“Strength does not come from physical capacity, it comes from an indomitable will.” -MAHATMA GANDHI. Danny Malek had one of the strongest wills, along with great physical strength. Danny N. Malek (Chahdan Naim Malek), born May 10, 1948 to Alia Khoury and Naim Malek, died on Friday, December 29, 2017. A man in every sense of the word, Danny left his home in Zahle, Lebanon at the young age of 17, with spunk and the determination to follow his dream and pursue a better life for himself, while remaining innately loyal to his family back home and those who had emigrated here.
He began with his job at Goodyear, and even though Danny excelled in any avenue of work he pursued, he soon realized he was not the type to work for anyone but himself. He then went on to own several nightclubs (including Danny Diamonds and the FEZ), he became a licensed insurance agent (winning sales awards from day one), owned a children’s clothing store, a paint and papering business, and then went on to one of his two most rewarding careers – Malek Construction. Danny had an eye for design and helped build and remodel many lovely homes and offices in the area.
After ten years, he went on to his last business and the one that personified him and would become synonymous with his name – Rapid Auto Care (or Danny & the Dipsticks as his longtime choice of radio WNIR’s former Stan Piatt coined him). Danny was Rapid Auto Care. People from miles around became loyal customers and friends, trusting the man who not only worked on their cars while trying to be fair, but always had a pot of coffee, engaging conversation, warm hospitality, and debates about his political views, in which he never tired of sharing and never backed down from his opinion. The song “I Did It My Way,” by Frank Sinatra was written for Danny – because that is how he lived his life… “HIS way.” His smile, wit and charm were infectious.
Danny stood at Rapid Auto Care for thirty years; and, until two years ago, he did that six days a week, never missing one day. The one source of personal enjoyment he had was golfing with the group of friends he enjoyed. Whether playing a game of cards or having a dinner together, Danny was a real “man’s” man, and always scrambled to pick up a tab no matter who he was with. Danny was truly filled with class (“the ability to walk with kings, nor lose the common touch” – RUDYARD KIPLING). He was a legend with the ladies and every guy’s best buddy…handsome, engaging and kind.
“A tree is known by its fruit, a man by his deeds. A good deed is never lost. He who sows courtesy reaps friendship. And he who plants kindness gathers love.” –SAINT BASIL. And that Danny did. He had an affinity for treating the elderly with respect; and the former Mayor of Cuyahoga Falls presented Danny with a key to the City several years ago, as Danny was a trusted and well known friend to all in Cuyahoga Falls. “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness,” (WILLIAM ARTHUR WARD) and Danny displayed it for all.
“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” –LAO TZU. Danny was deeply loved by his loyal and dedicated wife of forty-five years, Amelia, who gave him the strength to do whatever he wanted, as she would always be home “waiting.” Loving him deeply gave Amelia the courage, along with her faith, to withstand the last seven months of his illness. Their relationship was rock solid. Now, instead of waiting for Danny to come home, she will wait to go home.
“My family is my strength and my weakness.” –AISHWARYA RAI BACHOHAN. And Danny’s family was his greatest source of pride and accomplishment. Gathering with them for a small visit or a cup of coffee was always relished by him, as was a grandchild in his arms or on his lap.
Danny leaves to mourn his passing his loyal wife and most trusted friend of forty-five years, Amelia; Five children: Linda Marie, Joy Malek Oldfield (Charlie), Daniel (Kelly), Chad (Anna), Matthew (Jessica); Nine grandchildren, Amelia, Alana & Anna Oldfield, Kaity & Lindsey Malek, Max & Mia Malek, and Matthew & Chad Malek.
Danny had six brothers and sisters. Preceded in death by his brother, Louie, Danny is survived by his brother George; sisters, Georgette Jamous, Vilma Abood, Mona Nemer and Noha Daher (Joe), along with many nieces and nephews.
Cremation has taken place. Funeral mass, Saturday, January 6, 2017, 11 a.m., Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, 1905 Portage Trail, Cuyahoga Falls, with condolences and mercy meal to follow in the school gymnasium.