Gerald I. Malik, age 77, passed away in Naples, Florida on March 27, 2019.
He was born in Chicago, Illinois and was raised in Brookfield, Illinois to parents Irvin and Mae. He is survived by daughter, Laura and family, son Michael and family, and his 6 cherished grandchildren.
Jerry attended Riverside-Brookfield Highschool, graduating in 1959. He then entered engineering school at the University of Illinois, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering in 1964. Shortly after graduation, he served in the National Guard before attending I.I.T. where he received his MBA in 1967. He began his career in the telecommunications industry, starting with engineering assignments for Illinois Bell and AT&T where he soon became General Manager of Network Operations. In 1984 the company assumed the name "Ameritech", where he served as President of Ameritech Development; a mergers and acquisitions branch of Ameritech, until his retirement in 1994. During his position as President of Development, his most revered accomplishment was the purchase of the entire New Zealand Telephone Company for 2.2 billion dollars. He purchased and further developed the Hungarian mobile network and Poland’s telephone and mobile networks as well as the Denmark telephone company. He developed integral international telecommunication partnerships with Japan and France as well.
Jerry and his family resided in Naperville, Illinois for 23 years prior to his retirement. In 1995 he and his wife Carlyn moved to sunny Southwest Florida to call Naples their home. Prior to retirement, Jerry and family enjoyed many weekends on their boat in Saugatuck, MI. He had an exceptional ability to navigate the waters of Lake Michigan, going on extended boating and fishing adventures to many Northern ports of call.
He and Carlyn often vacationed in the Caribbean where he loved to snorkel and scuba dive. His favorite Caribbean vacation destination was Caneel Bay, St. John, U.S.V.I. Jerry’s ideal evening there was to smoke a Cuban cigar after a delicious dinner with his family and then walk to the end of the Caneel Bay dock to look at the fish and the distant lights of St. Thomas. He always enjoyed listening to the steel drum bands play traditional tunes such as Yellow Bird or Matilda. In high school and college, he played a variety of instruments and was in various bands. His natural musical talent was handed down to him from his father. He won various high school awards for his musical forte. His expertise was as a pop/jazz and blues drummer often playing for weddings and other events alongside his other bandmates; his longtime good friends. His favorite songs to play were ‘Smack Dab in the Middle’ by Jesse Stone and ‘Satin Doll’ by Duke Ellington.
Being an only child, Jerry’s friendships were paramount and were like family to him. In addition to family and friendships, he favored good music, fishing, cigars, travel, boating, ethnic foods, fine wine and an occasional gin and tonic. He was an avid reader of both historical fiction and historical nonfiction and was a wonderful storyteller. His children remember him reading stories aloud to them of the Mackinac Indians and of Black Beard the Pirate. In later years he loved photography, doing magic for his grandchildren and loved giving them rides on the John Deer tractor around the yard. Jerry was a very proud man who worked hard for his family and enjoyed the good life; la dolce vita! He was a good Christian and a member of the Republican party. He had an incredible sense of humor with a jubilant laugh. He will be greatly missed.
Gerald I. Malik was survived by his loving wife of 54 years; Dr. Carlyn J. Malik, predeceased by his son Steven and grandchild John Andrew, and loving dogs Remy, Clouseau, Wolfie, and Captain.
Due to the Covid -19 pandemic, a memorial was not planned. Memorial donations can be made to: The American Heart Association www.heart.org
“My good friend!”
~ Gerald I. Malik
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American Heart Association