Stuart, FL — Irving Malis, 88, of Stuart, Fla., died on November 17, at Treasure Coast Hospice. Born December 8, 1924, and raised in Lawrence, Mass., he was the son of Kolman and Susan (Katz) Malis. He attended Lawrence Public Schools, graduating with distinction from Lawrence High School in 1941. Upon graduation, he attended Boston University, where he studied business, and was a member of Phi Epsilon Pi fraternity and ROTC.
As the war effort intensified, he left school in the spring of 1943 to enlist in the Army. It was while undergoing specialized training at Army Engineering School at Fordham University that he met his future wife, Nora (Weinrich) of New York City, on a blind date. He was subsequently shipped overseas, serving as a Corporal in the 415th Regiment, where his unit saw some of the heaviest fighting in Europe. He was severely wounded during the Battle of Hurtgen Forest in Belgium, one of the longest and deadliest battles of the war. A shell exploded, sending him and another soldier into a foxhole for cover. The fellow soldier was killed, and Irving was seriously injured, earning him the Purple Heart. He recovered, but carried remaining shrapnel in his shoulder and back for the rest of his life.
Following his return from active duty, he and Nora married and moved back to Lawrence, where he took over the management of the family retail business, Duke’s Men’s Shop. Begun by his father in the 1930s, Duke’s, “The Store for Dad and Lad,” was a fixture on Lawrence’s Essex Street for over 50 years. Multiple generations of Merrimack Valley residents shopped there, and for many boys of the era, it was the ritual destination for a purchase of a first suit, or back-to-school clothing. In 1967, Irving moved to Andover, Mass., where he maintained a home for 40 years, traveling back and forth to Florida during winter, before moving there permanently in 2007.
Irving, or “Duke,” as he was called, was widely known in the community. A longtime member of Indian Ridge Country Club in Andover, he was past president of both the Jewish Community Center of Lawrence, and the B’nai Brith, chairman of the Board of Temple Tifereth Israel, Lawrence, and a member of Temple Emanuel of Andover, where he served on numerous committees. Following his move to Florida, he volunteered extensively in Stuart at Treasure Coast Hospice House and Books for the Blind. Over the years, he was actively engaged in numerous civic, political and social causes. He was a great believer in the importance of education and academic achievement, taking immense pride in the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.
Despite his notable service record, for most of his life he was never particularly active in veterans’ events, feeling that it unnecessarily glorified war. A year before his death, however, he had the opportunity to take part in an Honor Flight to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. He later said it was one of the most moving events of his life.
Together with his wife, he traveled extensively and was an ardent lover of music and theatre. They enjoyed a broad circle of friends and an extraordinarily rich social life. His children often joked that whenever the couple arrived at a destination, “the party would start!” He was an avid bridge player, but his biggest passions were reserved for golf, the Red Sox, Chinese food, and his family.
His sister, Marian Genensky of Santa Monica, Calif., predeceased him. He leaves his wife of 67 years, Nora; his son, Andrew Malis and daughter-in-law, Leslie Seaton Malis of Andover; and son, Stuart and daughter-in-law, Judee Malis of Lexington, Mass. He was the cherished grandfather of Jonathan Malis of Washington, D.C., and Steven Malis of Lexington. He also leaves nieces Marsha and Judy Genensky of California.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service was held on Monday, November 18, at Forest Hills Palm City Chapel, Palm City, Fla. Condolence calls may be made on Sunday, November 24, from 2 to 5 p.m., at the home of Andrew and Leslie Malis in Andover, with a Shiva Minyan at 3 p.m. Contributions in Irving’s memory may be made to Treasure Coast Hospice, 1201 SE Indian Street, Stuart, FL 34997, or the Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund, Temple Emanuel, 7 Haggetts Pond Road, Andover, MA 01810.