Richard Clayton “Moon” Mullins, 82, passed away Monday, June 6, 2022 at his home in The Villages, Florida. Born in Bluefield, West Virginia, he was the third of four sons to Carl Stinson Mullins and Era Hinkle Mullins.
He grew up in Bluefield, West Virginia and after graduating from Bluefield High School in 1958, he earned an Associates Degree from Bluefield State College. After college, Moon served 2 years in the United States Navy.
Moon worked for over 40 years in the mining industry. His mining machinery career began with Galis Electric Machine in 1963. From there he held roles with both Goodman Mining Company and Fairchild Equipment International. In 1968, he joined Joy Manufacturing. While working with Joy as regional manager for the Western Region, he and his family relocated to Price, Utah where he was able to indulge his passion for fishing and hunting. In Utah, he was a sworn member of the Carbon County Sheriff’s Posse with his horse, Scooter. In 1987, Moon and his family returned to the East Coast. Over the years, Moon held a variety of different positions with Joy but when interviewed at his retirement, he said of his position as regional manager, “Joy didn’t know it, but I would have paid them to let me do that job.” Over the years he saw and worked just about everywhere there was underground mining in the world. He retired from his role as Vice President Product Manager of Joy Mining Machinery in 2006.
Moon was counted among the movers and shakers in the mining industry. Over his career he was active in several industry organizations, including the King Coal Club, Old Timers Club and the West Virginia Coal Mine Institute where he served in a number of capacities, including past president and member of the board of directors. Moon also served on the board of directors of the West Virginia Coal Association. In 2007, he was inducted into he West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame – an esteemed selection of distinguished members that have dedicated their careers to not only preserving and improving West Virginia’s landscape but also to providing expert leadership in mining. In addition to his membership in various professional organizations, he was a member of the Masons, Scottish Rite and the Elks for over 50 years.
Although he spent more time hunting and fishing while out West, he always had a passion for golf. He played golf all over the country and internationally, enjoying St. Andrews and a variety of other renowned courses. He relocated permanently to The Villages in 2009. When he wasn’t golfing, he enjoyed traveling and caring for his pets.
Moon was a kind, generous and loyal man. He was steadfast in his support, devotion, and generosity to those he loved. He was known for his entertaining stories, love of life and sense of humor. When asked how he would be remembered, he said “Probably by my motto: Everybody calls me an SOB, but nobody calls me a cheap SOB.”
He is survived by his domestic partner of 13 years, Karren LaHue (The Villages, FL), daughters Misti Mullins of Killington, VT and Mindi Mullins of Boston, MA, sister-in-law Darlene Hall (Princeton, WV), his nieces and nephews Michael Mullins (Nampa, ID), Michelle Mullins-Esbenshade(Fredericksburg, VA), Shelly Bucciarelli (Ft. Mill, SC), Parker Hall (Morgantown, WV), Ann Bowen (Casselbury, FL), Jamie Hamden (Blacksburg, VA), Jim Eaton Jr. (Tallahasse FL), and John Eaton (NC).
He was preceded in death by his wife of 42 years, Judy Eaton Mullins, his brothers Charles Gilbert Mullins, Randolph Carlyle Mullins and David Carl Mullins.
To honor Moon’s wishes, there will not be a traditional funeral service. There will be a celebration of life later this summer for family and close friends in The Villages FL and in Princeton WV. Moon supported a variety of causes including humane societies and he treasured animals. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation of time or money to an animal-welfare organization or make a contribution to St. Jude’s Hospital in his memory.