Bill Malley, retired chairman of Ohio-based Malley’s Chocolates, passed away Oct. 19 after a brief illness. He was 85.
Malley led the company, started by his father, Mike, in 1935, for 30 years. Known for its chocolate-covered strawberries, Malley’s Chocolates has 22 outlets in Northeast Ohio. Malley retired in 1997.
“Like his father, he enjoyed entertaining as well as delighting customers,” Malley’s Chocolates’ website reads. “In charge of opening new stores, Bill fascinated us with the opening of our third Malley's Chocolates store in North Olmsted at Clague and Lorain Roads. He had a slowly revolving merry-go-round installed with ice cream parlor tables and chairs on it. Then Bill created – what else! – The Carousel Sundae to go with it. Bill found good ideas all around him.”
Malley was born in 1931 in Meadville, Penn. He attended St. Ignatius High School and Miami University in Ohio, where he studied marketing. He put his studies on hold for two years to serve with the U.S. Army in Korea.
In 1956, Malley joined the family business. He handled the financing, real estate, development, purchasing, advertising, marketing and personnel aspects of the business, according to an Oct. 20 obituary on Cleveland.com. He also developed a fundraising arm and a corporate sales department.
Malley met his wife, Adele, in 1958 and they married a year later. They had six children, all who now work for the family business.
Malley also served his community. He was on the board of directors for the Council of Smaller Enterprises, the Greater Cleveland Growth Association, the Beck Center for the Arts, the MetroHealth Hospital Foundation and the First Federal Bank of Lakewood. In 1998, he was named St. Ignatius High School Alumnus of the Year.
After Malley retired in 1997, Adele became president and chairman. She retired in 2004. Both moved to Venice, Fla., where Bill Malley took finance courses at the University of South Florida and Adele wrote a book for small business owners.
Malley is survived by Adele; his children, Michael, William, Daniel, Patrick "Packy" and Adele "Sis" Malley and Megan Cannon; and 12 grandchildren.
A funeral Mass was held Oct. 21 at St. Angela Merici Catholic Church in Fairview Park.