Thursday, June 16, 2016
11:00 AM EDT
Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church
156 Valley Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
A sweet and charming man, Dennis Maluchnik won the hearts of all who knew him. He was outgoing and could start a conversation with nearly anyone, endearing him to many. Dennis always left a positive impact wherever he went and the memory of him will never be forgotten as he will be dearly missed.
The year 1945 marked many changes in the history of America. The slinky made its debut to the delight of children everywhere, and radios were tuned to the likes of Bing Crosby, Perry Como and the Andrews Sisters. The victorious end to World War II brought joy and celebration the world over as the housing boom reached new heights. Yet in the bustling city of Grand Rapids, Michigan, nothing compared to the excitement experienced by Harry and Eleanor (Frankowski) Maluchnik when they welcomed the birth of their first child, Dennis James, born on December 7, 1945.
The oldest of three children in the Maluchnik home, each of Dennis’ siblings were very close in age. He was about 13 months older than his little sister, Marcia, and 11 months later, his youngest sibling, Robert came along. Dennis’ family lived on the lower west side of Grand Rapids until his parents bought their family home Hovey Street SW where Dennis would remain throughout the rest of his life. Precious memories were made and shared together in their home on Hovey which Dennis always treasured.
Dennis received his early education at Sacred Heart of Jesus School. Devout to their Catholic faith, he and his family were faithful members of Sacred Heart Parish where Dennis made each of his Holy Sacraments. He went on to attend and graduate from West Catholic High School for which his parents were proud. Dennis was very close to his parents and as they helped him along in life, they too counted on his help, too, especially in later years. Sadly, Dennis’ father passed away when Dennis was in his mid-twenties, creating quite a void in his life. He remained living with his mother, and the two were nearly inseparable. Dennis particularly liked cooking with his mother and learned the secret to making her delicious fudge. He could cook, but he often simply stayed with his staple of macaroni and cheese with tuna mixed in.
A man of many interests, Dennis found astronomy quite intriguing. For many years, when anyone left him, he always added to his farewell, telling others good-bye “to watch out for low flying saucers.” Perhaps it was his keen interest in science fiction, but Dennis loved watching the sci-fi channel, Star Trek, and old movies which entertained him. In addition, his enthusiasm for meteorology found him thoroughly enjoying a nice "juicy thunderstorm." Through the years, Dennis faithfully attended Mass with his mother at Sacred Heart, and when she could no longer get out, he watched church on TV.
For 26 years, Dennis worked in nutrition services at St. Mary's Hospital. He loved his work there, receiving much gratification through his many accomplishments. He especially enjoyed working alongside his co-workers, many of whom took Dennis under their wing. Through snow, rain, sleet, or sunshine, Dennis walked from his home to work, and anywhere he needed to go for that matter, on most days. He’d take Fulton to Jefferson Street, but occasionally, when the weather was extreme, he’d take a cab. In the last few years he worked, Dennis arranged for a regular cab ride back and forth to work before retiring approximately eight years ago.
When Dennis’ beloved mother passed away in April of 2007, his health began to decline. Although he was able to remain at home, he required the assistance of his brother, Robert who greatly helped him. Especially after his mother died, Dennis continued to watch his favorite shows on TV and regularly read his bible. It was during this time when Dennis became more withdrawn. His vision also started to deteriorate, which no less limited what he was able to do. After suffering from additional health issues in the last few years, Dennis was recently admitted to the hospital where he sadly passed away following a brief stay.
Dennis’ fun-loving and outgoing spirit enlightened those in his company. He could strike up a conversation with anyone, and for years he possessed the gift for gab and was quite talkative. Raised well by his parents who supported and loved him, Dennis never spoke ill of others, and if he couldn’t say something nice, he didn’t say anything at all. Where ever he went, Dennis’ positive light shone bright, and with ways all his own, he lovingly endeared himself towards others. He will be deeply missed and fondly remembered by those who had the pleasure of knowing him.
Dennis James Maluchnik, age 70 of Grand Rapids, passed away June 10, 2016. He was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Eleanor Maluchnik, and by his sister, Marcia Brown. Dennis is survived by his brother, Robert Maluchnik; brother-in-law, Ronald Brown; nephew, Mike Maluchnik; niece, Lori Carpenter as well as cousins. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, June 16, 11 AM at Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church. Friends are invited to visit with his family on Wednesday from 6-8 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home - Alt & Shawmut Hills Chapel, 2120 Lake Michigan Drive NW. To read more about Dennis' life, to share a memory or to sign his guestbook, please visit www.lifestorynet.com.