In Loving Memory of Leo Francis Malinowski
It is with profound sadness that we announce that Leo Francis Malinowski, 89, of Naples, Florida, passed away peacefully, surrounded by his loving family, on April 22, 2023. His was a life brilliantly lived and he was beloved by all who had the privilege of knowing him.
He was born on January 22, 1934; the second child of Clarence and Esther (Bullach) Malinowski in Massillon, Ohio. He graduated from Jackson High School in Massillon in 1952 and served in the U.S. Army from 1956 until 1962. He married his soulmate, Marilyn Faye Williams, on June 28, 1958, with whom he shared five children: Richard “Ricky” Malinowski (deceased), Debra (Sam) Addams, Daniel (Carolyn) Malinowski, DeAnna Malinowski (JR Tipple), and Lisa (William) Douglass.
Leo was fondly known as “Big Leo” while working for East Naples Fire Department. He retired after 25 years of service as a Driver Engineer and EMT in 1999. Passionate about giving back to the children in the community he served, he acted as a Boy Scout Scoutmaster, Little League Assistant Baseball Coach, 4-H Leader, and Guardian ad Litem. Leo was also a dedicated blood donor, reaching a total of 53 gallons before his accident in 2004. Prior to moving to Naples, he was a volunteer firefighter in Jackson Township, Massillon, Ohio in addition to owning and operating Malinowski Floors.
Leo loved football and was a lifelong supporter of the Massillon Tigers. Upon moving to Naples, he found a new local team to support in the Lely Trojans where he proudly supported them for 49 years on the sidelines – first as an on-duty medic, and later as their biggest fan. Some of his other hobbies included square dancing with the love of his life, Marilyn, traveling and camping with loved ones, collecting Fireman Santa’s and lighted Firehouses, and cheering on the Ohio State Buckeyes. For 18 years, Leo was the official Santa Claus for the City of Naples Christmas Parade in addition to holding an annual open house for the children of local firefighters, paramedics, and sheriff’s officers alongside his Mrs. Claus. For them, it was a privilege to delight the children of fellow first responders during the holiday season.
In addition to his wife of 65 years and five children, Leo is survived by his grandchildren Debi (Frank) Siciliano, Angela Robinson, Corey (Tammi) Malinowski, Kayla (Kody) Crawford, and Tyler Douglass; great grandchildren Frank Siciliano, Anthony Siciliano, and Brandon Mobley; brothers Thomas (Judi) Malinowski and William (Kathy) Malinowski; sisters-in-law Virginia Malinowski, and Karol Sue (Scott) Marino, ; brother-in-law Larry (Carol) Williams.
He is also survived by two God-children; Chip Kolling and Karin Stewart, and eight adopted grandchildren; Rick Graham, Adam Crown, Jessica Chronister, Makayla Haar, Bobby Crown, Evva Crown, Lena Crown, and Lily Chronister in addition to numerous cousins, nieces, nephews and many friends.
Leo was preceded in death by his parents, his son Ricky, brothers Ronald “Red” and John “Jack”, sisters-in-law Pat and Karen, and nephews Larry Lee, Eric, and Marc.
Cremation has taken place and a Celebration of Life will be held at Shepherd of the Glades Lutheran Church at 2:00pm on Saturday, May 20, 2023. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to support the Lely High School Football Team, AVOW Hospice of Naples, or Shepherd of the Glades Lutheran Church.