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Mary Yates Malone dies

News Desk | 12/4/2013, 9:25 a.m.
Mary's life was abundant with family and friends. Her most fulfilling moments were entertaining in her home and "holding court" ...

Funeral services will be held for Mary Yates Malone on Friday, December 6, 2013 at Antioch Baptist Church. Family visitation will be from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by the service.

Mary served her community in many ways. She had the distinction of being the first woman director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections and one of the few Black women in the country to direct an election board in a major city.

Her other service areas included being President of the Miles Standish PTA, Ward 24 Democratic Club (8 years), Adams Avenue Street Club, and West End Columbia Street Club. Additional affiliations include: Glenville YMCA, NAACP, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts of America, Planned Parenthood, United Appeal, Project READ and Trustee of Forest City Hospital.

She was a member of Eliza Bryant Auxiliary Board, Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., Negro Business and Professional Women's Club of Cleveland, Cups and Saucers Club, and National Council of Negro Women, Inc.

Her employment career began with the Cleveland Public Schools as a crossing guard. She was later hired as Coordinator for the School Community Relations Program for the Glenville area. Mary was appointed to Cleveland City Council in 1971 and to the State Lottery Commission of Ohio, 1973-1976.

She was a long time member of Cory United Methodist Church where she served diligently in various leadership capacities, including Lay speaker. She later joined East View United Church of Christ. There she served on a number of boards and committees. She was attending Antioch Baptist Church until her health began to fail. Mary was loved by people from all walks of life. She was known as an encourager and a role model to many young people. She received recognition as "a Gem of a Clevelander". She will be missed by all.

Mary Ella Gorman Yates Malone was born July 17, 1930, in Cleveland, Ohio, to the late Clarence O. and Pearl Gorman. She was the eldest of three children. She attended and graduated from the Cleveland Public Schools.

While Mary was riding a CIS bus she met her “knight in shining armor”, Frederick James Yates, Sr. They enjoyed 32 years together until his death. From that union they had four children, the light of their lives. Mary and Fred had the added joy and privilege of raising her sister as well.

She met and later married Jonathan L. Malone, who also preceded her in death after 25 years of marriage.

Mary's life was abundant with family and friends. Her most fulfilling moments were entertaining in her home and "holding court" telling stories and jokes to all generations in her "audience". Her sense of humor was well documented by the many friends who would seek her out for a new joke, huddle together, and laugh profusely. Her "hen parties", with her dearest and closest friends, were an annual, not to be missed, event!

Her interests spanned many areas including traveling, dancing and socializing. She especially enjoyed her travels to Africa, Europe and the Caribbean.

Family was the center of Mary's life. Without question, she was a devoted wife, mother, sister, grandmother and great-grandmother. Mary's children and her sister were the jewels of her life. She exposed them, from the earliest ages, to all the fine cultural institutions and events of Cleveland. She enjoyed hosting people of diverse backgrounds and cultures in her home.

Mary is survived by her loving children, Carolyn Yates-Salami (Abdul), Marsha Yates Jackson (Ulysses), and Michael Finley Yates, Sr.; devoted sister, Sharon Gorman Bremer (Charles); daughter-in-law, Sondra Yates; four precious grandchildren, Adrienne Yates, Frederick J. Yates, III, Michael F. Yates, II, and Martin A. Yates; three great-grandchildren; one nephew; three great-nephews; an aunt, Rosalie Washington; and a host of relatives and friends.