OBITUARY

Earl Benton Mally Jr.

March 29, 1944January 27, 2018

EARL BENTON MALLY, JR. COLONEL, UNITED STATES ARMY, RETIRED March 29, 1944 – January 27, 2018

This obituary was penned by Earl Mally, who began: Perhaps the only advantage of dying from kidney cancer is that it has given me time to reflect on my life and to be able to pen my own story. Mine was an exceptionally wonderful life! Born in Jacksonville, my parents were Earl B. Mally, Sr. and Marjorie Fitzpatrick Mally. They were demanding, loving and totally grounded in what it takes to be successful in life. My brother, Martin I. Mally, now deceased, and I were blessed that they chose us as their sons. Mom and Dad decided that Marty and I were perfect candidates for The Bolles School, all male and military, long before it became fashionable. It was a transformative experience, and further underscored my parents’ values for success. Next came Auburn University, where I joined the Kappa Alpha Order. Wheat Barley! Engineering was just not my thing. I transferred to The University of Florida and have been a huge Gator fan for life. I was president of the KA chapter in my senior year, which meant free room and board! Since there was a draft in place at the time, I joined the Army ROTC unit, where my Bolles training helped me become a Distinguished Military Graduate, and gave me some say in how I served my country. I was commissioned a Second Lieutenant upon graduation. Then the fun began! Claudia Marie Hart, whom I had known since the 9th grade, and I were married in June, 1968, and we set off on a spectacular 26 year adventure that took us to Holland, Germany, San Antonio, TX, Washington, D.C., Ft. Lee, VA, West Point, NY, Augusta, GA (twice), and Columbia, SC. Lest I forget my all expenses paid round trip ticket to Viet Nam in 1971. I was blessed to use the return portion of that ticket. At every post, I served alongside exceptional men and women whose bonds of service and comradeship are my most treasured memories. Along the way, there were many medals, many ribbons (fruit salad) to decorate my uniforms, but I am most proud of my Bronze Star Medal earned in Viet Nam. The Army also taught me a trade by sending me to be the hospital administrator at West Point, NY, Ft. Jackson, SC and Eisenhower Army Medical Center in Augusta, GA. And yes, I actually had tickets to the Masters! In 1984, our precious Melissa Mally Gregory was born and stole my heart at first glance. I am so proud of the beautiful, loving, caring young woman she grew to be. My Melissa will always be Daddy’s little girl. After 26 years of proudly wearing the Army uniform and serving my country, one final move at taxpayers’ expense brought me home. A short stint with Prudential Health led to my joining a wonderful physician group, the Jacksonville Health Care Group, which later affiliated with Baptist Medical Center. As much as my Army life was rewarding and fun, the next 18 years with Baptist Health were the most satisfying. I was honored to be part of a leadership team that grew and matured Baptist Health with historical development to become the shining star that now serves our community with mission and commitment. Then two fantastic events: Melissa married Ethan Wright Gregory, a man we adore, in October, 2013, and a beautiful baby boy, Baxter Mally Gregory, was born in November, 2016. Happy and healthy, to Melissa and Ethan: ya’ll done good! Farewell to my Tennessee brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Victor L. Hart, Jr., and Vickie Valentine, Knoxville, and to my nephew, Victor L. Hart III, Atlanta GA. We shared many happy years vacationing at Pawley’s Island, SC. And farewell to my Jacksonville sister-in-law, Pattie Mally, and my niece and nephew in Texas, Marta Mally Petty and Travis Benton Mally. I loved my family dearly. To my golfing brothers, my favorite foursome, Thom Borowy, Richard Sisisky, Dan Edelman, and Bill Glenn, may you golf into the sunset at Pablo Creek Golf Club, a truly beautiful and serene golf course. Watch out for the Mally Pine and for Mally Valley! I’ll be there. I am saddest to leave my beloved wife, Claudia. She has been the most important and happiest part of my earthly journey. I am humbled and grateful for her unconditional love and support. Claudia, you are truly the light of my life! Claudia and I took many cruises. As I sign off for now, please wish me one final bon voyage! In lieu of flowers, memorials can be directed to the Baptist MD Anderson Medical Director’s Endowment in Memory of Earl Mally, 841 Prudential Drive Suite 1300, Jacksonville, FL 32207, Visitation will be held from 10:00am to 11:00am on Thursday, February 8, 2018 in Mandarin United Methodist Church. A Memorial Service will be held at 11:00am on Thursday, February 8, 2018 in Mandarin United Methodist Church, 11270 San Jose Blvd. 32223. Arrangements are under the care and direction of HARDAGE-GIDDENS FUNERAL HOME OF MANDARIN, 11801 San Jose Blvd. Jacksonville, FL 32223. www.hgmandarin.com (904) 288-0025.

