Jo Ann Marek Maloney, loving wife and mother, passed away Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014, in Ennis, Montana, at the age of 63. She is survived by her husband, Mark Maloney of Ennis and Midland, Texas, and son, Sean D. Maloney of Bozeman, Montana. She is also survived by her brother, Michael Marek and sister Jennifer Marek, of Houston, Texas, and Jennifer’s children, Corey and Hayley Hamilton, as well as her beloved Labs, Layla and Cody Bull.
Born Dec. 8, 1950, in Houston, Jo Ann spent her early life there, where her father was a lifelong employee of Marek Brothers Builders, a family run business founded by her father’s cousins, John L., Bill and Ralph Marek, shortly after World War II. She was predeceased by her parents, Joe E. Marek and Dora Dean (Barfield) Marek, and her brother Gerald Marek, who died earlier this year. Our deepest condolences to the extended Marek and Barfield families, as well as Mark’s extended family, who share in our loss of Jo Ann.
Jo Ann and Mark met in Midland, Texas, in 1980, which was also the year that Jo Ann first came to and fell in love with the Madison Valley, when she and Mark visited the late Richard E. (Rick) Henderson for a week-long trip that included her first float trip down the Madison and subesquent horse (and riding mule) camping trip to the high country (near Expedition Pass).
Married in Midland in 1981, they resided there until 1988, shortly after Sean’s birth in September of 1987, when they moved to Roswell, New Mexico, where Mark continued his work as an independent petroleum landman. They stayed in Roswell until 2007, when Mark retired after 30 years as an indpendent landman.
Fulfilling a lifelong dream, Jo Ann and Mark purchased their Montana home in 2006 (which was Rick Henderson’s old place) while Sean was attending Montana State University in Bozeman. They moved to Ennis “full time” in the summer of 2007 and Jo Ann never lost her love for the Madison Valley and the wonderful people and places in Montana.
There is a picture hanging in their cabin in Montana that’s an old photograph of a lioness and her cub asleep between her front legs. It was bought at an estate sale that Mark attended with his mother, the late Randy (Mrs. C.C.) Maloney, in Midland years ago. The inscription reads: Mama Lion, from Sean Dylan. It pretty much sums up the lifelong relationship between Jo Ann and Sean. Jo Ann and Mark had a life full of adventures and travel, hunting and fishing with friends and family in the desert and mountains of the Southwest and off-shore in Mexico and Costa Rica, a life like all full of ups and downs. Their shared love and strengths prevailed through the years, until parted in death this past week.
In keeping with her wishes, Jo Ann’s body was cremated and private services will be held at a later date. For those who wish to do so, the family requests that memorials be made to Guiding Eyes for the Blind, P.O. Box 709. Yorktown Heights, NY 10598-0709, the Madison Valley Medical Center Foundation, P.O. Box 993, Ennis, MT 59729, or to the charity of one’s choice.