OBITUARY

Albert S. Maletta

March 18, 1947October 7, 2020
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Everyone who listened or danced to Al Maletta’s accordion and keyboard music were awed by his talent but most of all, by his friendship. He was as dependable as a mountain and generous with his gifts as a forest waterfall. When he walked into a room, everybody smiled because Al was present and the party could begin. Al Maletta was born at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital on March 18, 1947 to Al Maletta, Sr. and Yolanda Ferri Maletta. He was Baptized and made his First Holy Communion at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church then attended the lower grades at St. Joseph’s Grade School. Following his graduation from Marquette High School in 1965, he completed his Associates Degree from Yakima Valley Community College. In 1967, Al enlisted with the United States Air Force and served as a sergeant in Viet Nam and Korea until his honorable discharge in 1971. Upon his return to Yakima, Al attended classes at Central Washington University where he received a Bachelor of Arts in music and history. Al taught accordion and guitar lessons for Maletta-Deccio Music, which was a partnership between his father, Al Maletta Sr. and Bob Deccio, both professional accordionists. Al and Bing Holm, a close family friend and local musician, formed a band initially called The New Variations in the early 1970s, then they renamed the band in the 1980’s, Yakima’s Variations, creating a new sound when Al began playing the Hammond Organ. Dec 31, 1985, Al met Kay Kemper Weaver when she came in to Stereocraft, where he worked, to look for a stereo system. Victor was helping her first and then he got a call. Al took over helping her. He was going to play music for Parents without Partners party that evening and his musician friends were anxious for him to come and set up. “Hmm, who is this blonde that is taking up his time?” Anyway, after she purchased a wonderful sound system for her home and came back in to purchase another set of speakers, he shyly asked her out to lunch and the rest is history. They were married May 24, 1986. They enjoyed yearly vacations to California to attend the Great Western Southern Gospel Music Festivals and also enjoyed their coastal trips. He and Kay owned and operated Audioplus, selling custom designed home stereo systems. Victor Archibald was their one treasured employee. Al also played music with Sweetwater, a local band. After connecting with Larry La Riviere, a local Frenchman, Al became the voice of South Louisiana on his accordion when The Bayou Boys played mostly Cajun music around the Yakima Valley at festivals, fairs and wineries. Al also played tunes on CDs that were inserted in four books written by Susan La Riviere. Al and Bob Homan were a popular duo, who played classic tunes such as: “Five Foot Two-Eyes Of Blue” and “You Are My Sunshine” at local retirement and nursing homes. The songs often brought a tear or sparkle to the eyes of residents who remembered their youth from Al and Bobby’s music. His God-given musical talent lifted everyone’s spirits.

