Late pharmacy student remembered as an eternal optimist
James T. Malaney, 23, of Milford, passed away after a two-year long battle with cancer on Friday, Jan. 1, 2010.
Malaney, who received his bachelor's degree from the School of Pharmacy in 2008, was scheduled to receive a doctorate in pharmacology at the end of this semester. Robert McCarthy, the dean of the School of Pharmacy, has petitioned UConn to posthumously grant Malaney his doctorate in pharmacology, which he was only four clinical rotations short of attaining. If his request is accepted, Malaney's parents will receive his degree at Commencement.
"The UConn community is deeply saddened," said university spokesman Michael Kirk. "His death is a tragic loss for his family, friends and the university as a whole."
Malaney was characterized by his friends and colleagues as the eternal optimist who managed to make jokes even through his battle with cancer, as well as an avid outdoorsman who was very involved in giving back to his community. Malaney worked with veterans at the VA Hospital in West Haven and children at the pediatric psychiatry unit at Yale Hospital, as well as working as a pharmacist at CVS. Malaney was described as a man whose "humor and smile could light up a room" and was given the nickname "Superman" by his friends due to his work ethic, both in and out of the classroom.
In his free time Malaney enjoyed fishing with his father, kayaking with his friends and running. He ran on the cross-country track team at Joseph A. Foran High School in Milford where he graduated as the salutatorian for the class of 2004.
The mark he left on his friends and colleagues was vocalized by McCarthy, who had known Malaney for the three and half years that he had been attending UConn.
"In my 25 years in pharmacy education, every once in a while a student comes along who combines an engaging personality, great intelligence and, most importantly, a genuine sense of caring about others; Jim was such a student," McCarthy said in the eulogy he delivered at Malaney's funeral.
Malaney is survived by his parents James and Karen Malaney; his sister and brother, Geri and Matthew Malaney; his maternal grandparents, Gerald and Joan Francik; and his maternal great-grandmother Helen Klein.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Jimmy's memory to the James Malaney Memorial Scholarship Fund at 64 Wilcox Rd. Milford, CT 06460.
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