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Curtis William Malone

 

Last updated 3/10/2011 at Noon

Curtis William Malone

Curtis William Malone was born in Cleveland, Ohio on April 4, 1943 and the world would never be the same. He passed away on February 28, 2011 at his home in Port Hueneme, Calif. In 1955, Curt’s family moved to Sepulveda, Calif. and at age 11 announced he would no longer be called Curt. Known from then on as Bill, Billy, or just plain Cowboy, he was a man of great humor, mischief, ventures, and character. He loved baseball, Davy Crockett, his family, and his ever-widening circle of friends.

As a child, Bill played baseball but since he didn’t run very fast and really wasn’t fond of chasing baseballs in the field, he wisely became a catcher, then an umpire. Baseball is the recurring theme in his life. As an adult, many of Bill’s businesses related to baseball and he spent years coaching Little League and American Legion teams. His love for baseball never diminished.

As an enterprising youngster, Bill abandoned his career as a bookie at Northridge Junior High and enrolled at Culter Christian Academy in 1960. Needing to help pay his tuition at Culter, Bill made his way to old Wrigley Field in South Los Angeles to apply for a job with the LA Angels, a Pacific Coast League team tapped in 1961 to be an American League expansion team. He was hired, and worked for two years in various clubhouse jobs before leaving to become equipment manager with the Cleveland Indians in 1964. Bill’s irrepressible personality was described in the book ‘Strike Three!’ a memoir by Thomas A. Tomsick, MD. A bullpen catcher with Indians at that same time Bill was there, Tomsick called him a “young Californian who could talk a bulldog off a meat wagon.”

Bill was also a retired Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff. He displayed his depth of character by reporting his training officer who had criminally shot and killed a young, unarmed man. His courage to report the deputy took a great personal toll on his health, but his willingness to step forward was a decision he never regretted. We are forever proud of him.

Another of his careers was at Nike. In on the ground floor, he was hired by founder Phil Knight as sales representative to introduce this ‘new type of shoe’ all around the U.S.

Bill was also a cattle rancher, farmer, Realtor, insurance adjuster, minor league and college umpire, baseball card shop owner and dealer, supplier of sports officiating equipment (some of which he designed and had manufactured) and founded and operated an umpire school.

During the course of these adventures, Bill lived in many places, landing in Fallbrook in the 1980s where he met his wife Nancy. In 1993, they moved to Port Hueneme, Calif. where he spent many, many hours at Friends Café, Starbucks, and Anacappuccino, where he thoroughly enjoyed chatting, laughing, and telling tales with old and new friends, since every patron was a potential friend.

Bill’s love for people was evidenced by his many trips to Mexico to provide food and clothing to families in need as well as contributions to a variety of causes.

Bill was a cancer survivor and had been in diminishing health for several years. However, he considered himself to be extremely fortunate to have a loving wife in Nancy, who dedicated herself to him. The week before his death, he spoke of his concern for her, how he could help her, and how deeply he valued Nancy’s commitment to him. Despite his intensely strong will and determination, he left this world much too soon.

Bill is survived by his wife Nancy Earls Malone, his son Todd (Ann) and their children Sarah (Nick), Katie (Eric), Patrick, and Daniel, stepson John (Kris) Stokes and their children Madelyn and Grace; sisters Sheryl Malone and Lynn Roberts and her son Chad (Angie); as well as sisters-and brothers-in-law, nieces and nephews, and two great-grandchildren, all of whom will miss him greatly.

A celebration of Bill’s life will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 2 p.m. at Pacific Coast Ministries, 301 Bernoulli Circle, Oxnard, Calif. It is an informal event and everyone is encouraged to wear his or her favorite

baseball cap.

 

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