John Timothy O'Malley May 11, 1955-November 8, 2020
Crown Point--John O'Malley, 65, passed away unexpectedly on November 8. He was the eldest son of the late John and Helen O'Malley.
Born in Worcester, Massachusetts, he and his family moved to Omaha, NE before finally moving to South Bend, IN. He was a 1973 graduate of Mishawaka Marian High School and a graduate of Indiana University (South Bend); he received his master’s degree in Sports Administration and Journalism from The Ohio State University.
Always fascinated with the newspaper industry, John and his brother Bob delivered the Worcester Telegram and Gazette around their neighborhood when they were young kids. He would read the daily paper from front to back, focusing on the sports section, especially his beloved Boston Red Sox and Nebraska Cornhuskers, while dreaming of someday writing stories himself.
His love of journalism and sports paved his path to a successful career as a reporter for the Hammond Times, where he was the beat writer for the Chicago Bulls during their dynasty in the '90's. Typical days at work for John included interviewing Michael Jordan in the locker room post-game at the United Center as well as sitting in the Notre Dame Press Box covering Fighting Irish football, especially during the Lou Holtz era. For years he and his laptop had a front seat on Press Row at his favorite basketball arenas, Notre Dame's Athletic and Convocation Center and IU's Assembly Hall. His column was a popular one in Northwest Indiana because John was respectfully tenacious in getting coaches and athletes to return his calls so that the accurate facts could be reported. His attention to detail was unparalleled.
South Bend Tribune writer, Eric Hansen, John's colleague and friend, states, "There are a lot of journalists that get intimidated by the big names. John was so engaging and real that it was refreshing. He put the big-time people at ease. He was incredibly disarming."
During his tenure, he won the Indiana Writers' Guild on more than one occasion.
One of his articles was featured on the ESPN Docuseries, The Last Dance this past spring.
Since 2008, O'Malley's byline could be found in the Post Tribune, where he got as much joy interviewing the high school athletes in Lake County as he did the professional and college stars of the earlier days. He spent the latter part of his career covering and thoroughly enjoying girls' cross country, tennis, and basketball.
No story was too big or too small. His favorite athlete of all time, however, was his daughter Ashley, a basketball player at IU Northwest.
The best stories John told were of his family. Nothing made him happier or prouder than being with his closely-knit family and sharing all their special times together. John was a devoted father and husband; his children were his world. He would never miss a moment or important event in their lives. John was also important and precious to them, as they all agree he was the “Number 1 Dad!” He loved his kids more than anything; his “Jus”, “Courty Court”, “Bryzie”, and ”Ash”. They were his heart and he will forever live in theirs.
He is survived by his wife and best friend of 35 years, Sherrie (Gregg); their three adult children, Justin (Helen), Courtney (Doug), and Ashley, and his baby grandson, Luke. He was predeceased by his loving son, Bryant in 2017.
He also leaves behind six younger siblings, with whom he enjoyed having long phone conversations: Bob (Michelle); Phil; Steve (Suzanne); Chris (Alison); Mary; Tim (Christine), eleven nieces and nephews, and countless cousins.
The family would like to thank Dr. Daniel Smith and Dr. Wail Asfour for their unfailing care and concern for John.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. C.S.T. Saturday, November 14, 2020, at Memory Lane Memorial Park & Funeral Home, 6305 W. Lincoln Highway, Crown Point, Indiana 46307. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. C.S.T. prior to the service. Burial will follow at Memory Lane Memorial Park.
Due to Covid-19, all attendees will be required to wear a mask.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to, Indiana University Northwest Athletic Department, C/O Ryan Shelton, Savannah Hall, 3400 Broadway, Gary, Indiana 46408.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Frank L. Keszei Funeral Home, Essling Chapel.
Please share prayers, condolences, and memories with the family at Essling Funeral Home.com.