Dr. Conrad LeRoy Mallett Sr.
1928 - 2017
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Mallett Sr.

Dr. Conrad LeRoy the President Emeritus of the Hartford CT Capital Community Technical College after a brief illness and 89 years, passed quietly from this life Saturday September 9, 2017 in the City of Philadelphia PA, in the presence of children. The son of LeRoy Mallett and Lonnie Thierry Mallett, Dr. Mallett was born in Ames Texas on February 22, 1928. Married to Claudia Gwendolyn Jones Mallett for 64 loving, mutually supportive and devoted years, Dr. Mallett was the proud father of Conrad LeRoy, Lydia Gwendolyn and Veronica Thierry. He was also the deeply caring and lovingly protective brother of his only sibling Mary Nora Lee Mallett Graves. Bound tightly to and always concerned about his grandchildren Conrad Sr. was extremely proud of Lydia's child Noel Shipp, Veronica's daughters Leah and Simone Jackson and Conrad Jr.'s children Alex, Kristan and Lauren Mallett. Though spread all over the United States Conrad Sr. was a formidable presence in the lives of all of his 20 nieces and nephews. Dr. Mallett was especially close to his sister Nora Lee's daughter Leslie Teresa Graves. He enjoyed the company of Lydia's fiancé Stanley White, Veronica's husband Kevin Brisco and Conrad Jr's wife Denise Williams Mallett.

Dr. Mallett's deeply American story is filled with profound tragedy and incredible triumph. Dr. Mallett's father LeRoy was taken away from his 24-year-old wife Lonnie and his eight-year-old son and six-year-old daughter suddenly and tragically. When asked once by his granddaughter Simone to describe his childhood Conrad Sr.  answered "Dicksonian". Required to fight with all of his might the forces of poverty and the State of Texas brutal racism, Conrad Sr. worked from the time he was eight years old until he retired from the Presidency of the Hartford Connecticut Capital Community Technical College in 1996. Blindingly smart, incredibly handsome, tall, strong and uncompromising Dr. Mallett persevered. The stories surrounding his childhood vary in the telling. Dr. Mallett was a fiercely proud man and his children speculate that he wanted no one to feel sorry for him so almost never shared the difficult details of his early family life. It is a fact that despite working after school for six hours each weekday and eight hours on Saturday, Dr. Mallett graduated from Miller High School with honors and with a perfect attendance record.

Dr. Mallett enlisted in the United States Army in 1946 and was honorably discharged in 1948. As told to his grandson Alex, after basic training he was sent to Florida as a part of an army engineering unit. His unit trained as airplane runway construction workers. Unit members believed that they would be sent to islands in the Pacific. Instead the unit was sent to Greenland. The Sgt. in charge of Dr. Mallett's unit asked whether or not any of the unit members could drive a double clutch, hot asphalt laying tractor. Dr. Mallett told his Sgt. that he had not driven such a vehicle but he was confident he knew enough about truck driving that he could figure it out. His Sgt. told him that he would start the assignment the very next day. Dr. Mallett asked if an instruction manual was available. The Sgt. secured the manual and Dr. Mallett read the manual cover to cover that night and then the next day got into the vehicle started it up, took off his shirt and successfully drove the double clutch vehicle over the course of the next 18 months.

Like many other returning African-American soldiers, Dr. Mallett was able to get a job at the United States Post Office. He also entered Wayne State University. Working full time while going to school full-time he met the love of his life Claudia Gwendolyn Jones.

While still a student at Wayne State University Dr. Mallett pledged KAPPA ALPHA PSI Fraternity and joined the Detroit Police Department. In a tribute to Dr. Mallett placed in the U.S. House of Representatives Congressional record by his dear friend and fraternity brother, Congressman John Conyers Jr.,  Dr. Mallett said "I say with some pride that the years of 1952 until 1957 were the most productive of my life.  I'm married my darling wife, had three children and I completed college while working full time. Had it not been for my wonderful wife I would not been able to do any of those things". With the exception of one year when he received a scholarship from the Mott Foundation Dr. Mallett always held full-time jobs while earning his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees. He held a Bachelor of Science in education and an Ed.D in Education Administration from Wayne State University and a Master of Arts in American history from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Mallett's commitment to social justice was evident in all of his work. While it is true Dr. Mallett was only a Detroit Public middle and high School teacher for six years even today all of his children report instances where people come up to them and say "I still remember your father being my teacher. He was a remarkable man, an excellent teacher and made sure we understood that we were valuable and that if we worked hard we could achieve our goals". Conrad Sr. and his wife Claudia were important members of the City of Detroit's progressive and traditional political communities. In 1964 a fund-raising benefit was scheduled in Detroit for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. Claudia and Conrad Mallett agreed to put their home on the line to cover the cost of renting the City of Detroit's Cobo Hall if the benefit did not raise enough money to pay the rental fee. Dr. Mallett reported that he and his wife had no trepidation even though they just moved into their house, was his wife's dream home. Dr. Mallett was a member of numerous non-profit boards and commissions including the Southeastern Michigan Council of Governments, but was especially proud of the fact he was a founding member of the JIM DANDY Ski Club, the first African American ski club in the nation and Homes for Black Children one of the first adoption agencies for African American children.

