received the prestigious Director’s Award from then US Attorney General Janet Reno at a ceremony held in Washington, DC. The Director's Award was just one of many honors Maria received during her lifetime.

The American College of Trial Lawyers is a nationwide professional association in which less than 1% of trial attorneys in each state are considered by the group to meet their criteria of skill and character (excellent trial skills, unimpeachable ethics and integrity, and collegiality) for admission. Membership is by invitation only. Unknown to the attorney being considered, after their name is proposed, they are rigorously vetted for over a year by judges and trial attorneys who have previously been inducted as members. The candidate being considered is only told of their nomination if they are approved for membership by the College Board of Regents.

Until 2007, Nebraska members were comprised exclusively of male trial attorneys. But that year it changed when Maria and a Lincoln attorney became the first women from Nebraska to be inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers at their annual meeting in California. This was a groundbreaking honor bestowed upon Maria by her peers and a testament to her character and to her ability as a trial attorney.

Maria was inducted into the Burke High School Hall of Fame, as well as into the University of Nebraska at Omaha College of Business Administration Hall of Fame. In addition, during her career, she received numerous awards and citations from the Omaha Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff's Department, FBI, and DEA for her dedicated work as a federal prosecuting attorney.

Maria loved to travel and see the world.  She made it to all seven continents and in October of 2019, she visited her 112th country.   Two of Maria’s favorite pastimes were reading and working in her flower garden.  She spent many enjoyable hours doing both over the years, including during the time she was dealing with her illness. She also loved spending time every year in St. Thomas, her second home, with her Virgin Islands "family” and friends. Maria was an enthusiastic sports fan, too. Only one word adequately describes her support of all things San Antonio Spurs and Kansas City Chiefs: “rabid!”   But at the end of the day, her happiest times were when she could simply be with close family, friends, and her beloved grandchildren.

Maria faced cancer in 2009-2010, but by fighting hard she earned ten more wonderful years of life before being diagnosed with cancer again in November 2019. This time she was told her cancer was incurable and that she had three to six months to live. Maria had other ideas. With the excellent care provided by Dr. Robert Langdon and the medical and support staff at Methodist Estabrook Cancer Center, she was able to live four and a half more quality years of life being with the people she loved to be with, doing the things she loved to do.  But over time her health deteriorated further and her ability to walk, speak, see, hear, and care for herself diminished. Through it all, though, she never lost her will to try, she never complained, and she never, ever lost her dignity.

Thank you to Dr. Langdon, his entire team, and especially Jessica Johnson NP, for taking such good care of Maria following her diagnosis. Thank you to Kelly Hotaling, PharmD of NCS Outpatient Pharmacy, for the tireless assistance she provided Maria as she navigated the maze of procedures required to receive her cancer drug prescriptions.  Also, special thanks to Amber Anderson, Maria's patient care coordinator.   Amber's thoughtfulness and kindness truly meant the world to her.

Maria faced the last four and a half years of her life with remarkable courage and dignity, combined with a gentle acceptance of things as they were. This strong but gentle approach was also how she lived every day of her life.

There will be no public service.

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