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.