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Obituary for Richard J. Malatesta

Richard J.  Malatesta
Richard J. “Dick” Malatesta, 88, a charismatic man of high standards and uncompromising integrity, died peacefully at Brooksby Village in Peabody on January 21, 2014, with family by his side. He was born and raised in Arlington, graduating from Arlington High School and then Bates College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Delta Sigma Rho and received awards for outstanding public speaking. It was at Bates that he met the love of his life, Geraldine Weed, to whom he was married for 65 years. Dick attended Harvard Law School but left to join the executive training program at Filene’s, rising rapidly through the ranks and becoming a Vice President. He was admired for inspiring legions of young retailers to adopt his demanding standards of excellence. After retiring from Filene’s he became a Vice President at New England Development Corporation and, later, Director of the New England Sports Museum.

Dick had many diverse talents and interests. He was a gifted singer, a passionate Boston sports fan, a lover of history, and a stimulating conversationalist.

His love of and pride in his family were deep and powerful and rooted in his Italian heritage, of which he was also very proud. He made many trips to Italy, falling in love especially with Lago di Como. One of the highlights of his life was traveling to Italy with all his children and grandchildren in 1998 to renew his wedding vows and celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary.

He is predeceased by his parents, Joseph and Rose Malatesta, and his seven siblings: Emanuel, Joseph, Norina, Isadore (Bill), Evelyn, Thelma, and Josephine. In addition to his wife Geri, he is survived by his children: Phyllis Meade of Acton, Joan Storey of Arlington, Jan Penney of Arlington, and Steven Malatesta of Billerica; his sons-in-law: Jeffrey Meade and Bruce Penney; his grandchildren: Elizabeth Meade Warren, Kathryn Penney, Melissa Penney, Christopher Meade, Scott Penney, Jonathan Penney, Alexandra Socha, and Rebecca Penney; and his great-grandchildren: Lila and Emmy Warren.

Special thanks to Dr. Martin Solomon, who took such good care of him.

A service to celebrate Dick's life will be held at 11 a.m. on February 8 in the chapel at the Brooksby Village Retirement Community, 300 Brooksby Village Drive, Peabody, MA. Because Dick credited Bates College with having such a positive impact on his life, it was his wish that donations in his memory be made to Bates. Please make checks payable to “The Bates Fund” and indicate that the gift is in memory of Richard Malatesta, class of ‘46. Mail to: Bates College, Attn: Gift Processing, Office of College Advancement, 2 Andrews Rd, Lewiston, ME 04240. Online, go to Bates.edu/give and specify in the “comments about your gift” section that your gift is in memory of Dick.
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