Michael Maloney

Michael J. Maloney, who worked closely with families as he helped lead some of the region’s top senior living communities, and who became known in recent years for his advocacy and fundraising for ALS research and treatment passed away from Lou Gehrig’s disease at 65 years old. The initial shock of his diagnosis in August 2012 gave way to determination, Mr. Maloney wrote in a piece he shared with The Buffalo News in 2014. “My fear of tomorrow could not rob me of today,” he wrote. “With that belief and with the love and support of my family and friends I have found a new energy for life.” Born in Buffalo, Mr. Maloney was a 1969 graduate of Bishop Turner High School and 1973 graduate of Niagara University. He lived in Cheektowaga for about 40 years. He spent his professional career promoting the needs of elders in Western New York. He began his work at the Bristol Home in 1974 and served as executive director there from 1980 to 1992. He served as administrator of Sacred Heart Home/Brothers of Mercy from 1992 to 1999, associate director of Canterbury Woods from 1999 to 2001, executive director of The Green Fields/Niagara Lutheran community from 2001 to 2007 and as the founding executive director of Fox Run at Orchard Park from 2007 until his retirement in 2014. The event center at Fox Run was renamed the Michael J. Maloney Event. Mr. Maloney also served his community as a volunteer for organizations that included the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, Coordinated Care, the Network in Aging, and Leading Age WNY. His efforts earned him numerous awards. He received the Caritas award from Brothers of Mercy. Though limited physically with ALS, Mr. Maloney, his family and his friends became key players in the fight against the disease, which has no cure, and limited treatment. His response to his diagnosis, he wrote in 2014, was “to make some difference for the next guy who hears, ‘You have ALS: So, I embraced awareness and advocacy.” Elizabeth Krisanda, executive director of the Upstate New York Chapter of the ALS Association, called Mr. Maloney the voice not only for the ALS community in his home region but also as a national advocate .. “He was an amazing force,” Krisanda said. “The fact that he used what remained of his voice in his efforts to address ALS was inspiring.” The Maloney Clan of Family and Friends has been the top fundraising group in the Buffalo Walk to Defeat ALS. The group also has participated in Ice Bucket Challenges and other fundraisers. “He basically was behind everything,” said Maureen Myers, a family friend of 36 years who co-captained Maloney clan activities. Hours before his death, “he was on the phone with Washington, D.C., with the national chapter,” Myers said. “He never stopped fighting. … Every time he signed a message, it was in gratitude and hope:’ He was an avid bike rider, reader and gardener. He was happiest spending time with family and friends on his backyard deck.

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