In Memory and Honor of Mr. Frank O'Malley
When Frank O’Malley moved to St. Joseph in 1985 to take ownership of the Budweiser distributorship, he had just retired from a lengthy career where he rose to become the world-wide director of sports for the armed forces.
It was a trip that took him as a special services officer from Fort Riley, KS, to Fort Leonard, MO, to Fort Benning, GA, to Washington, DC, as the man in charge, Frank had worked with the big names. As a member of the United States Olympic committee, he became a friend of Olympic chairman Billy Payne and other leaders in the world of sports.
An acquaintance recalls having dinner with Frank and four others in an Italian restaurant in South Bend, IN. Hall of Fame baseball manager Tommy Lasorda walked into the restaurant, glanced around the dining room, then blurted “Frank!” He briskly walked to Frank’s table to shake hand and exchange pleasantries.
As a member of the United States Olympic committee and other organizations, Frank associated with the big names. It was a big leap from his own playing day, as a lineman at Chicago’s Fenwick High, as a Little All-America two-way lineman at St. Benedict’s college (now Benedictine) in Atchison KS. His knowledge of and love for football made coaching an obvious career choice. After playing football for his Army unit, he worked as an assistant coach at St. Benedict’s, then took over the football job at tiny Victoria, in western Kanas, the position at Fort Riley followed.
It was another career, not retirement, when Frank arrived in St. Joseph. His enthusiasm and willingness to get involved led him to the chairmanship of the Chamber of Commerce, essentially St. Joseph’s leading cheerleader. It was in the 1990s Frank organized the city’s first Sports Commission. He selected community leaders as board members, lined up sponsors and hired an executive director. That group has now evolved into the St. Joseph Sports Commission and its companion group, the St. Joseph Area Sports Hall of Fame.
Frank passed away Dec.11, 2019. Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Bobbie Sue, sons Pat (Margaret) and Kevin (Coleen), daughter Kathleen (Jim) Boldt, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
It is appropriate that we forever recognize Frank as a catalyst in what a sports commission can look like for a city and what has become the St. Joseph Area Sports Hall of Fame.
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