George J. “Dun” Malkovich was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and loyal friend to all who knew him. He lived his life serving others and was richly blessed with an abundant family. Widowed after sixty-eight years of marriage to his sweetheart, Ann, George was content during his years of being single. No one seemed to measure up to his lovely bride, so he kept himself active by fishing and entertaining family and friends over the years. Known for his wisdom and generous ways, he will be greatly missed and eternally remembered by his many loved ones.
Between the years of 1918 to 1919, the influenza pandemic infected roughly one-third of the planet’s population. At the tail end of the Progressive Era, it was a time of widespread social activism and political reform. During the first World War, it was a period of determination to eliminate government corruption. During those challenging years, Samuel and Mary Malkovich welcomed home their newborn son, George on August 12, 1919, in Kohler, New Mexico. Born the seventh of eight children, his birth was a sign of much promise and happiness to his family.
In the Malkovich home, there were three boys and five girls. His brothers, Peter and Danny, and his sisters Helen, Ann, Mary, Ruby, and Rosie were all especially close as times were tough due to the Great Depression. His father was a coal miner who migrated from Yugoslavia in 1904 and later sent for Mary Stokucha. They were joined in marriage in 1908. In order to find work, the family relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin by the early 1930’s and his father purchased a bar. The challenges of owning and operating a family business, instilled in George the value of hard work. As a child, George also developed a love for the outdoors and treasured any moment he could get fishing. He also loved animals, developing a fondness for dogs that lasted throughout his lifetime. Typical of the times, George completed high school up until the tenth grade and then worked odd jobs as a handyman to help support the family. By October of 1940, he enlisted into United States Army. After basic training, he served in the Asiatic – Pacific Theater during WW II, as a truck driver, attaining the rank of Technician Fifth Grade. It was here, that he developed a passion for shortwave radio. After he was discharged by October of 1945, he returned home and would spend countless hours talking all over the world on his shortwave or CB radio.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of the woman of his dreams, Antoinette Hall. Mutual friends matched them together and Ann was smitten with George from first sight! Eager to spend the rest of their lives together, they exchanged vows at the justice of the peace on July 25, 1949, in Milwaukee. Ann was ten years younger than George so they didn’t waste any time starting their family. Living on the south side of town, they were blessed with the arrival of their son, Samuel who was soon followed by their daughter Debra, their son, Craig “Rusty,” and their youngest daughter, Wendy. The family moved to Wind Lake in 1957, to be near the water. George never regretted the move as it allowed for him to fish and enjoy the company of his children for the remainder of his life. A good provider, George’s strong work ethic helped him to support his growing family. Pitching in at the bar his father owned and picking up side jobs helped to make ends meet before George accepted a position at A.O. Smith Corporation. He worked a remarkable thirty years with the company before he retired by 1980.
Family was very important to George. As a father, he was supportive and passionate about teaching his children the life skills of working hard, being patriotic, and loving others. There simply wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his family, even coaching baseball when his children were young. Assertive at times, he was never short on advice and willingly shared it whether they wanted to hear it or not! Sadly, the family was struck with tragedy in 1976 when their son, Craig “Rusty,” died in a traffic accident. Ann and George leaned into the support of many special family and friends during this time to pull them through. By 1977, they purchased a cabin in Marinette and aptly named it, Rustic Acre after their beloved son. It provided just the reprieve they needed where they could enjoy their time with one another fishing and taking in the natural beauty around them.
George’s life wasn’t without hardship. The love of his life, his wife, Ann passed away in September of 1991. Later, his son, Sam also died in 2015. George remained steadfast in his simple ways of living. Holidays with his family became his most cherished times. He savored the times when his grandchildren, Cory and Carrie came to visit. He’d also share with them his unending wisdom and loved them unconditionally. When Jackson and Finnly later joined the family over the years, they too, were no stranger to their great-grandfather’s wise words and caring heart. He was so proud of them and overjoyed at their many successes over the years. George loved it when the girls would come over to help him and to watch the Hallmark channel. These were the moments that mattered to him as family was so precious to his heart. Known as a great storyteller, he’d bend the ear of just about anyone who had the time! He loved people and was most at ease in the company of those who needed his help or just wanted to shoot the breeze! His wonderful collection of years of loving will be his greatest gift to all who knew and loved him.
George J. “Dun” Malkovich, age 98, passed away peacefully at his home Friday, September 22, 2017. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife Ann “Red” Malkovich (nee Hall), and his sons, Samuel and Rusty Malkovich. He was the cherished father of Debra (Terry) Pichler and Wendy (Matthew) Rosecky, loving grandfather of Cory (Shannon) Pichler and Carrie (Daniel) Cleveland, and great-grandfather of Jackson and Finnly. He is further survived by other relatives and many special friends. A Visitation is planned for Wednesday, September 27, 2017, at the Niemann Suminski Funeral Home 2486 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53207 from 5:30 PM until time of the Funeral Service at 7:00 PM. Interment will take place at Good Hope Cemetery. To share a memory or sign the guestbook, please visit www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com