Michael Francis Maloney
January 10, 1965 – February 14, 2021
Eight months ago, as our family gathered to plan our mother’s funeral, our brother Michael hijacked our sister's bluetooth speaker to play the Neville Brothers’ stunning rendition of “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” It felt like Angels began circling all of us ~ to take our mom home ~ but also to remind each of us of our family bond. The angels are circling again, this time to take Mike who passed away suddenly on February 14, 2021, shattering our hearts.
At 56, Mike, was the youngest of seven children born to Robert and Margaret Maloney of Linden in Columbus. He attended St. James the Less grade school, St. Francis DeSales High School, and graduated from Beechcroft High School in 1983. Throughout grade school and high school, Mike participated in sports, a standout in football and track, and went on to play freshman football at Columbia University. Mike developed his athletic speed in the church field behind our house on Grasmere Ave. where he was chased by his five older sisters yet rarely caught.
A graduate of The University of Toledo and longtime employee of the City of Columbus, first for the City Auditor and later for the Civil Service Commission where Mike strove to ensure police and firefighter exams were written and administered fairly. Mike served in the United States Army Reserves and volunteered for Honor Flight.
We don’t know why God chose St. Valentine’s Day to take Mike. Perhaps it is because he had a quiet but large heart. He was kind, always accepting of others no matter how different. He never ever boasted of a good deed he’d performed ~ and believe us, there were many. Without hesitation, he would step up to help family, friends, even friends of friends, with car repairs, home projects, moves and to assist in the preparation of tax returns. Even in death he was still helping others as an organ donor to Lifeline Ohio.
Mike was never the center of attention in a room, preferring to sit back, observe and enjoy the fray. If you weren’t listening, you might miss his quick wit, but never his smile. He had a mischievous side but those stories are better left to be shared among his posse ~ friends he loved dearly. A deep thinker, Mike would not thrust his opinions on you, but if you were lucky and inquired, he’d share his intellect with you.
If you knew him, you will likely describe Mike as loyal, and although he was the “baby” of 7 kids, after our mom’s stroke, we found him to be the wisest among us. We don’t believe a day passed during the 14 months following our mom’s stroke without Mike appearing, like an Angel, to visit while she had a meal, ensuring she ate, to partake in wheelchair volleyball, chasing down wayward balloons, or if our mom was tired, to sit quietly while she napped. It is not surprising she chose him to be with her when she passed to the other side ~comforted by his reading of Irish blessings.
Mike cherished his Irish heritage and his weekly outing to the Shamrock Club for dart night. He loved the Buckeyes, the Browns (a Dawg Pound regular), bourbon, barbecue and nearly all genres of music. Attending music festivals was a guilty pleasure as were his pilgrimages to New Orleans and the Kentucky Derby. He was an avid reader, enjoying history, Irish sayings, blessings and poetry. He also enjoyed working with his hands. From his high school Mustang Fastback, he proudly named the “Gray Ghost” after having painted it with gray primer, to his most recent white van, he dubbed, “Vanna White,” he always loved to tinker with cars, revealing an optimistic outlook that he could figure out a way to fix just about anything. It is not surprising that even during the difficult time of Covid19 Mike would stencil his van’s spare tire cover with the phrase,“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright.”
Above all, Mike LOVED and is survived by his life partner, Patricia Jackson, and daughters Iyonna Jackson and Margaret (Maggie) Maloney (proudly named for Mike’s mother). Mike is also survived by siblings Terri Houston (Bill (deceased)), Dan (Ruth Ann) Maloney, Kathy (Jamie) Havens, Marty (Randy) Detwiler, Julie (Jim) Nugent and several nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends. His parents, Bob and Maggie and sister Molly Maloney are waiting for him in Heaven.
We are blessed to call Mike Maloney our Angel. In his honor, we ask all of you to be kind to others as he was. Although we may never know the pain that lies beneath the masks any of us wear, cloth or otherwise, perhaps with a little bit of kindness all of us can help to heal someone else’s shattered heart.
A Memorial to honor Mike’s life will take place in the coming months when we can all gather together safely. Until then ~
May Joy And Peace Surround You,
Contentment Latch Your Door,
And Happiness Be With You Now,
And Bless You Evermore
An Irish Blessing, particularly meaningful to Mike.
In lieu of flowers, or any other gift, Michael's friends and family can contribute to help cover basic living expenses for the family until funds from the estate become available. Below is a link to the "Go Fund Me" account. Thank you.
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