July 31, 1921 — Sept. 30, 2017
Donald George Malarkey, 96, Salem, Oregon, died on Saturday, Sept. 30, of age-related causes. Malarkey was the oldest surviving member of Easy Company, of the 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment of the 101st Airborne, known as the “Band of Brothers.”
Malarkey, a lifelong Oregonian, was born July 31, 1921, in Astoria, Oregon, to Leo and Helen Malarkey. He attended Star of the Sea School, where he was an outstanding athlete, and graduated from Astoria High School. In 1942, while a freshman at the University of Oregon, Malarkey was drafted into the Army, where he volunteered to become a paratrooper. During the early morning hours on D-Day, June 6, 1944, Malarkey parachuted behind enemy lines in support of the Allied invasion. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his bravery in destroying German artillery in the Battle of Brecourt Manor later that day.
Malarkey went on to fight across France, Holland and Belgium, where Easy Company fought off Nazi advances while surrounded at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in December 1944.
Following the war, Malarkey returned to the University of Oregon,where he received a bachelor’s degree in business in 1948, and served as president of Sigma Nu Fraternity. Later in life, Don was inducted in the Sigma Nu National Hall of Fame, and named as one of 125 notable University of Oregon graduates in 2002.
While a student at Oregon, Don met Irene Moor of Portland, who became the love of his life and his wife of 58 years until her death in 2006. They were married in Portland in 1948. Don and Irene had four children: a son, Michael, and daughters Martha, Sharon and Marianne.
After their marriage, Don and Irene returned to Astoria, where he worked for Lovell Chevrolet. He was elected Clatsop County commissioner and served two terms. The family moved to Portland, where Don was a real estate broker. Don and Irene moved to Salem, Oregon in 1977, where he concluded his career working for the Oregon Real Estate Agency.
Don is survived by his daughters, Marianne McNally (Dan), Sharon Hill (John) and Martha Serean; and a sister, Molly Rumpakis (Jim). He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife Irene, son Michael, son-in-law Tim Serean, and brothers John Malarkey and Robert Malarkey.
The family would like to convey their gratitude and thanks to Premier Care Homes and his dedicated caregivers Josh, Vicki and Cindy, who brought much comfort to Don in the final stages of his life.
Private services will be held at Willamette National Cemetery later this week. The date for a celebration of life for Don will be announced later. Assisting the family is Virgil T. Golden Funeral Service.