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Thomas Richard “Dick” Mallé

Big Stone Gap, Va.-Thomas Richard “Dick” Mallé, 85, passed away on Thursday, November 30, 2023, at Holston Valley Medical Center.
He was preceded in death by his infant son, Richard Mallé; daughter, Karen Brown and son-in-law, Melvin Brown, Jr; and parents, Walter Mallé and Augusta Mallé
Surviving are his children, Robert Mallé (Linda) of Big Stone Gap, VA; Elizabeth Mallé (Steven Cook) of Florida; many treasured grandchildren, great grandchildren and one great great grandchild; the mother of his children, Miriam Moore of Florida: special friend, Christine Akens of Norton, VA; beloved nieces; nephews; extended family and a host of dear friends.
Born in Passaic, and growing up in Rutherford, New Jersey, he went to Staunton Military Academy in Staunton, VA. Dick married Miriam in Ridgefield, CT, they raised their children in South Salem, NY. He lived many years in Big Stone Gap, VA and his final two at The Laurels in Norton, VA. He met Miriam at a demonstration event while a volunteer with the Rutherford First Aid-Ambulance Corps in New Jersey of which his grandfather, her aunt and uncle and several other relatives were founders.
Nearly everyone remembers when they each met Dick. Whether it was because of the “Fordilac” he built and drove or because it was when he sported a ponytail and earring or because of his hearty handshake and warm “Glad to know you” greeting or another distinction.
Dick’s creative ingenuity was well known. As a Master Carpenter Dick worked for Raytheon, Inc. Without any formal training, he awed everyone with his ability to design and build, starting with only blank graph paper, anything that sparked his interest, from three increasingly complex hydraulic log splitters to entirely swapping the kitchen and dining areas of his home to fine furniture to a pottery wheel to brass-plated penguin bookends to wooden trucks for his grandkids. Dick was always ready to generously share his skills and talents with family, friends and others with their remodeling, plumbing, electrical, other projects, or happily bringing in the groceries for his neighbors at The Laurels. He truly loved life.
Dick was a great dad, uncle, granddad and great-granddad. Dad, Uncle Dick, Grandpa, Grampadukes, Gpop, never missed a birthday, holiday or special event about which he knew. He was a special invitee to Rob’s US Navy boot camp graduation and USS Nimitz family day, Karen’s college graduation and as photographer for Elizabeth’s glider ride, and was active in countless other occasions. Appearing loaded with gifts and food as appropriate, he helped with the events anyway he was able, including completely building a new staircase at one.
Dick’s child-like excitement and enthusiasm to try new things was infectious. He always made the most of his current situation with a curiosity to learn about and explore everything. “Go, do, try, make new mistakes,” was one of his many memorable sayings. He would “put on a shave” and describe cold days as "chillarious". Many remember him for giving $2.00 bills to children. His heart of gold and gallant charm won people over. He was a devoted Christian. His strong ideas and determination made him a force with which to reckon. Dick’s seemingly boundless love was even greater - to feel it was nearly overwhelming. He considered life’s challenges to be tests - saying “Everything is a test.”
He was vibrant and engaged until a brief illness brought him to his peace in the hereafter. Dick passed his final test.
A springtime 2024 Celebration of Life Service in southwestern Virginia will be announced at a later date.

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