Celebrating the Life of
Mary Jo Malone
Aug 19, 1949 - Nov 6, 2020
The Virtual Celebration of Life for
Mary Jo Malone
from Saturday, February 13, 2021
4:00 P.M. Eastern Time
Biography / Obituary / Life Story
Mary Jo was an extraordinary person. She was a phenomenal daughter, sister, aunt, great-aunt, cousin and friend. On Friday, November 6, 2020, Mary Jo Malone passed away at age 71 after a courageous battle with cancer. She was born on August 19, 1949, in Elgin, Illinois, to William E. and Mary Kelly Malone.
Mary Jo received her bachelor’s degree in political science from Northern Illinois University in 1971. After working for several years, she went back to Northern Illinois University to complete a master’s degree in public administration.
Her first job was working for the Illinois House of Representatives, in Springfield, Illinois. In 1974, she became the Deputy Director of the model legislative staffing program of the Citizens Conference on State Legislatures. From 1978 to 1981, she served as Assistant for Special Projects on the staff of U.S. Senator Adlai E. Stevenson. Mary Jo then became the Senior Director, Legislative Affairs at the American Institute of Architects, where she worked for four years. During her time at the AIA, she led the effort to prevent an addition to the west front of the U.S. Capitol. Mary Jo’s career in health policy and advocacy on behalf of physicians spanned almost 30 years. She held various positions at the American Medical Association both in Chicago and Washington, D.C. She retired from the AMA as Vice President of Private Sector Advocacy in 2006. Thereafter she served as the Executive Vice President of the Physicians Advocacy Institute, before retiring for good in 2014.
Even after retirement, Mary Jo was on the go. If she wasn’t travelling, she was reading, and enjoying dinners and discussions with her many friends. She loved having projects underway and making improvements to her surroundings. An avid and accomplished gardener, she particularly loved working outdoors and had a beautiful yard to show for it. She enjoyed rooting for the Chicago Cubs (2016!), political debates, collecting art of all kinds, playing Euchre with her family (former tournament champ), and spoiling her nieces and nephews.
Mary Jo was known professionally for her intellect, determination, and integrity. Personally, she was loved by so many for her openness, curiosity, friendliness, and generosity. Her sense of humor and art of storytelling were renowned. Friends and family fondly remember her for her infectious laugh, Irish soda bread (extra raisins), her love of Ulysses S. Grant, gift-wrapping skills, and immense passion for animals (please rescue a pet). She also enjoyed shopping (Nordstrom-her favorite) and amassed vast shoe, purse and jewellery collections (to name a few). As with all of her possessions, she often gave them away as gifts. Mary Jo anchored a championship trivia team with expertise in U.S. presidents, history, Canada, and Star Wars.
Mary Jo was preceded in death by her father, William, and mother, Mary Kelly. She is survived by her sister Catherine Oldenburg (Richard), of Washington, Missouri; brother Timothy Malone (Peggy), of Belvidere, Illinois; brother William Malone (Jane), of Roscoe, Illinois; brother Patrick Malone (Mary Ellen), of Fairbanks, Alaska; sister Margaret “Mags” Malone, of Atlanta, Georgia; and sister Anita Hane (Wilbur), of Dublin, Ohio, eleven nieces and nephews, and 17 great nieces and nephews.
February 13, 2021
Dear Friends and Family,
Thank you for your outpouring of sympathy and kindness during this difficult
time. We honestly can’t say thank you enough. We appreciate all the cards
and kind words of support. They mean more than you can imagine. We also
want to thank you for the beautiful flowers, the gifts of food, and your generous
donations in remembrance of Mary Jo. We would like to especially thank Sean
Malone, Bill Malone and Michael Wall (Mags’ guy in Atlanta), for their
countless hours of behind the scenes computer technology support! They are
While we currently aren’t able to join together physically, we appreciate that you
were able to join with us virtually for our recent celebration of life for Mary Jo.
We are so grateful for friends like you at this time of sorrow.
The Malone Family