WORTHINGTON — The 2021 King Turkey Day speaker, scheduled to take the stage at the intersection of 10th Street and Fourth Avenue at 1 p.m. next Saturday, is a familiar face to many in the community.

Associate Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Gordon Moore III will return to the community that was his family’s home for 25 years. He and his wife, Jane, moved in 2020 after he accepted the role in the higher court.

“I am really looking forward to being back in Worthington for KTD,” Moore said on Friday. “Worthington is a special community, full of vibrant diversity, and has evolved greatly since the first King Turkey Day took place in 1939.”

During his years in Worthington, Moore was involved in numerous King Turkey Day activities, from the pancake breakfast to the carnivals, running the 10K a few times and even going on the hunt for the KTD medallion. He admits to walking the parade route more times than he can recall — sometimes three times in the course of a single parade.

Moore walked for causes including the YMCA, Worthington youth hockey, Worthington Futbol Club, Worthington High School and Worthington Middle School bands and the Historic District Association, among others.

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“My favorite memory was driving Edie Jensen’s canary yellow Plymouth Prowler through the parade with her,” Moore recalled. “Once I determined that the ‘smoke’ coming out of the car on First Avenue was farm dust and not evidence of fire, Edie and I had a great time — and the crowd loved her.”

Moore, who grew up in Rochester and graduated from Mayo High School in 1981, went on to graduate from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1988. After seven years with the Minnesota Attorney General’s office working as a special assistant attorney general, he became an associate at Malters, Shepherd and VonHoltum in Worthington in February 1995. He remained with the firm through December 2002, and then began serving as Nobles County Attorney in January 2003. Moore was the Nobles County Attorney through February 2012, when he then was named a Fifth Judicial District Court Judge. He served in that capacity from March 2012 through July 2020, and was appointed to the Supreme Court on Aug. 3, 2020.

“Being chosen as the KTD featured speaker is a tremendous honor, knowing the footsteps of everyone you follow, (from) Bobby Kennedy to Paul Wellstone to Paul Summers LaRoche,” Moore shared. “Kissing Paycheck is one KTD activity I have not yet had the joy of doing, but it looks like it's coming up!

“It's humbling to be given this chance; after all, I am an unremarkable guy who's been given a remarkable opportunity to serve the citizens of Minnesota on the Minnesota Supreme Court. I'm mustering all my experience and knowledge, much of it acquired in Worthington, to make a positive difference and to bring justice to all.”