Dennis Maloney

  • "I worked for Wien in 1981 and 82 and had a lot of dealings..."
  • "I am sorry to just learn about Dennis. I was reminiscing..."
    - Tom Lindberg
  • "A number of years ago I got a phone call from Dennis out of..."
    - Tom Kuchenberg
  • "I still miss you too Dennis. Maddie passed away Thursday...."
    - Veronica Page
  • "I still miss you dad. You are still the best dad I've had!..."
    - Patrick Maloney

Dennis Maloney, long time Anchorage attorney, passed away on December 18, 2011 at the age of 64. He was surrounded by his family and dear friends, in his home on Goose Lake, just as he wanted. Always a champion of the little guy, Dennis would take difficult cases, and work relentlessly for the cause. He never gave up. Many clients became lifelong friends. He called himself the Litigator for the Little People, but he lived large. Dennis lovedlife, travel, cars, fishing, entertaining friends, listening to live music - blues, jazz, rock n roll, and he loved to dance. Blues Central honored him by engraving "Dennis Maloney Dance Man" on the dance floor. Dennis loved people. He was the life of the party, generous, and entertaining with endless stories. He was never more happy than when he was holding court over large celebrations with family and friends. He was proud of being Irish, and celebrated many a St. Patrick's Day with dance and Irish spirit.

Dennis worked his entire life and developed entrepreneurial skills early on. He worked a few jobs in junior high, and created businesses in high school. By the age of sixteen, he owned a 1938 Buick with a full bar in the back, a 1962 Corvette and a 1962 M.G. Dennis and his siblings grew up in Anchorage; his family moved here in the fifties when Dennis was in grade school. He attended West High School, and between their junior and senior year, Dennis and three friends spent the summer touring Europe on motorcycles, where they saw the Beatles in a bull ring in Spain. At the age of seventeen, he moved to Washington D.C., and put himself through George Washington University, earning a degree in economics before graduating from its law school in 1974. During college, Dennis worked in the U.S. Senate, starting in the mail room. He would come home to Alaska and work construction in the summers to pay for school. He worked as an elevator operator in the Congressional Building and was also a Congressional page and intern. One of his favorite Washington D.C. stories is about meeting Ralph Nader on the street after midnight, on the night of the Saturday Night Massacre, when President Nixon fired Archibald Cox, and Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus resigned. He worked for Rhode Island Representative Robert Tiernan, Alaska Senator Ernest Gruening, and Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. He was proud to be liberal, to have worked to impeach Richard Nixon, and to have worked for Senator Guening when Gruening was one of only two senators to vote against the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution.

Dennis began his career with Covington and Burling, embarking on a fascinating year-long investigation of the legal ownership rights of the North Slope and Prudhoe Bay. He left D.C., and returned to Anchorage where he began a stellar legal career. One simply cannot separate the man from his career. He was a born lawyer. He was general counsel and Senior Vice President for Wien airlines. He was an effective labor negotiator for Wien with the teamsters and ALPA (Air Line Pilots Association). He was wined and dined by Lloyds of London. He had the reputation as a hard-headed, driven attorney, and he never lacked for advice. But underneath he had a heart of gold and was generous and helpful on a personal and professional level.

He opened his own firm and was later joined by his school friend, Attorney Richard Haggart. The firm of Maloney & Haggart prospered in its beautiful office in the CIRI building. In the later years of his career, Dennis again ran his own law firm and was successful in litigating the school district in cases involving school bullying. Out of that litigation grew his non-profit organization "Bye-bye Bullies." He brought renowned psychologists and bullying experts to Alaska to work with the victims of bullying. He sponsored free symposiums for educators, social workers and the public. He also raised funds by bringing fabulous jazz and blues musicians, Jeff Golub and Rick Braun, to Anchorage for three Bye-bye Bullies concerts at the Performing Arts Center.

When illness made it impossible for him to continue his legal practice in 2007, he told the court that he had to retire. When the judge expressed his empathy for the situation, Dennis responded that he did not feel sorry for himself. He had already lived enough to fill ten lives and that he planned to add a few more.

Dennis had a deep and abiding faith in God and a lifelong relationship with the Catholic Church. He remained close and personal friends with Archbishop Emeritus Francis T. Hurley, Deacon Felix Maguire, and Father Steven C. Moore. Through the church, Dennis generously donated money to causes around the world for needy children. He cherished a hand written note he received from Mother Teresa in appreciation for his support of her work.

Dennis is survived by his children, Bridget and Patrick Maloney, and their mother Deborah (Daughenbaugh) Maloney, all of Bellevue Washington; brother Steve Maloney, of Anchorage; sister Nancy Maloney, of Redondo Beach, California; companion of fifteen years, Susan Anderson, of Anchorage, and many treasured friends and associates.

To all those who knew and loved Dennis, he would tell you, "Don't cry for me, I am dancing with the stars." Dennis lived life to the fullest. He was a relentless force, and a generous soul. We love you Dennis and will never forget your living message to live large, and to never give up in pursuit of your goals.

Services will be January 14, 2012, at 1:30 pm, at Holy Family Cathedral, at 800 W. 5th Avenue, Anchorage.

In Dennis' honor, he would ask that you help someone less fortunate, or to do something special for someone in need.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Dec. 22 to Dec. 23, 2011