James Irvine Malacko

James Irvine Malacko

May 27, 1930 – Dec 25, 2016

It is with utmost sadness that we announce the passing of Jim “Shorty” Malacko. Our dear husband and Papa left peacefully at Nelson KLDH on Dec. 25th 2016, surrounded by his loving family. Jim was born May 27th, 1930 and grew up in Lethbridge Alberta. It was there that he started his long and successful hockey career that enabled him to see the world and eventually settle and raise a family in one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Jim was 21 when he played for the Lethbridge Maple Leafs which won the gold medal at the World Amateur Hockey Championships in Paris, France in 1951. The Leafs went on that year to win gold at the Sir Winston Churchill Cup Competition, in London, England. During their European tour, the team played 62 games and won 51. Jim finished that year by staying in England and playing for the Harringay Racers and then moved to Germany for the ’52 season where he served as coach for the German Olympic Hockey Program. He returned to Lethbridge in 1953 to marry Maxine Morgan and soon after moved his new bride to Nelson. It was here that he continued his hockey career, playing for the Nelson Maple Leafs from 1954-1966. Noted as a small speedy defenseman, he soon became known in Nelson as “Shorty”, a name which stuck with him for the rest of his life. Shorty played for the Leafs during their glorious season as 1965 Allan Cup finalists, playing off in the final game in Sherbrooke, Quebec. His love for hockey never died and even when his playing days slowed down, he served as Manager and Coach for the Nelson Maple Leafs. He was a big supporter of Minor Hockey in Nelson and never missed a Hockey Night in Canada on TV !

It was here in Nelson that Shorty also embraced the beauty of the Kootenays and became an avid hunter and fisherman. After over 30 years working with the City of Nelson, he took early retirement in 1989 to enjoy all that the area had to offer. Nelson was very kind to him; he loved this city and was so thankful for his many wonderful friends and co-workers.

Shorty is survived by his devoted wife of 63 years, Maxine; his daughters Ali (Phil Wallace), Toni (Doug Knight), and Jacquie (Tony Arcuri); and his 4 grandchildren Lisa, Taylor, Kelvin, and Rohan. He also has 2 surviving sisters and 1 brother, and was predeceased by 1 sister and 3 brothers.

A celebration of life will be announced at a later date. Thank-you to the outstanding nurses and doctors at KLDH for their grace in their care and support of our dear Papa.

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to Nelson Minor Hockey Nelson Minor Hockey Association, PO Box 766, Nelson, BC V1L 5R4.

Online condolences may be expressed at www.thompsonfs.ca

Megan Johnson of Thompson Funeral Service has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements.

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