But first of all, he’s Irish and he leaves no doubt of his heritage as Saint Patrick’s Day approaches.
His green “feeling lucky” shirt, the “Kiss me, I’m Irish” badge and his green plaid hat tell the world who he is. If it isn’t the season for Saint Patrick’s, he dons orange and blue for Auburn University, where he graduated.
His family traces back to the 1700s ... and then some. He found the key person on his family tree is Anne Blackwell, who married William Sidney Malone in Rusellville, Ala.
He has run the genealogy on his wife, Pat (Hunts and Wilsons) also, and her ancestry includes Plymouth Rock. The Malones are up to their necks in family history and they love it.
He started out to do a family tree, and now “it’s a full-time hobby,” his wife said, adding that he pursues his hobby “with a vengeance.”
Malone is from Sheffield, Ala., and came to this area as a young man to work in the TVA Co-op program. That was how he first met Pat — when he was 19 and she, 17. The guys lived in the Kelly House and would walk over to Warner Park to see the girls from local churches play softball.
The two dated for two years, but then went their separate ways. They didn’t see each other again until they happened to meet 25 years later. Both had been married and had children. It was a reunion that led to their more than a quarter-century marriage
Malone was in the military reserves from August 1962 to April 1963 (in college) and was called up for six months. His job was to set up command and general staff college school for officers. He said he worked hard, but loved it.
What started Malone on his heritage adventure was when he walked into a place and a man showed him a book on Malone’s hometown — not a big book, but enough history to whet his appetite.
“What are you doing with a genealogy book?” he asked.
Pat told how he had visited courthouses and cemeteries all the way from Virginia to Florida as he searched out his family. In Alabama he found a farm where 29 children were buried — 13 from the man’s first wife, who died, and 16 from his second wife, her sister.
On a trip to Virginia cemeteries, he had the opportunity to visit the
original Malone farm, where special, beautiful horses were raised. But snakes kept him from walking around the cemetery. Nearby, he met a black man by the name of Malone.
And he found Malones in Cleveland. They invited him to a family reunion and a distant relative from Florida, Mo Malone, showed up.
What a shock, Pat exclaimed. “He looked exactly like Sam’s father — William Sidney Malone.”
It seems the Alabama Malones came down from Virginia. There were three brothers and sisters who moved to Alabama: James Malone, Amy Malone and Pumphret Malone. One said he moved “far” into Indian territory — it was discovered it was a distance of nine miles.
That was in 1817 and the trio cleared land and put in crops. The sister married a man with the name Hester. Malone laughed as he said, “There wasn’t anyone else to marry.” 6
Malone was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease five years ago, which has slowed him down. The medication has caused hallucinations and he is suffering from slight dementia. So now he’s taking a drug holiday, which means his mind is clearer but the trembling hinders his activities. He has been a resident of Bradley HealthCare and Rehabilitation since July.
But nothing daunts his enjoyment of Saint Patrick’s Day. As always, he puts on a funny shirt and hat and visits friends. And his wife makes sure he gets a new Saint Patrick’s Day pin to wear every year.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sam Malone helped to edit and correct information in a book, “Malone and Allred Families, Second and Revised Edition,” published by Randolph A. Malone, Thomasville, Ga.4