Carolyn Cecilia von Voigtlander Malek
February 19, 1934 – January 8, 2019
Carolyn Cecilia von Voigtlander Malek died January 8, 2019, in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the age of 84. The eldest child of the late Frederick von Voigtlander and the late (Anne) Elizabeth Nation von Voigtlander, she grew up in southeastern Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan (B.A. in Anthropology, with honors) at the age of 19; she was a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.
She married Emile Tadros Abdel-Malek (Dr. Emile A. Malek) in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1954, then moved to Khartoum, Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, where he held a faculty position. In 1959, they moved to New Orleans, where he joined the faculty of Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine and where she lived for the rest of her life, apart from two years (1967-1969) in Geneva, Switzerland.
While raising three children, Mrs. Malek was involved in programs at Lusher School and Benjamin Franklin Senior High School. She then became very active in the League of Women Voters of New Orleans, participating in its Court Watch Program and holding various League offices. She was appointed to the Governor's Special Task Force on Judicial Selection in 1989 and was a board member and secretary of the Louisiana Organization for Judicial Excellence. As a faculty wife, she was also involved in the Tulane University Women's Association, most recently as chair of its Daytime Book Group. In addition, she maintained and enhanced her language skills through local French- and German-language book clubs.
She was a staunch supporter of numerous organizations working for nonpartisan civic reform and an effective, egalitarian system of justice as well as for the advancement of the arts and the preservation of historic sites and natural areas.
Her extensive travels through the years (over two dozen internationally) took her to many countries in Europe -- visiting several of them repeatedly -- in addition to multiple areas within the United States, Canada, Turkey, Egypt, and the Sudan. She enthusiastically embraced travel by train, plane, car, camper van, riverboat, sailboat, ocean-going freighter, bicycle, and walking.
Dr. Malek predeceased her in 1996. She is survived by her children: Rebecca Malek-Wiley (New Orleans), Christopher (The Woodlands, Texas, and Sedona, Arizona), and Steven (Slidell, Louisiana); two grandchildren: Ellena (Denver, Colorado) and Julianne (St. Louis, Missouri); and two siblings: Rosamond Potter (Beverly Shores, Indiana) and Philip von Voigtlander (Northport, Michigan). Another brother, Theodor von Voigtlander, died in 1999.
Carolyn Malek will be clearly remembered and appreciated for her ever-firm sense of purpose, her adventurous spirit and unwavering courage, her deep loyalty to her family, her practical versatility, and her intense, wide-ranging intellectual curiosity.
The graveside ceremony will be private. Donations may be made to the League of Women Voters of New Orleans: www.lwvno.org.