John Trombley Maloney (B. 1-17-1940) died at home peacefully on Tuesday, December 22, 2020 with his wife Gayle by his side.
John was a lifelong resident of Mass-Greenland, who graduated from Mass High School, attended Michigan Tech, served honorably in the U.S. Army in Germany, and decided as a young man that he preferred working in the woods to any other profession. He loved hunting and the Goose Camp, enjoyed fishing, and was a crazy man on a snowmobile. Most of all, he loved being in the woods with a good dog. His life’s work was a small logging and land clearing business from which he never truly retired. In life, John is best remembered as someone who was always going, doing, helping, talking and laughing. Only in his last two years, because of Parkinson’s, did he ever slow down.
Whether you knew him as JussiPoikka, Jack, or Charlie, or you didn’t know him at all, John loved to talk. Many of his stories came from working as a kid peeling pulp for a penny in local lumber camps with the Lukkari boys, running a fishing operation on the big lake with his brother Ron, and having a misspent youth that involved stacking popcan pyramids on the road to surprise drivers, burning tires in the smokestack, dumping outhouses, and hitting a train with a group of buddies in the back of Mass. Soon after the train incident, John made a bet against Walt Miilu never to drink a drop of alcohol again, which both men won. His friends and family remember his stories fondly, and likely does the stranger he spoke to for an hour after dialing a wrong number.
John devoted much of his time to his membership in the Adventure Mountain Lion’s Club and the operation of its ski hill and raceway. He was also a jack-of-all-trades for and member of the Ontonagon County Fair Board. The Greenland United Methodist Church was his church home. Through GUMC, he served on church boards and the Camp Michigamme Board, joined Superiorland Emmaus, learned to love God, and faithfully led the church peanut gallery whenever a witty pastor welcomed it. Later in his life, John helped establish a network of trails as a pioneering member of the Superior Snowmobile Club, and spent countless hours grooming trails, rescuing stuck groomers, all to ensure snowmobilers were safe on the trail from Rockland to Twin Lakes. He occasionally took a grandchild along for the ride, too.
John was a kind, caring husband, dad and grandpa, and is missed tremendously by his wife Gayle; his kids, Suzie and Eric Johnson of Winneconne, Bob Maloney of Greenland, Jody Maloney and Eric Smith (Greenlanders) of Ludington, Lynn and Jake Manchester of Houghton; his grandchildren, Lucas, Ben, Miles, Katie, Harris, and his namesake John; and his brother, Frank Uotila of Ontonagon.
John’s parents, Clarence and Mildred (Chynoweth) Maloney, his beloved older brother, Ron Maloney, many generations of long-lost pups, and most importantly, Jesus will greet him in Heaven. Luke 23:43. The family would be remiss to leave out that John had a sweet tooth, which helped him construct a vast knowledge of good restaurants for pie and ice cream in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Wisconsin. “Dessert first,” “always room for pie,” and “take two they’re small” were a few of his trademark phrases when it came to sweets. However, pumpkin pie was never okay on his list.
The family is grateful to the help of Rick & Becky, Jim & Mary, the GUMC family, Danielle, Marsha, Sheri, the VA, and especially to our mom for ensuring that John was able to live his entire life at home and know he was loved. If you would like to help us remember him, avoid pea soup, listen to oldies music, sharpen your chainsaw, pet a dog, volunteer, invite an isolated person to your holiday table, find some broken equipment to fix, go to the Fair, burn some brush, never give up on an engine or a person, and remember that whatever it is, it’s not too serious.
A memorial service will be held after spring break up.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John Maloney, please visit our floral store.