Al also played numerous venues such as Oktober Fests, Italian Celebrations in Walla Walla, Private Christmas parties as well as parties at The Elks. For years, the evening party crowds danced to his music at The American Legion, the VFW and the Eagles. Al was a very versatile musician and could play many styles of music. He was a virtuoso on the accordion and was passionate about playing the Hammond Organ. He generously donated his beloved Hammond Organ to The Greater Faith Baptist Church to honor Mitch Weary. Al will be missed playing his accordion for all family functions. His Italian-Catholic heritage and Italian food were very important to him. His musician friends became his adopted family and were a big part of his world. Music was his way of life. On October 7, 2020 at age seventy-three, Al’s wife was faithfully by his side as he peacefully passed away at the Cottage in the Meadow in Yakima, Washington from complications of several strokes. The family would like to thank Breanna Clark-Burdette for her loving care while he was hospitalized from Sept 16-30, 2020 at Virginia Mason Memorial Hospital in Yakima. A very special thank you and much gratitude to Velda Welch, a friend who came to the Maletta’s home and sang with Al while he played his accordion. The family wants to thank Cottage In The Meadow for their compassionate and loving care. Kay would like to thank Ellen and JoAnn for their efforts in facilitating Al’s admission to Cottage in the Meadow. Al was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by Kay Maletta, his wife of thirty-four years. Al is also survived by his sisters: Beverly Maletta Arralde (Joe) and Mary Kay Maletta Anabtawi (Jamil), his nieces: Barbara Berg (Gary), Cathy Kloster (Richard), Michele Tetreault (Robert) and Angela Arralde-Millar (Rob) and nephews: Joseph Arralde (Noreen), Michael Arralde (Dorie), Jalal and Albert Anabtawi as well as numerous great nieces, nephews, cousins and many friends. The family would like to thank everyone who has shown love and support during this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Cottage in the Meadow or the charity of your choice. Viewing will be Monday-Tuesday, October 12-13 from 4-8 pm at Keith and Keith Funeral Home in Yakima. There will be a private Vigil for family only, on Friday, October 16. Sadly, due to COVID 19, the type of celebration the family would like to have of Al’s life is not possible. There will be a Mass of Christian Burial, Saturday, October 17 at 10 a.m. at St. Paul Cathedral in Yakima for family only. *The Mass of Christian burial will be live streamed at 10 a.m. for those of you who would like to view the service. You may access: www/facebook.com/stpaulcathedralyakima for the live stream. Burial will take place immediately following the Mass at Calvary Cemetery in Yakima, Washington with Military Honors. In order to honor Al at a family and friends gathering, the family plans to have a Celebration of Al’s Life in 2021. Al, we’ll remember you when we’ve forgotten all the rest. To us, you were true. To us, you were the best. May you be carried to Heaven by angels into God’s warm embrace.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Jamil Anabtawi, Casket Bearer
  • Jalal Anabtawi, Casket Bearer
  • Albert Aanabtawi, Casket Bearer
  • Jonathan Kloster, Casket Bearer
  • Daniel Kloster, Casket Bearer
  • Brian Berg, Casket Bearer
  • Anthony Berg, Casket Bearer
  • Bing Holm, Honorary Bearer
  • Bob Deccio, Honorary Bearer
  • Bob Waldbauer, Honorary Bearer
  • Dan Bardes, Honorary Bearer
  • Don Jump, Honorary Bearer
  • Gloria Waltman, Honorary Bearer
  • Jerry Hobbs, Honorary Bearer
  • Jerry Wilkes, Honorary Bearer
  • John Knight, Honorary Bearer
  • Larry Lariviere, Honorary Bearer
  • Marv Pfief, Honorary Bearer

Services

  • Visitation at Keith & Keith Funeral Home

    Monday, October 12, 2020

  • Visitation at Keith & Keith Funeral Home

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, October 13, 2020

  • Vigil Service

    Friday, October 16, 2020

  • Graveside Service

    Saturday, October 17, 2020

Memories

Albert S. Maletta

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Dawn Shepherd

October 19, 2020

Dear Bev, Cathy, Michelle, and Family,
I am very sorry for your loss. The times I saw Al playing he was always smiling and happy and like you, his family, very kind. These family photos you've shared are so wonderful. Prayers for comfort and peace until you all meet him again.

Much Love,
Dawn Shepherd

Mark Scatena

October 15, 2020

An honor to have known Al. My life is better because of it. I have no more tears to cry. Much love my friend.

Karen Klokkevold

October 15, 2020

Kay,
We're all deeply saddened to hear the news about Al. He had quite a life and was blessed to have you in it. We'll always remember Al sitting outside the Stop & Go, little personal fan in his hand to keep him cool on the hot Yakima days. He had a knack for making that silly little fan look "cool"! He'll certainly be missed, and we wish him peace in the next chapter. Sending you lots of love. Karen, Karl, Max and Trixie

Karen Weddle

October 15, 2020

Kay Kemper Maletta I am so sorry for your loss, your husband Al was a wonderful man. I loved the story how you and Al met and had such an amazing life together. His music was magnificent Kay and you are such a passionate woman. Love, Karen Weddle

Lynnette Herz

October 14, 2020

Kay, just finished the Tribute Video for Al. The beautiful background music, touching photos of Al and all the love that came flowing from the entire beautiful Memorial completely touched my heart. Though I did not have the privilege of knowing Al the tears still flowed watching this beautiful Memorial. I am confident he would be so honored.

Karen Kilpatrick

October 11, 2020

I am sorry to learn of Al’s passing. I am happy you found each other and had a good life together.
I used to visit with Al’s father and always enjoyed working with
Him as well you and Al in the business world.
May the God of comfort surround you during this time,

Stormy Ausink

October 11, 2020

Kay,
I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Al. He was so loved by you. May God wrap you in His ever loving arms and surround you with His love during this difficult time.

Vicki Kanzler Writer

October 10, 2020

Please accept my deepest condolences. Little Al is one of my favorite childhood memories. We played the accordion together for many years. In the band and in a quartet with my sister Diane and Jim England. Thank you for sharing all of the lovely family pictures.

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