When it came to competition, Tom Malone loved a challenge. Professionally, Malone scaled the corporate ladder at the Hauppauge-based consumer electronics company, VOXX International Corp. Personally, he loved to test himself athletically.
“He would challenge himself in everything,” said daughter Caitlin Marinaro, 35, of Miller Place. “He loved it and wanted to see how far he could push himself.”
Malone died March 19 after a six-week battle with melanoma at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan, his family said. He was 65.
He joined VOXX in 1986 as a product manager specializing in car security and, in 2007, was named president of VOXX Advanced Solutions, a division of VOXX International Corp.
Over the past five years, Malone became obsessed with kayaking. Each summer, the Miller Place resident would spend his mornings in the water. Last summer, he kayaked 500 miles. The summer before that, 400, his family said.
Born Oct. 3, 1954, in Jamaica, Queens, Malone grew up in Floral Park and graduated from Holy Cross High School in Queens. He earned an associate degree in business from Nassau Community College.
“His work ethic was legendary,” said VOXX director, president, and CEO Patrick M. Lavelle. “He drove himself very hard and was very competitive. He had tremendous presentation skills. He was very bright and very articulate.”
Malone’s older sister, Ellen McShane, watched her brother, who she said was a quiet and introverted child, move up the ranks at VOXX.
“He understood the product from the bottom up and, I think that, coupled with his personality, got him where he was,” said McShane, 70, of Baldwin.
Malone was funny and a noted public speaker. Friends would wait in anticipation of his Christmas letter each year, where he praised his wife and three children, while simultaneously poking fun at them.
“It was hysterical,” said friend Doug Blagdon, 64, of New Jersey. “Everyone waited for that letter. It was that well written. He was like a comedy writer.”
At his 50th birthday party Malone and Blagdon jumped into the pool and raced to the other side, fully clothed.
“I love Tom Malone, as only the closest of friends can,” Blagdon said. “That’s how close I felt to him. I’m going to keep his spirit in my heart and his laughter in my head.”
In addition to Marinaro and McShane, Malone is survived by his wife of 36 years, Megan; daughters, Sarah Malone, of Manhattan; son, Rob, of Manhattan; mother, Eileen Malone, of Floral Park; and brother, James, of Floral Park. A celebration of life will be held in the late spring. He was cremated, his family said.