Former Councilman and Deacon John Maloney: A Man for All Seasons

It is with profound sadness that we learned of the passing this week of former longtime Clarkstown Councilman and Deacon John Maloney he was 98. I have known John Maloney for most of my life and had such enormous respect for him. As a youngster, I would often attend St. Anthony’s Saturday evening 5:00PM Mass with my grandfather who was the head usher. Deacon John would often serve that mass and would always have a wry smile, a funny story, a quip or a joke or two at the ready. He was affable and a true servant.

Years later I came to know John from my time in St. Joseph’s Seminary and in the ministry and would see him at events. Finally, I had the pleasure of serving with John for a year as a Councilman where he was the elder statesman of Clarkstown, welcoming and always giving. During the past seven years as Supervisor I worked with John as he continued running the senior shows until COVID and would see him at events around town. Throughout this entire time my respect and admiration for John only grew. To say that John was one of a kind is a total understatement–he was a treasure. The longest serving Councilman in the history of our Town, 36 Years. John was also the longest serving Deacon in the over 200 year history of the Archdiocese of New York and had the honor of serving as the Deacon for Pope Francis’ visit to New York. John was also a chaplain to many organizations including the Rockland County Jail, Sheriff’s Department, the Nanuet Fire Department, and the Nanuet Community Ambulance Corps to name just a few. He was also a long time member of the town police commission. He supported many charities and organizations offering insight and leadership.

John was also the creative genius and star of over thirty senior citizen shows done through the Parks and Recreation Board where he offered many jokes and wonderful song and dance routines. Indeed, one quip I will never forget John shared with me about a year after he left office was particularly funny and memorable and involved his status as a former councilman. Sitting next to John and his beloved wife Joan at a Fire Department Dinner he was announced as “Former Councilman John Maloney.” John smiled wryly turned to me and said “George there is nothing more former than a former councilman!” That was John: witty, honest and offering a joke and a life lesson all at once. He was such a decent, kind and caring person. It is hard to say which John loved the most his family and friends, his Church and parish or his beloved community of Clarkstown whom he so wonderfully served.

John had a long and full life and did such good for countless folks. I am glad I was able to speak with him recently over the phone after his latest birthday in February to wish him well and thank him for his service and friendship. We even joked about his getting ready to do another senior show, which sadly will never happen—at least in this life. While I knew it might be the last time we would speak, he was not maudlin but strong and resolute with the knowledge that he lived a long, faith-filled and full life of purpose where he made a difference in the world. We should all be so fortunate to have a tenth of the impact this great man had.

I am directing that all flags in the Town of Clarkstown be lowered to half-staff though next Monday in honor of his many years of service to our community. My deepest condolences to his family, friends and the entire St. Anthony Parish on his passing.

Rest In Peace John–Your Good Works Go with You.