In the 1965 Dr. Mallett became the first African-American assistant to City of Detroit Mayor Jerome P. Cavanagh. Soon thereafter Dr. Mallett was appointed the Mayor's Chief Assistant and then the Director of the Department of Housing and Urban renewal. In 1968 Dr. Mallett left the Mayor's Office and joined Wayne State University as Vice President of Real Estate and Community/ Student Housing Development.  In 1970 Dr. Mallett was elected to the Wayne County Board of Commissioners and served five two year terms. Notably he was elected by his colleagues as the first African American Chairperson of the Commission in 1978.  In 1973 he was named VP for academic affairs at Wayne County Community College. He served in that position until 1977 when the City of Detroit's first African-American Mayor, Coleman A. Young appointed him, Director of the Department of Streets and Railways.

Six years later academia called again. Dr. Mallett left the City of Detroit to serve as VP for academic and student affairs at the Community College of Baltimore a position he held until 1985 when he was appointed President of the Capital Region Community College District in Hartford Connecticut. Upon reorganization of the Regional District he was appointed President of the Greater Hartford Community College. Renamed in 1992 he became the first president of the Capital Community Technical College, a comprehensive, publicly funded two-year college, offering career technical and liberal arts transfer programs. He retired as President Emeritus on June 30, 1996. Active in the Greater Hartford CT community for more than 25 years and along with his wife Claudia a supporter and lover of the arts, Dr. Mallett was an honorary board member of the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art and on the board of the Amistad Center for Arts and Culture. Dr. Mallett in full partnership with his beloved Claudia continued his social justice work as an active board member of the Hartford CT Community Renewal Team.  His life was a testament to hard work, unyielding discipline and a profound love of family and community. Deeply loved and respected Dr. Conrad L. Mallett will be missed. A Memorial Service celebrating his life will take place Saturday, October 14, 2017 11:00 am at Plymouth United Church, 600 E. Warren, Detroit MI, 48201.




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Published in The Detroit News & Detroit Free Press on Oct. 1, 2017.
MEMORIAL EVENTS
OCT
14
Memorial service
11:00 AM
Memories & Condolences
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18 entries
September 18, 2019
Conrad was a valued and inspiring colleague in the Connecticut public higher education system. After we both retired, he and I shared many good conversations at the fitness center where we were both members. I miss his insights and his good humor.
Tom Porter, Provost Emeritus, Connecticut Public Higher Education System.
Thomas Porter
August 6, 2018
Conrad has left such an impression on me for his insightful observations, his vast knowledge and generosity in sharing it with others, his kind empathy, and, most strikingly, his deep and passionate love for his wife and family. I am saddened to learn of his passing as he was a wonderful person. I was thinking of he and Claudia as I was recently looking at a beautiful baby book they had gifted to me before the birth of my now 9 year old. My sincere condolences to Conrad's family and friends. I am certain you miss him greatly and I feel very fortunate to have known him.
Maria Thompson
January 20, 2018
Im honored to have met you, spent time with you and gained wisdom from you. I'm almost certain I will not meet anyone like you in my lifetime. I think about you and would look for in your favorite grocery store. Rest in Peace ❤
jazmin Johnson
November 21, 2017
Conrad,

Sorry to read about the passing of your dad. You have our condolences. All the best to you and your family.
Darryl White
October 10, 2017
From Friends & Colleagues at Capital Community College.
"My heart is heavy from this news. I worked in his office 24 years ago. He had such an extraordinary life and would tell Barbara Chan and me fascinating stories of his experiences and achievements. I will remember him fondly."
Libby Daniels

"I was saddened yet very impressed in reading the Legacy Obituary about Dr. Mallett . I was a Secretary I in the Financial Aid office on Woodland Street and remember him coming through the offices during the Christmas Holidays with a huge tray of cookies and him saying have a couple. What isn't mentioned is his sense of humor. I'm sure he will be missed by many."
Diane Mathis

"This is quite the remembrance of Dr. Mallett. He was a true giant in life. Always exercising his humanity and compassion."
Doris Arrington

"Truly a remarkable life story. Rest in peace, Dr. Mallett!"
Sincerely,
Gerry Murphy

"What a legacy! In reading Dr. Mallett's obituary, I am reminded of my first time teaching here at Capital. It was a retirement dinner for Sam Goldberger, and I was present at that dinner with Dr. Mallett in attendance. Sam was the Emeritus Professor of History, and Sam was responsible for bringing me into the college to teach. Memory of Dr. Mallett's presence is one as a student for me. I was a student at Greater Hartford Community College, which became Capital Community College in 1994 under Dr. Mallett. I have fond memories of the leadership he displayed and the license plate on his car: CCC 1."
Marcus Lawson
October 5, 2017
Dr. Conrad's obituary reads more like an inspirational short story and as a young African-American doctor I was/am deeply inspired and moved to teary eyes by his life's story. I pray that God comforts his family during this time and I offer my sincere condolences to all of his loved ones, especially our Dean. His story is nothing short of amazing and awe inspiring.
Dontal Johnson
October 2, 2017
I extend my sincere condolences to the family of Dr. Conrad Mallett. He life was not only exemplary, but his legacy is a lasting one for all African-Americans in the United States of America.

