George Francis Malloy, co-founder of the Stratford Foundation in Needham, died suddenly on June 27 while visiting his daughter Karen in Sudbury. He was eighty-one. From 1987 until his retirement in 2007, George served as president of the Stratford Foundation, a non-profit institution dedicated to teaching students with learning disabilities, which he had founded with his brother John in 1987. George’s sister Nancy succeeded him as president, while he continued to serve as Chairman of the Board of Trustees. His death was the first break in a link of seven siblings –four boys and three girls (in descending order Matthew, Patricia, Ione, John, George, Paul, Nancy) — all but Nancy born in Pittsburgh and all raised in the Back Bay, where in 1937 their father, Matthew J. Malloy, founded Stratford, a secretarial school for girls.
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With the advent of World War II and the departure of young men to the armed services and young women to fill their job vacancies, Stratford, like all educational institutions, was squeezed financially. Mr. Malloy moved his family from West Roxbury to the top rear of Stratford at 128 Commonwealth Avenue, a gem of a Beaux-Arts building with an elevator the children operated themselves. He enrolled them at the Prince, a nearby Boston Public School. George’s brothers Paul and John recalled pitching cards and pennies with him at recess in the school yard; his sister Ione remembered the organ grinder who sometimes played outside the classroom windows, and the weekly march by class to the assembly hall, while a loudspeaker blared out Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.” George recalled later how haunted he felt, hearing his sister Ione’s voice sometimes, wafting the lyrics of the wartime song “The White Cliffs of Dover” up the carved mahogany stairwell of 128 Commonwealth.
The Back Bay became the children’s playground: The Esplanade before construction of Storrow Drive, the Public Garden, the Boston Common. In winter they pulled their sleds in the alleyway behind the school or skated on the frozen Boston Common Frog Pond; in summer they took the subway to Revere or Carson Beach. When they needed change for a Charlie Chaplin movie at the Exeter Street Theatre or a Frankenstein movie at the Strand on Huntington Avenue, the boys stood outside the Chilton Club on the corner and sold used telephone books or kittens from the litter of the family cat, Mauer.
In 1950 the family moved to Newton. During the summer of 1959, George began working as assistant to his father, president of Chamberlayne Junior College, which had morphed into junior college in 1947, when Mr. Malloy acquired the title from Theresa Leary, owner of her closed school. In 1962 George became full-time
assistant to the president, primarily responsible for the business functions of the college. “That year the student body was small,” George Malloy said, “about fifteen seniors (second-year students) and possibly fifty
first-year students,” with a classroom building at 128 Commonwealth Avenue, a women’s dormitory at 130 Commonwealth Avenue, and a men’s dormitory at 116 Commonwealth. By 1967 Chamberlayne had an enrollment of more than fourteen hundred full-time students and a campus numbering more than forty-five buildings, six of them classroom buildings. This incredible growth happened because Chamberlayne had pioneered the introduction of courses in electronic data processing in 1958 with hands-on use of equipment in a lab set up in the basement of 128 Commonwealth Avenue and wired by President Malloy’s brother Charles, a master electrician. “High school seniors quickly became aware of Chamberlayne’s ability to prepare them for the dawning computer age,” George said. Enrollment – which included Thomas Menino, future mayor of Boston -- soared.
“A key factor in the rapid development of Chamberlayne Junior College,” George wrote, “despite the nearly skeletal administrative staff – the only kind of staff the college could afford in the growth mode—was the early and widespread use of data-processing equipment, including the computer, in the management of key areas of organization. The computer facilitated what otherwise would have been a logistical nightmare for the small administrative staff: the registering of students and scheduling of classes in buildings spread over many city blocks of the Back Bay.
“Almost indispensable now, computers were quite uncommon then,” George Malloy said. “When I was a senior at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in 1962, the college had
only a relatively ineffective computer controlled by a cumbersome punched paper tape (not punch cards), very much smaller and less flexible than the relatively small one at Chamberlayne Junior College, and Dartmouth was using it only for minor office applications. There was no mention of computers in the business courses, nor was the use of computers or computer applications included in any of the course work at the Tuck School.”
Assured of the success of Chamberlayne, George left in September 1969 to work first as laboratory administrator, then as an assistant vice-president of Clinical Services at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Upon the death of Matthew J. Malloy In 1987, the faculty, curricula, and student body of Chamberlayne Junior College were merged with Mount Ida College in Newton. The assets of Chamberlayne Junior College became the endowment for the Stratford Foundation, a new foundation with an educational mission, including the awarding of grants for educational purposes.
George divided his time between Mashpee on Cape Cod in the summer and Naples, Florida, in the winter. His passions were his family, boating, history – especially the Civil War period –and lately pickle ball. He kept a boat moored in Mashpee and in Naples. Meticulous in all things, he could navigate by compass and chart or by GPS.
My father treasured his relationships with his family and friends,” his daughter Lynne said. He would drive several hours just to have dinner with his siblings or friends, often stopping to nap at the side of the road because he was so tired. He wouldn’t miss the opportunity to spend time with the people who were important to him. He went to dozens of school concerts, dance recitals, track meets, volleyball, baseball, football, soccer, and hockey games and loved every minute of every one. And he never missed an important milestone, frequently coming home from Florida early to attend the graduation of one of his grandchildren – because being there for the ones he loved and showing how much they were loved was most important to him.”
Four years ago Ruth, George’s wife of 59 years, began manifesting more debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, which had been diagnosed years earlier. As George typically would, he drove many miles twice a week – when in Naples to Fort Myers, when in Mashpee to Carver – to get Ruth to boxing lessons so she could build stamina to fight the disease.
George’s life of uncommon grace ended when he was struck by a subdural hemorrhage early Wednesday morning.
George leaves his wife, Ruth (Carter), his four girls and their husbands – Catherine and Dan Brossi of Onset, Deborah and Ed Buiser of Mansfield, Lynne and Bill Dunn of Sturbridge, Karen and Chuck Coletti of Sudbury. Eleven grandchildren – Danielle, Deanna and Teresa Brossi; Matt and Julia Buiser; Billy, Kyle his wife Danielle, and Brian Dunn; Steven, Jeff, and Jack Coletti. His siblings and their wives: Matthew and Barbara of Southborough; Patricia and Ione of Newton; John and Dorothy of Hingham; Paul and Sally of Newton; Nancy and Paul Quinlan of South Natick. And many nieces and nephews.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Wednesday, July 3, at 10:30 A.M. in the Sacred Heart Church, Newton Centre, followed by interment in Newton Cemetery. Visiting hours will be held Tuesday evening from 5-8PM in the Burke & Blackington Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations to remember George may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research at MichaelJFox.org.