John Alton Malone Jr. was born to John and Ava Malone on August 2, 1940 and raised on a working ranch in Tarkington, Texas. He was the youngest of three children.
After graduating from Tarkington High School, John worked part-time while attending college. He graduated from Wharton Junior College in 1960 with an Associate’s Degree in Engineering and Lamar University in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. John met Maude McFarland, a computer operator for a utility company, on a blind date (a fishing day-trip) in 1961. The two were married in 1962 and lived in Beaumont, Texas until they moved to Lumberton, Texas in 1964.
After graduation, John worked as a mechanical engineer for chemical plants in the “Golden Triangle” of Southeast Texas between 1963 and 1975. In 1975, he started working for Matrix Engineering in Beaumont and 3 years later became a partner in the business. Matrix specialized in engineering, designing, constructing, and remodeling petroleum refineries and chemical plants. During his 20 years there, he became a Registered Professional Engineer and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. John retired at the end of 1994 as Executive Vice President.
During John’s career, he and Maude raised two children. John was a Little League Coach, served as Lions Club President, and was an avid hunter and fisherman. They also vacationed in Colorado every summer.
John and Maude retired to Ridgway in 1995 where they designed and built their dream home with their dream view of the Sneffels Range. They have been members of the Ouray County Rodeo Association for about 20 years and John served on the Board of Directors in 2015. In 2017, John was the Rodeo Grand Marshal. He enjoyed golfing, especially his hole-in-one, and they both enjoyed playing dominoes at least once a week with their friends. John and Maude would have celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on May 26, 2022.
John passed away at home on April 26, 2022 after a relatively brief battle with pancreatic cancer. He was known for his great sense of humor, his willingness to help everyone, being a great husband, and being a great father, even to those who were not technically his children.
He is survived by his wife Maude Malone, children: Melissa (Keith) Drake, Timothy (Carolyn) Malone, and Susan Willis and Sue Brown (who were like daughters), grandchildren: Keisha (Beau) Slaughter, Jeremy (Nicole) Lewis, Caleb Lewis (David Galaviz), Keely Malone (Jonah Osborn) and Danielle Drake, great-grandchildren: Jackson, Harrison, Addie, and Fehren, sisters: Jolene Long and Pat (Jacky) Keith, and an extended family who all loved him. He was preceded in death by his parents and granddaughter Brianna Drake.
A Celebration of Life will be held on June 5, 2022 at the Ridgway Community Center at 2pm. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in John Malone’s name to the Ouray County Rodeo Association.