NORTH WATERBORO — When Larry Mooers was diagnosed with cancer five years ago, he marked the change in his life with a new tattoo.

He had new tattoos inked on to cover an older Pegasus that was from a past time in his life. They were a woman’s eye with a tear in it, representing sadness. A purple rose, representing life. And, in the middle of the rose, a tiny skull, representing death.

For five years he fought colon cancer, and he packed in so much living in the time he had left that sometimes his wife, Laura Mooers, could barely keep up with him.

Mr. Mooers died Friday at the age of 52.

“The man has taught me a lot of things about strength and courage. With everything he’s gone through, he’s just taught me about not giving up,” his wife said.

“Even though life hands you these tough things, he just made a decision that he was going to fight it. He had so much to live for.”

Tattoos were a big part of Mr. Mooers’ life.

As Mr. Mooers’ health declined over the past year, a friend, tattooist Chad Chase, would come to his house and work on a masterpiece on his back. It was a pirate scene, with a skeleton pirate with a gun in hand, a treasure chest on the sand and a picture of Laura Mooers as a pirate sitting on the chest.

The final touch, the piece that tied it all together, was the sunset on the scene, inked onto his back the week before Mr. Mooers died.

Even in his sickness, Mr. Mooers wasn’t pained by the tattoo work.

“He’d rather feel that than to feel the chemo and the pain from his tumors,” she said.

He had another tattoo on his right arm, “Mooers Boys.” He was the eldest of five brothers who grew up in Saco, known collectively as “the Mooers boys.” His youngest brother, Jay Mooers, has the same tattoo on his own right arm.

“He was a mentor to me – there’s so much that I did and he did,” his brother said.

Another important part of Mr. Mooers’ life was motorcycles.

Mr. Mooers and his wife were married five years ago. For their wedding gift to each other, they bought a 2000 Heritage Softtail Harley-Davidson. He’d drive the bike, and she’d ride behind him. But he kept encouraging her to learn to ride, something she agreed to after he was diagnosed.

“He talked me into riding my own. He said, ‘I would love to see you ride,’ ” Laura Mooers said. “That was one of his wishes. I wanted to give him that wish.”

She took riding classes and passed in 2006, starting off on a Honda Rebel and graduating to a 2004 Custom Sportster Harley. At first, she was nervous. The second year she got more comfortable, and the third year, even more comfortable.

She rode with him into the White Mountains and rode in a benefit ride for her husband with a group of bikers last year.

She plans to keep riding now that her husband has died, with a group of her girlfriends who have motorcycles. Her goal is to ride Mr. Mooers’ Heritage, something he was no longer able to do as he got increasingly ill.

“He just showed me I could do things I didn’t think I could do,” she said. 

Staff Writer Matt Wickenheiser can be contacted at 791-6316 or at:

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