He is now at home with our heavenly father in His glorious kingdom. As the pearly gates open to him, these words will be echoed: "Well done, thou good and faithful servant."

We thank God for giving him life; we thank Dr. Mallett for sharing his life and enriching the lives of so many; and we rejoice in knowing that this man is at peace.
Peggy Pennock
October 1, 2017
May God Almighty bless the wonderful memories of Uncle Conrad and Aunt Gwen. May His love circle the entire Mallett and Jones Family, Adelbert Jones, Aunt Jackie and her family.

Special love to Beverlie Lake Jones, Pamela Lake Thompson, Roderick Lake, Uncle Conrad's sister Nora Lee (who like Aunt Gwenny a good friend of my Mother Coralie Lake Price), Conrad, Jr. Denise, Lydia, Veronica and all the grandchildren.

Growing up and being in the presence of the Mallett and Jones Family produced love, leadership, integrity and the understanding that education was the greatest key in living life.

Much love, the extensions of your family through your Price, Lake, Clingman and Michael (NYC) relatives and friends.

Much love always,

Michael "Tiger' and Ardith Arnelle' Price
September 29, 2017
I was most fortunate to meet Dr. Mallett a couple of years ago prior to his move from Bloomfield, CT. From the moment I met Dr. Mallett I was profoundly drawn to him as he was a man of integrity, kindness and he was amazingly smart. Although just his realtor in the sale of his Connecticut home I often visited Dr. Mallett and spent time talking about life. Yes, a bit strange as up until then I did not even know him yet he was fascinating to listen to and truthfully to learn from through our conversations. I love to cook and a couple of times each week I would bring Dr. Mallett something I had prepared as he was gracious and so appreciative. His smile was infectious and his heart full. Rest in peace sweet man, I feel blessed that I was fortunate enough to know you. Mallett family, cherish your memories of this extraordinary man.
Lisa Barall-Matt
September 29, 2017
May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.
Yolette Armstrong
Coworker
September 29, 2017
Dean Mallett,
May god bless and strengthen you during your time of sorrow.
Alex and Yolette Armstrong
September 29, 2017
I am so sorry to hear this Dean Mallett, the Lord will continue to uphold you and your family during this difficult moment.
Elochukwu Jude Ezekakpu
September 29, 2017
I hope the Mallett family will accept my most sincere condolences and prayers for their well-being. This obituary is one of the finest I've ever read. Pride and sorrow must be surging equally strongly for the family now.
Virginia Brennan
September 26, 2017
Conrad and I were colleagues in Connecticut higher education. We worked together in representing our institutions before the CT Board of Higher Education. After we both retired, we became acquainted on a more personal level as fellow members of the St Francis Fitness Center. I always enjoyed talking about politics, history, and higher education with Conrad--largely because we agreed so completely!! It was not only a pleasure but also an honor to have known him. My deepest condolences to his family.

Thomas A. Porter
Provost Emeritus
Connecticut State University System
Thomas Porter
September 25, 2017
For many years many of us skied around the country and abroad with Brother Conrad. He will always be known in our thoughts as a gentleman and a man of distinction. He is a leader that all of us admired and respected. Our condolences to his family.

Glenn A. Cassis - Bloomfield, CT
September 25, 2017
In the eight years that I worked with Dr. Mallett, he was a fair boss, an influential teacher, and a good friend to me. He was kind, honest, fair, thoughtful, funny, and one of the most respectable persons I have met. He had placed a big influence in my life. Without his encouragement, I would not have pursued my goals and become who I am now. Thank you, Dr. Mallett. I would miss him very much.

I am very sorry for your loss of a loved one. My thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief.
Barbara Chan
September 25, 2017
He was a light which illuminated everyone and everything he touched with his wisdom, insight, virtue and inspiration!
Kimberly Bright
September 24, 2017
I had the pleasure of respectfully meeting this wonderful and pleasant human being " Dr. Conard Mallet." He was always a very professional individual, who was also pleasant, respectful, kind, and caring. Which it's very hard to find in a human being in today's society. Thank you, for allowing us to cross paths in our lives. May he be received in the Lords Kingdom of Eternal Peace.
O. Iris Vázquez
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