Obituary Condolences

O'Malley, John Joseph, Jr. Died peacefully on February 27, 2014 in Fredericksburg, Texas. He was 89. Mr. O'Malley, the son of Irish immigrants, was born in Winchester, Massachusetts and raised in the neighboring town of Reading. After graduating from Reading High School with honors and attending freshman year at Boston College, Mr. O'Malley entered the U.S. Army in 1943. He fought with the 84th Infantry Division in Germany and Belgium, pushing forward from Geilenkirchen, Germany in November, 1944 to Schnackenburg, Germany and ultimately contacting the Russian Army on the Elbe River in April, 1945. Mr. O'Malley spoke fluent German and served as an Army interpreter. He was honorably discharged in 1946. He was interviewed about his combat experience for the Ken Ford book Assault on Germany - The Battle for Geilenkirchen. Mr. O'Malley was awarded three Battle Stars, a Combat Infantryman Badge, and a Bronze Star Medal. Mr. O'Malley was voted an Honored Member of the Hubertus Society, established to foster reconciliation among American, British, and German World War II veterans of the Siegfried Line Campaign of 1944-45. Mr. O'Malley is one of three Americans to be awarded the European Cross which was bestowed upon him in 2002 in Linnich, Germany in the name of the European Parliament for his efforts in promoting reconciliation and goodwill between former combatants. Mr. O'Malley graduated cum laude from Boston College with a BS in History and Government and a Master's degree in American History. He received a full scholarship to attend Georgetown University Law School where he graduated third is his class in 1955 and where he was a member of the Georgetown Law Journal. On September 5, 1953 he married Grace Coolidge McGrath in Washington, DC. Mr. O'Malley worked with the Federal Communications Commission including the Litigation and the Enforcement and Defense Divisions where he helped implement nationally the 911 and the Emergency Alert Systems. In the fall of 1962, during the violence accompanying the enrollment at the University of Mississippi of James Meredith, Mr. O'Malley went to Oxford, Mississippi to identify and assist in the prosecution of individuals who were operating radio stations to further the violence. Mr. O'Malley worked as Legal Counsel in the Office of the Director of Telecommunications Management in the Executive Office of the President with his mentor Lt. General (ret.) James D. O'Connell, the former Chief of the Army Signal Corps. Mr. O'Malley capped his career as an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) presiding over labor and maritime cases, retiring as the United States Coast Guard's ALJ for the First District at Boston, Massachusetts in 1983. While a District of Columbia resident, Mr. O'Malley served as a volunteer counselor to Vietnam-era veterans, often visiting clients at the former Lorton Reformatory in Lorton, Virginia. He was also a Life Member of the Washington Saengerbund. In Fredericksburg, Texas he was a member of the Arion Men's Choir and the Hermann Sons Mixed Choir. He was a Life Member of the 84th Infantry Division Railsplitters Society and its President in 2007. Passionate about his family, education and travel, he made many trips with his wife, Grace, and others to European towns and villages, some of which were once battlefields, and to Ireland, his ancestral family home. Survivors include his wife of 60 years, Grace McGrath O'Malley; five children: Marian Akey of Concord, New Hampshire; J. Martin O'Malley of Palo Alto, California; Edward O'Malley of Reston, Virginia; Anne O'Malley of Baltimore, Maryland; and Robert O'Malley of North Grafton, Massachusetts; two sisters: Anne Beauchamp of Woburn, Massachusetts, and Eileen Schoepke of Norfolk, Virginia; 12 grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Mr. O'Malley was predeceased by a daughter, Eleanor O'Malley, a brother, Edward O'Malley of LaGrange, Illinois, and a sister, Marion Comita of Winchester, Massachusetts. Mr. O'Malley will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery.
Published in The Boston Globe on Mar. 30, 2014
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