Helen Jesse Moore, 97, a public school teacher in Washington for 44 years before her retirement in 1943, died Oct. 27 at a nursing home in Washington, where she had lived for about a month. She suffered from a circulatory ailment.

Miss Moore was born in Rapidan, Va., and moved to Washington with her family at the age of 3. She was a graduate of the old Miner Normal School here.

She began teaching in the elementary schools in 1899, and later was a teacher, specializing in English and mathematics, at Francis and Banneker junior high schools.

Miss Moore was an early worker with the Niagara Movement, forerunner of the NAACP, and remained active in the NAACP until recent years. She also had been active in the old Teachers Benefit and Annuity Association.

A life member of St. Luke's Episcopal Church, she served in many of its organizations, including the Altar Guild. She had helped form a group to raise money to liquidate the church mortage in 1918-19, and led a movement to gather signatures on a petition for women to become members of Episcopal vestries.

She is survived by a sister, Sara E. Moore, of the home in Washington.