Hundreds of mourners attend Hart principal’s funeral

May 2, 2024

By Allison Scarbrough, News Editor 

SHELBY — Approximately 900 people attended the funeral service Thursday afternoon, May 2, at Shelby Road Baptist Church of Hart High School Principal Troy Moran, 46, who died from a heart attack last Saturday. 

School teachers, administrators, school board members, staff, students, parents, former students and former staff not only from the close-knit Hart district attended, but also many from surrounding districts came to pay their respects to the beloved administrator known for his “flashy smile and infectious laugh.” In addition, many friends, community members and his grieving family were in attendance.

The service was officiated by Pastor Steven Lister, and Moran’s older brother Todd spoke about his energetic brother who was an avid fisherman. Todd talked about their recent spring break trip when he and adventurous Troy caught a shark. He described his brother’s deep love for his two daughters, Elle and Reagan. 

Troy Spence Moran was described as a beloved son, father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend. He was hired as the Hart High School principal in 2021, and had served as Montague High School principal for four years prior. 

Moran taught at Mona Shores school district for many years, and he was employed at Oakridge Public Schools where he served as the high school dean of students and upper elementary principal. He served as an educator at five west Michigan school districts. 

A Viking athlete and a 1996 Whitehall High School graduate, Moran completed his college studies at Western Michigan University in 2002. 

During the funeral service, Moran was also described as a religious man with a deep faith in God. He was a member of the Shelby Road Baptist Church, said the pastor, and he attended church regularly.

Moran launched the Ride with Pride program at Hart High School, which is an opportunity for law enforcement and schools to come together and build a program promoting safe and positive choices. At the end of the year, a car is raffled off to a lucky student. School and law enforcement will announce this year’s car winner Monday, May 6, during what is anticipated to be an emotional assembly. 

“He was a great guy, a great dad, a great person, and a great principal,” said Hart Public Schools Superintendent Mark Platt the day after Moran’s shocking death. “This is a tremendous loss.”

Troy Moran, the Pirate mascot, last year’s Ride with Pride winner Molly Dessauer, Hart Police Department Det. Sgt. Kevin Skipski and Hart Police Chief Juan Salazar.

An avid runner and physical fitness enthusiast, Moran suffered a heart attack while out on a run. 

A private burial ceremony involving only the family was to take place immediately following the funeral service at Oakhurst Cemetery in Whitehall.

Oceana County Press offers heartfelt condolences to all who loved and knew Troy. He will be missed immensely.

Moran’s complete obituary:

Troy Spence Moran, 46, our beloved son, father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend unexpectedly passed away on Saturday, April 27, 2024. Troy was born on October 27, 1977 and lived in Whitehall, graduating from Whitehall High School in 1996 and Western Michigan University in 2002. Troy was a true lover of life. He loved fishing, especially in Florida, running, being active, watching sports but first and foremost, he loved being a dad to his daughters, Elle and Reagan. Troy’s gift in life was putting others first as it’s been said by many he was kind to all and never met a stranger; whoever he met became a friend who felt seen and heard with each interaction. Driven by his faith in God and purpose in life, he would always challenge those around him to be the best version of themselves. It was his faith that laid the foundation for everything in his life and allowed him to bring the fruits of the spirit alive not only in his life but in the lives of others. Troy’s life was filled with the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and discipline and he poured these gifts into everyone he met especially those during his career in education serving in 5 West Michigan school districts and also served as the foundation of who he was. These small acts resulted in big impacts. Troy’s ability to see the good in others and make meaningful connections paired with his easy-going nature, flashy smile and infectious laugh lit up family rooms, gyms, and classrooms. This ability defined who he was and how he lived his life. As we are left with huge holes in our hearts, Troy would want us to remember this: make it right with God and whoever you need to in your life, have faith and trust in the Lord and spread the fruits of the spirit to all. Left to cherish the memories of Troy are his parents, Steve and Jillene Moran of Whitehall, his daughters, Elle and Reagan Moran of Whitehall, siblings Todd Moran of Macomb and sister Rachel Moran of Seal Beach, California; and nephew and nieces, Riley, Reese, and Pfeifer. SERVICES will be held at 4:00 PM Thursday, May 2, 2024 at Shelby Road Baptist Church (4066 W. Shelby Road, Shelby, MI 49455) with Pastor Steven Lister officiating. VISITATION will be one hour prior to his service. Burial will be in Oakhurst Cemetery, Whitehall, Michigan. MEMORIALS in memory of Troy may be directed to the Ride with Pride program at Hart High School. Arrangements by the Sytsema Chapel of Sytsema Funeral & Cremation Services, 737 E. Apple Ave., Muskegon, MI 49442.

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