Collegiate alumnus John Maloney passed away on April 26, 2015. As founder of Open Gym, Maloney had a profound impact on many in the Collegiate community. Elizabeth Cogar-Batty wrote about him in Style Weekly. Isaiah Fleming-Klink, co-president of Open Gym 2014-15, offers these memories.
Mr. Maloney’s soul lives on.
It lives on in sunny Sunday afternoons on the track at Collegiate; in shy freshmen who don’t quite know how to approach him, and in seniors who go to him for advice on college; in children who don’t have any other means of socializing or exercising, who try as best they can to ignore his enthusiastic “One more lap!” and “Make sure you do some sit-ups!” but end up caving in with wide smiles on their faces; in parents who come to him in tears, and leave him with a written plan and dry cheeks; in one-on-one games of basketball with Nicholas Kiczales and Jack Grover; in the sweat-drenched “Coach John” shirt; in quiet, program-changing conversations with Andrea Miller; in laughter and anger and tears and sweat and dedication; in Open Gym.
It lives on in his beautiful son, Jack, and amazing daughter, Tolly; in Jack’s first Prom with Faison this spring; in Tolly’s endeavors on the soccer and field hockey fields; in the eight laps Jack runs around the track at Open Gym; in Tolly’s A’s at St. Catherine’s; in his thoughtful, compassionate wife, Jennifer; in the tears of those at St. Paul’s for his service last Thursday; in his friend Todd Ratner, who pushes forward with Open Gym and with life, even when the days are tearful; in his beautiful mother, two older brothers, and sister, who never imagined the youngest brother–the annoying, argumentative one–being the first one to leave our Earth; in his closest friends at Wells Fargo; in family and friends and acquaintances and students and peers; in the people that matter.
It lives on in the man he was; in the ten minutes he spent making fun of my ability to drive a manual car for the first time; in the way you just knew you had to shut up, because otherwise you’d be out the door; in the hours upon hours he spent taking care of the love of his life, Jack; in the advice and guidance he gave to young people; in the smile he left you with after a mere passing conversation; in the balance his eyes had, stuck somewhere between curiosity and determination; in the way he shot a basketball, always landing on his right foot; in the family he raised; in the legislation he passed; in the financial success he had; in his moral compass; in his devotion to his family; in his love for the Redskins and University of Richmond basketball; in his passion and love and compassion and determination and humor and curiosity and fight and character.
It lives on in the lasting place he will have in our community and in our hearts; in the tears we’ve shed, and the sweat we will sweat to fight for what he believed in.
Mr. Maloney’s soul lives on.
Fleming-Klink is a senior who will be attending Georgetown University in the fall.