Helen Widdis Maloney
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AGE: 85 • Long Branch
Helen Widdis Maloney, 85, of Long Branch, NJ, the best mom in the world, left this world on March 24, 2014 to join our father, Jimmy, our dear Aunt Marion, mom's twin sister, and our sweet Uncle Charlie, mom's brother, in heaven. Mom was born in Long Branch, a place she always loved dearly, especially in the summer when she would spend her days at White Sands Beach Club with all the family. Mom attended Star of the Sea Academy and then went on to Red Bank Catholic High School where she spent some of the happiest times in her life; here she met her fellow RBC 46ers, including our father and her other best friends, Florence "Little Bits" Connors Sagurton, Bob Sagurton and Bill Walsh. Mom attended St. Elizabeth College and graduated from Newark State Teachers College, now Kean University. She taught elementary school in Red Bank, Deal and Middletown before she and Aunt Marion opened Five Corners Nursery School at the Maloney Homestead in 1957. The school was very popular, and although it closed in 1964, mothers would bring their children to the house to register for the school for years. In 1964, Monsignor Bulman "suggested" that mom convert the old convent into a nursery school and within a month the St. Mary's Nursery School was founded and it continued under her management until 1968. She then taught CCD at St. Mary's school for many years. While she did work all through these years, she felt her most important job was being our Mom. She lovingly and happily devoted all the rest of her time to raising her kids.
We learned so much by watching mom in action; she was full of joy and kindness. She loved unconditionally her God and the family, friends, and the beautiful Atlantic Ocean He gave to her. The door to both the Maloney house in Middletown and the Maloney cabana at White Sands Beach Club was always open and all were welcomed. She was a second mom to so many of our friends and would gladly add another plate to the table or another burger to the grill whenever someone showed up. There was much happiness and laughter whenever Mom was around and you could always count on her to do a little Irish jig or sing a line or two from one of her favorite Irish songs, "Wild Rover" while enjoying a nice Irish Coffee. She was the life of the party and the joy of our lives. She was also the bravest person we have ever known. Five days after our father's funeral in November 1977, Mom sat at the head of our Thanksgiving table, led our family in prayer, and provided us with peace and laughter while intentionally sending the message to her eight children that we were all going to be OK.
Surviving are her beloved children and their spouses: Jim and Ann Maloney, Jr.; Mary Maloney; Margaret Maloney and Marcie Horowitz; Marion Maloney and Kenny Wilhalme; Patty Maloney and Mark Hopkins; Marty Maloney; Ted and Elana Maloney; Tommy and Erin Maloney; her 13 grandchildren, Thomas, Helen, Coleen, Kacie, Allie, Kenny, Matt, Olivia, Marty, Jane, Grace, Peter, and Jack; her 2 great-grandchildren, Dillon and Rain; her sister, Georgie Russo; and her sister-in-law and her husband, Mary and Harold Ruddy and dozens of nieces and nephews who she considered her children.
Helen was preceded in death by her husband, James J. Maloney in 1977; her parents, Harry J. and Marion V. Widdis; her twin sister, Marion Widdis; her brother, Charles Widdis; her brother-in-law, James Russo; her mother-in-law, Beatrice Maloney; and her brother-in-law, Jack Maloney.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, March 27, 2014 from 4 - 7 pm at Mary Mother of God Church, Middletown. A Funeral Liturgy will be offered Friday, March 28, 2014 at 10:30 am at St. Mary's Chapel, 26 Leonardville Rd., Middletown. Burial will follow at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Middletown. For more information, to send condolences or for directions, please visit www.pflegerfh.com.
John F. Pfleger Funeral Home
115 Tindall Road
Middletown, NJ 07748
Published in Asbury Park Press on Mar. 26, 2014