Virginia Moore, ASL interpreter for Gov. Beshear, has passed away

Posted at 1:29 PM, May 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-12 08:32:36-04

(LEX 18) — Governor Andy Beshear announced on Twitter that ASL interpreter, Virginia Moore, passed away Saturday.

Many Kentuckians remember her from "Team Kentucky" updates during the COVID-19 pandemic.

From being his ASL interpreter, she taught Kentuckians about the importance of leading with love and inclusion, Beshear wrote.

“Virginia was a rock of stability and grace during the pandemic,” Beshear tweeted. “She helped bring us all together in our most challenging times.”

There are about 700,000 people who are deaf or hard of hearing in Kentucky, according to state data.

Moore died May 6 after an extended stay in the hospital for heart surgery and complications with her lungs and kidneys, according to her obituary.

“I didn't want it to be true,” said Amy Hatzel, the board chair of the Kentucky Commission on the Deaf and Hearing Impaired. “I think we're all in shock, Virginia's a fighter, and had fought for a very long time.”

Hatzel mentioned how recently she’d heard a positive update about Moore, saying she’d picked horses to win the Kentucky Oaks race.

Moore was the executive director of the commission. Hatzel said it was because of those briefings that Moore formed a close relationship with Governor Beshear, ultimately helping to further the work she’d been doing for years - making life better for Kentucky’s deaf community.

The work has included giving more people access to hearing aids and allowing KY 911 dispatchers to automatically know a caller's location without the caller ever having to say a word, Hatzel said.

“If I had to sum up Virginia in one word it would have to be love,” Hatzel said. “She loved very deeply, she loved this community of people and that kind of love leaves a legacy that will last.”

“Virginia Moore brought hope to Kentuckians during the uncertainty of the pandemic,” wrote Lt. Governor Jaqueline Coleman. “She was always there, helping us get through it together.”