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Hudson -- When Richard "Dick" Malson died July 10, he left a hole in the hearts of his family, friends and Hudson community.
However, Mr. Malson, who loved Hudson, left lasting legacies to the district, city and students whom he loved. Click here to see Mr. Malson's full obituary.
Mr. Malson, who was born in Akron and raised in Cuyahoga Falls, donated funds for Scott Malson Stadium, to honor his son, Scott, a coach with the Hudson Hawks youth football program, who died of cancer 10 years ago. Mr. Malson and his wife, Barb, also generously donated funds to build Hudson Memorial Stadium and Malson Athletic Center, which is currently under construction.
"I'm sorry he didn't see the new building go up," Barb said. "But I'll have to be there and play his role for him."
The Malsons were married almost 60 years, Barb said.
"He loved people, especially kids," Barb said.
Mr. Malson, who was known for his hat, and moustached crooked smile, often helped friends, family and employees with money for school, food or medical bills, Barb added.
"He never bragged about it," Barb said of Mr. Malson's efforts to help others. "I found out things at the funeral home that I didn't even know he'd done to help his employees. If they needed something, he took care of it."
Of all his accomplishments, Mr. Malson counted his time as a Boy Scout near the top, according to Barb. The Boy Scouts of America honored Mr. Malson a few years ago for his lifetime contribution to business and industry in Northeast Ohio.
"He was a representative at the Boy Scout Jamboree when he was a little guy," Barb said.
In 1977 Mr. Malson founded Ramco Specialties Inc. in the back of a machine shop after developing a new way to produce locknuts. Ramco is now an international company based in Hudson with locations in Italy and Scandinavia.
Hudson Mayor William Currin called it an honor to have known Mr. Malson.
"Dick and Barb Malson have been very active and generous supporting the young people of Hudson over these past several years in honor of their late son, Scott," Currin said. "With Dick Malson's recent passing one is reminded that community involvement can happen at any stage of one's life. I am honored to have known Dick and have come to call him a friend and community colleague. Debbie and I send our deepest condolences to his wife Barbara and the entire Malson family. He will be missed."
During the planning and construction of recent district projects, Mr. Malson worked closely with a variety of district personnel, including Superintendent Phil Herman, who during the July 14 Board meeting, expressed great appreciation for Mr. Malson's contributions and dedication to the district.
"Last Thursday we learned that the community of Hudson and the Hudson City School District lost a great supporter, a great friend and a great man," Herman told the Board. "Dick Malson has left a lasting legacy on the Hudson City Schools and the students through his contributions."
According to Herman, a fall ribbon cutting for the athletic center will serve as a two-fold celebration.
"As we cut the ribbon on the Malson Athletic Center this fall, we will not only celebrate the opening of a new facility but will celebrate the enormous impact Dick had on the lives of students," Herman said. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Barb, and the entire Malson family."
District Business Manager Derek Cluse called it a "distinct pleasure" to work closely with Mr. Malson on the three major facility projects, each of which Mr. Malson "provided significant financial support for."
"He not only contributed financially but he challenged us to build great facilities that will leave a lasting impression on those who come to visit while meeting the needs of our students and the community," Cluse remembered. "He took an interest in all of the projects and stopped in on regular basis to check on our progress. His vision will be realized here at Hudson City School District for decades to come. We will miss him greatly."
Hudson High School Principal Brian Wilch also called it an honor to have known Mr. Malson.
"We'll miss him -- it's sad that the Malson Athletic Center wasn't complete before Dick's passing; however, knowing him to be a real visionary, I know he would be pleased with how the project will turn out," Wilch said. "Dick Malson has left a legacy that will impact many generations to come -- I feel honored to have known him."
Mr. Malson's family described him as a prankster, renegade and a man who "navigated life with an itinerary all his own."
According to Mr. Malson's obituary, "not a week would go by that you wouldn't see Dick in his signature hat enjoying and supporting a youth sporting event."
Chris Rittenour, president of the Hudson Hawks organization can attest to that. Four weeks before Mr. Malson died, Rittenour was with him at a Hudson lacrosse game. Rittenour was also best friends with Mr. Malson's son, Scott.
"He would stop up to the Hawk's Nest [the concession stand at Scott Malson Field] on Saturdays and Sundays, come in, get some nachos or a hotdog and sit there for a couple of hours and just watch the games," Rittenour said. "That's how good of a guy he was. He would just stop up there to see how everything was going."
Rittenour said he could look up in the stands and see Mr. Malson in his ever-present hat.
Two days before the Hawk's Nest opened, Mr. Malson stopped by and was looking at the old counter tops, Rittenour said. Mr. Malson asked why the counter tops were not stainless steel.
"I told him I didn't want to spend the extra money," Rittenour said.
Mr. Malson decided stainless steel would be better and new counter tops were brought in, just in time for the grand opening.
"He was first class in everything he did," Rittenour said.
Scott Malson Field would not have been built without Mr. Malson, Rittenour said.
"They [the Malson family] never looked back," Rittenour said. "Everything was first class that they did -- he was a great guy."
A funeral was July 14 at Christ Community Chapel. Redmon Funeral Home in Stow handled the arrangements.
"For the city of Hudson this is a huge loss," Rittenour said. "It was an honor and a privilege to know him and to work with him."