Joseph Malone

Monday, October 3, 2022

We are saddened to share the news of the death of Dr. Joseph Malone, a long-time LSA member, and distinguished linguist and professor at Columbia University and Barnard College, on September 24, 2022. In his memory, we share this obituary, written by his wife Pamela:Joseph Lawrence Malone (Joe), was born in St. Vincent’s Hospital, Greenwich Village, New York, on July 2, 1937.  He lived in Glenridge, New Jersey for his first four years, but grew up in Park Slope, Brooklyn, a place that he loved and that was part of his soul.

Joe was an extraordinary guy.  He was a genius who could speak or read over seventy-five languages.  When he would walk over the George Washington Bridge to get to Barnard College (where he was a renowned  Professor of Linguistics), Joe was often stopped for directions.  If the person had an accent, he would ask where they were from and then give them the directions in their language. Joe walked everywhere, thirty-six miles a week. 

Joe published many linguistic papers and books, including The Morpholocigal Development of the Classical Aramaic Verb and Tiberian Hebrew Phonology, as well as poetry, short stories, and translations. He even wrote a poem in Gaelic and published it in Feasta, an Irish Gaelic magazine. The poem was about Brooklyn!

He was a Corpsman during peacetime in the U.S. Army and served at mental hospitals in Georgia and Germany.  He was a volunteer at Holy Name Hospital in Teaneck, NJ, for 15 years, where he once again gave people directions in their own language.

He was a loving father to Joey and Otis Malone, a loving father-in-law to Patti Kane, and a wonderful Grandpa to Delia, Pari, Hilly, and Harry and became a great grandfather to Everett one year ago.

He loved animals, rescued fallen birds from trees, and was the adoring father of Fluffy, Beansprout (cats), and Snowball (Westie), who has the same “don’t tell me what to do personality” as Joe.

The funeral will be at Volk Funeral Home, 789 Teaneck Road, Teaneck NJ, on October 1, 2022. Visitation 10-11 a.m. and Service at 11 a.m. Donations to the animal charity of your choice can be given in his name.