East Berlin, Conn. —He loved to fish and went whenever he could, but Bob Malloy never made his state team or won a major tournament.
While he watched others in his state succeed in tournaments, Malloy worked diligently behind the scenes to make sure his fellow anglers had the opportunity to flourish in the Connecticut B.A.S.S. Federation Nation.
Now, Connecticut is mourning the loss of its selfless leader. Malloy died of cancer July 9 at the age of 51.
"He didn't have any great accomplishment in fishing, but his big accomplishments were what he did as the Connecticut Federation Nation president," said Al Guite, Connecticut Federation Nation tournament director. "If it wasn't for him, I don't know who would have stepped in and kept it together after the BASS split."
His fellow anglers honored Malloy's efforts last year during the B.A.S.S. Federation Nation Eastern Divisional.
Knowing Malloy was fighting cancer, the Connecticut state team members decided to dedicate the tournament to their president. The 12-man team made Malloy proud by handily winning the event, and team member Abe Kalechman finished as the overall champion.
"[Malloy] is a really nice guy and does a great deal for our Federation in getting sponsors and contacting people and doing all the little things for us that he should delegate to others," said team spokesman Jose Soler after the divisional.
Malloy, who was employed at the Interstate Ford Truck Center in Hartford, leaves behind his children, Kelly, Katie and Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan Malloy; his mother, Sylvia; his friend, Carol Malloy; two brothers and a sister-in-law; a sister; and several nieces and nephews.
Terry Baksay, Connecticut's youth director, knew Malloy could always be counted on to help the Junior Bassmasters in his state. "Bob wanted to know about everything that was going on in the Federation Nation," recalled Baksay. "He was a great organizer, and the Federation Nation ran very smoothly with him in charge. He was an extremely hands-on person. If I had a CastingKids event somewhere, he would show up at it and was always there to volunteer. Even if he lived over on the other end of the state, he would still try to be there as much as possible. I don't know anybody who didn't like him."
When Jack Vinyard was the only state officer left after the Federation split, Guite helped Vinyard run one state meeting. Malloy then stepped in as president with Paul Carter joining as vice president.
"Bob was an incredible individual," said Carter. "He did an outstanding job of getting the Federation back on its feet. He had the knowledge and the insight on how to handle a lot of things with sponsors and so forth."
Malloy met Guite about 18 years ago when he joined Guite's club, the Silver City Bassmasters. "He was set in his ways, he was very organized and he had a lot of common sense," recalled Guite. "He aimed to please everybody."
As president of the Silver City Bassmasters for the past 10 years, Malloy also made an impact on his club. "Our club is outstanding," claimed Guite. "We do trips together, everybody tows the line and knows the rules and everybody communicates well with each other. Bob certainly was a big part of that, too."
During his final days, Malloy still devoted as much time as he could to his Federation Nation. He held an executive board meeting at his house and attended the June state chapter meeting the next week. "He didn't miss very often," said Guite. "It shows what kind of character he had. We know he didn't feel good; we could see it in him."
The ailing president even made an appearance at a Connecticut Federation Nation tournament during June. "He didn't make it through the whole weigh-in," recalled Guite. "He got really tired and ended up leaving, but I was very surprised to see him there at all."
The Connecticut Federation Nation lost a valuable leader with the death of Bob Malloy, but Guite and his fellow club members also lost a good fishing buddy.
"He was a fun guy to be around and is going to be dearly missed," said Guite. "He analyzed everything maybe too much — especially fishing. He was so into fishing."
ED — In lieu of flowers, Malloy's family requested donations be made to the Connecticut B.A.S.S. Federation Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 321, Kensington, CT 06037.
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