[From the printed program's inside pages.]
Benjamin Joseph Malcolm departed this life on May 25, 2001. He leaves behind a sterling record of public service and commitment to family and community. But greater still, he leaves a legacy of courage and determination in the face of challenge and adversity.
|Above: Image of the funeral service printed program's front cover.|
Below: The text.
|In Loving Memory|
Benjamin Joseph Malcolm
August 24, 1919 -- May 25, 2001
THURSDAY, MAY 31, 2001 -- 7:00 p.m.
PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF
190-04 119th Avenue
St. Albans, New York
REVEREND EDWARD DAVIS
ROCK CREEK CEMETERY
June 2, 2001
Ben Malcolm was born on August 24, 1919 to Edward Malcolm, Sr. and Katie Harris Malcolm. The family, with sister, Ann, and brother, Ed, Jr., soon moved from his birthplace in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Camden, South Carolina where he began his formal education in Asheville, North Carolina where he attended grade school and high school, and finally, to Atlanta, Georgia.
Ben always credited his success and achievements in life to the love and strength of his family -- to his mother who was a "stickler" for education and excellence, to his father who was steadfast as provider for the family, and to the training they gave in moral values and work ethics.
He graduated from Stephens-Lee High School in Asheville in 1935. After working a year as a bowling alley attendant to raise funds for college, he entered Morehouse College in Atlanta. He would later write, I arrived at Morehouse with $50 in my pocket, two pair Of trousers and one suit which would last me until my senior year. I was 17 years old, 5 feet tall and weighted 98 pounds.
He faced the challenge of being poor and wanting an education; of having to work one and two part-time jobs during the school year and a fulltime job over the summers; of often falling asleep from exhaustion in his 8:00 a.m. classes. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics in June, 1940.
The prospects of gainful and respectful employment for a college educated Black man in the South were not high in the 1940s. The first summer, he worked in a Post-Depression project on a farm in Connecticut with 140 other recent college graduates. In the bed next to him in their dormitory-style quarters was Floyd McKissisk, a friend from high school in Asheville and a lifelong friend who would also become one of the nation's outstanding Civil Rights leaders.
Over the next few years, Ben undertook a series of jobs from elementary school teacher in the small town of Zebulon, Georgia to a steel mill worker in Buffalo, New York. Ever seeking to improve himself, he took and passed the Civil Service exam and moved to Washington, D.C., where he worked first at the Veterans Administration and then for the War Production Board. In Washington, he met and married the former Carlotta Brewster.
In 1942, with the war effort well underway, Ben was inducted into the United States Army. After basic training at Fort Meade, Maryland, he was transferred to the Corps of Engineers at Fort Belvoir, Virginia where he studied army and combat engineering. He was then selected for Officers Candidate School from which he emerged as a Second Lieutenant.
He served as a recruit trainer, with an engineering unit stateside, and was then assigned to the European Theatre of Operations until the end of World War 11 and then to the Pacific Theatre for a total of two years overseas duty. By then, he was promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant.
|The Order of Service|
THE PRELUDE . . . Abide With Me|
THE PROCESSIONAL #345 . . . Blessed Assurance
THE PRAYER OF INVOCATION . . . Reverend Edward Davis
THE LORD'S PRAYER
HYMN #416 . . . Come Ye Disconsolate
THE PRAYER OF COMFORT . . . Reverend Edward Davis
THE SCRIPTURES . . . Old Testament, Psalm 23
New Testament, I Thessalonians 4:13-18
SOLO . . . His Eye Is On The Sparrow
THE EULOGY . . . Reverend Edward Davis
THE FINAL VIEWING
DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTION
PIPE BAND . . . Amazing Grace
HYMN #542 . . .
When We All Get To Heaven
After leaving military service, Ben settled in the Bronx, New York and worked for the State Division of Unemployment. In 1946, he took a job as a Parole Officer with the New York City Parole Commission and began what would become an outstanding career in the Criminal Justice field.
He also worked evenings and weekends as a Physical Education Teacher. He purchased real estate and for years, did all of the maintenance himself. He earned a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice from New York University. Daughters, Gail and Carol were born, and despite a grueling schedule, Ben was a devoted family man.
Ever aggressive, Ben took and passed civil service examinations which resulted in promotions to Supervising Parole Officers in 1950 and Deputy Chief Parole Officer in 1954. He would also work as Assistant Director for the New York Office of Labor Relations.
|Keeping formation, NYC Department of Correction Officers approach the bier and give salute as the Department Pipe Band plays Amazing Grace.|
In 1970, Mayor John Lindsay appointed him as First Deputy Corrections Commissioner for the Dept. of Correction.
Two years later, he became Commissioner of Correction for New York City, the first African American to hold the position. He would call the job of running one of the nation's largest and most difficult prison systems the greatest challenge of his life, yet he did so for seven years with a strong sense of justice, integrity and humanity.
In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Ben to the United States Parole Commission where he served for seven years before ending forty-four years of public service.
He opened his own agency, Parole Services of America and, until the time of his illness, ran it with the same tenacity, determination and sense of justice that had characterized his career.
Ben married the former Susan Whitaker in 1985. From childhood forward, family was always a major theme in his life and he took care to share the small joys, the accomplishments as well as the sorrows of family life.
|After the evening funeral service's conclusion, NYC Correction Officers salute and the Department Pipe Band plays a dirge as the hearse slowly departs.|
Indisputably, for the younger members of the family, his daughters, granddaughters, Dawn and Bentlee, a host of nieces and nephews, and grandnieces and grandnephews, he was "the man", the role model, the one to look up to, the one with a wise word, and encouraging proverb, a helping hand.
Likewise, for the many he encountered in his professional life, those great and ordinary, famous and infamous, those who worked with him, those who worked under him, the youth he met in the gyms of New York City who were often in crisis or at the least, at a crossroad of life-long choices, and the adults who were entangled in the criminal justice system by some fault of their own or some flaw in the system, Ben Malcolm was a friend, a fair and just man, a decent human being who sought the good in all, condemned the wrong wherever it was found, and set an example of a higher calling.