Services

  • Time of Gathering

    Thursday, February 8, 2018

  • Memorial Service

    Thursday, February 8, 2018

Memories

Earl Benton Mally Jr.

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Frederic Wheeler

June 30, 2018

The Bolles School Cadets mourn the loss of Colonel Mally. I graduated from the Bolles class of 1960 and I recall Earl in Company 'A'. Though a member of Company 'B', the Corps of Cadets in that long ago era is a tight bond of camaraderie no matter which Company one was assigned. Well done, Colonel Mally,...Enter into the Heavenly Kingdom ...

Randy Buchnowski

February 8, 2018

Claudia and Melissa,
Please accept our condolences and know that our thoughts and prayers are with you. Earl was a great mentor and friend. I remember my time in Jacksonville and it was special for me that you let me into your lives. I also remember not too long ago playing golf and having dinner. It was like we just saw each other last week rather than years ago. The obituary was just his style and just perfect. Earl, as requested, bon voyage!
Randy and Luanne Buchnowski

Randy & Julie Dekker

February 7, 2018

Claudia, please accept our deepest condolences for your loss. It is our privilege to have been your neighbors and friends for nearly two decades. During Earl's illness, he was clearly more concerned about comforting those around him than about his own discomfort. He often humbly identified himself as the eternal optimist, and that was so true. Please know that we are here to support you in this difficult time and well beyond.

Randy & Julie Dekker

February 7, 2018

Claudia, please accept our deepest condolences for your loss. It is our privilege to have been your neighbors and friends for nearly two decades. During Earl's illness, he was clearly more concerned about comforting those around him than about his own discomfort. He often humbly identified himself as the eternal optimist, and that was so true. Please know that we are here to support you in this difficult time and well beyond.

February 7, 2018

Claudia, Melissa and family, please accept my heartfelt condolences. Earl was such a special person and I am blessed to call him a friend. May all his love and wonderful memories bring you comfort.
Alice Broadbent, St. Augustine, FL

Marta Mally Petty

February 6, 2018

Uncle Earl...you were one of the very best! Thank you for your love and for being the BEST big brother that my dad could ever hope for. You were an amazing soldier and family man. Your marriage was inspiring. Your love for Claudia was so unbelievable...a true love story! (#relationship goals)! You were such a wonderful dad to Melissa and I am so happy that you welcomed a grandson who you adored and could enjoy him if only for a short year. I wish I could be there to witness your reunion in Heaven with my dad and your parents. I am glad you are free from pain and I look forward to celebrating your life with our family and your dearest friends this week. You had an incredible life! Fly with angels, Uncle Earl...until we all meet again.

February 5, 2018

Colonel Mally was one of my many Preceptors at Eisenhower Army Medical Center. He was always ready to offer assistance and suggestions. He was a good man and a great officer who took the time to teach and mentor. Sorry for your loss. Sam Franco, Colonel MSC, US Army Retired

Kristina Schurer

February 4, 2018

Claudia, so very sorry for your loss. Earl had such a kind spirit and you could tell he loved his family dearly. Prayers for you and Melissa and family. Kristina and Donnie

February 3, 2018

Earl was a great officer and a true gentleman and scholar. He was my classmate in the Army-Baylor healthcare master's degree program (1979-1981), and a fellow MHA study group member in the gang of 7. He started the class with a broken leg a real added challenge during a challenging and rigorous academic year. He always had an upbeat attitude and was very popular among his classmates (fellow officers). Later, when he served on The Surgeon General's Physical Fitness task force at the Pentagon, circa 1983-84, I shared a 4-person office with him in the D ring (Room 3D475?). Our desks in the cubicle were positioned at 90 degree angles quite a tight space - and we use to joke that we needed to look over our shoulders before pushing back our chairs to stand, lest the chairs collide if both pushed back at the same time which happened only once, as I recall. Earl was well respected among his peers, and always had a great sense of humor and a positive attitude about everything. It was an honor to have known Earl Mally. He is gone way too soon. May God bless and keep Earl and his family.
Mary Anne Svetlik, PhD, Colonel, MSC, US Army (retired)

February 2, 2018

Claudia, please accept my sincere condolences. I replaced Earl at Eisenhower Army Medical Center in 1994 and we had a short overlap. Believe me, it was difficult to live up to his standards. He represented the Medical Service Corps extremely well. I am greatly saddened to hear of his passing. John Vigna, Evans, GA.

FROM THE FAMILY