Jim Malone, 93, Ascension usher extraordinaire

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James A. Malone, 93, a 66-year resident of Oak Park, died at home on Dec. 19, 2013. Born in DeKalb, on Feb. 15, 1920 to the late Frank and Ella (nee Collins) Malone. He graduated from DeKalb High School and attended Northern Illinois University, where he met his wife, Betty. After service in the Army during WWII (Eastern Theater), they were married and settled in Oak Park.

He was a butcher who worked for his uncle at the Tip Top Meat Shop in the Andersonville neighborhood of Chicago, followed by many years with Skandia Foods, also in Andersonville. Following his retirement, he took up golf at Columbus Park in Chicago, and began his passionate career writing letters to the media and the famous, from whom he often received responses. 

He will be remembered as a gentle, kind and patient soul, whose other passions consisted of family, storytelling, and sports. As a longtime usher at Ascension Church, he worked the congregation each Sunday, handing out customized and colorful versions of the church bulletin and, with his keen sense of humor, putting smiles on the faces of those attending Mass. 

Jim Malone is survived by his wife of 67 years Betty (nee Wengierski); his son, Jim (wife Mary Kay); his granddaughters, Katie and Betsy Malone; and the uncle of many. He was preceded in death by his brother, Bill, and Lois (the late Bob) Lawson. 

Visitation was held on Sunday, Dec. 22, at Drechsler, Brown & Williams Funeral Home in Oak Park. A funeral Mass was celebrated at Ascension Church in Oak Park on Monday, Dec. 23, followed by private interment in his hometown of DeKalb at St. Mary Cemetery.

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