September 17, 1943 – August 6, 2020
Leona M. (Kupic) Malone died suddenly of heart failure on August 6, 2020 at her Palm Beach Gardens home. She was the daughter of the late Matthew and Mary Kielb Kupic, and sister to the late Matthew P. Kupic. Born in Troy, New York, Leona attended Catholic Central High School, received a B.S. in Elementary Education from the College of St. Rose in Albany in 1965, a Masters in Education from the University of Miami, Coral Gables, in 1967, and a Masters in Social Work from Barry University, Miami Shores, in 1998.
She worked as primary grade school teacher in the Shenendehowa Central School District, Clifton Park, NY before moving to Jupiter, Florida in 1980.
Leona was extremely active with the Arthritis Foundation’s Florida chapter in West Palm Beach for over 30 years acting in numerous roles including a Self-Help Course leader, a member of the Board of Directors at the state and local level, a national Public Policy & Advocacy Committee member, a lobbyist at state and national levels, a fundraiser chairwoman, and as a lecturer to various civic and patient groups regarding coping skills for arthritis sufferers. She earned the distinction of being named as one of 50 people as a National Hero Overcoming Arthritis in 1998 by the Foundation.
She served as a member of the Federal Food and Drug Administration’s Arthritis Drug Advisory Panel for many years, a Consumer Representative, and a Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Representative where she represented consumer interests in the approval process for new arthritis medications.
For seven years she worked as a Bereavement Counselor and In-patient Social Worker at Hospice of Palm Beach County, leading individual and group sessions. Leona worked for fifteen years for Quorum Review IRB of Seattle up until 2019 where she served as a Board Member of the Institutional Review Board and on an ethical panel which reviewed pharmaceutical clinical trials.
As an avid traveler and life-long learner of many cultures, Leona travelled throughout Southeast Asia for several weeks with friends this past winter, visiting Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Thailand. As a lover of all things British, Leona travelled several times to London and the English countryside.
A devout Catholic, she was a parishioner over the years at St. Paul of the Cross Catholic Church in North Palm Beach, St. Peter Catholic Church in Jupiter, and most recently at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in Palm Beach Gardens.
Leona was a devoted Mother, family member, and friend – loved by all who knew her for her kind disposition, listening ear, generous nature, and words of wisdom to share. Her uplifting nature and positive outlook on life, despite her nearly lifelong condition of living with severe rheumatoid arthritis, provided inspiration for all who knew her.
Leona is survived by her beloved daughter Carrah Malone and her partner Garrett J. Byerly, Sr. of Boston, Massachusetts, former husband Patrick J. Malone of Stuart, Florida, nephew Matthew (Erica) Kupic of Trinity, FL, niece Dawn (Rob) Beaham of Woodstock, Georgia, nephew Jason (Stuart) Malone of Seattle, Washington, niece Jennifer (Randy) Zagorin of Summit, New Jersey, along with several cousins, grand-nephews and grand-nieces, and godchildren.
Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life memorial to be held at Howard- Quattlebaum Funeral Center, 754 US Highway 1, North Palm Beach, Florida 33408 on Saturday, September 26, 2020 from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm where current CDC/COVID-related guidelines will be observed. Eulogies will be at 3:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Leona’s memory to The Arthritis Foundation at www.arthritis.org.
- The Arthritis Foundation
Saturday, September 26, 2020
Saturday, September 26, 2020
September 13, 2020
Leona was a very special patient of mine. I had the pleasure of being her physical therapist several times in her home after surgeries, and my clinic over the past 8 years or so. She was inspirational, tenacious, and a generous soul. I was constantly amazed at what she could accomplish despite her physical limitations. I never really heard her complain. I enjoyed her intelligent company as much as I enjoyed working with her as a very motivated and compliant patient. Sending my thoughts and prayers to her family for their loss, but I hope that now she is at peace and pain free!
Ann Malt Harshman
September 12, 2020
My condolences Carrah, and to your family,
your Mom was lovely lady, we had some laughs
about you girls in elementary school, and she
gave good advice! Love, Ann (Malt)