Michael Christopher Malinowski died on December 3, 2019, after responding to a call for downed wires and trees the previous evening. Following the call, he reported to officers that he was feeling ill. At work the next morning, he had tightness in his chest and was taken to the hospital, where he died.
Mike was a 1997 graduate of Gloucester City Junior-Senior High School, where he played football, baseball, and ran track. In his teenage years, he began volunteering with the Gloucester City Fire Department, Pine Grove Station 52 and 54, and ended his tour as a captain in 2015.
Gloucester City Battalion Chief Pat Hagan said, “Michael was a dedicated volunteer firefighter for Gloucester City for 19 years. He gave his all to serving the residents of our community and our fire department.”
Mike became captain of the Morton-Rutledge Fire Company, Station 13, in 2019 and was on the board of directors. He did training and fundraising for the department, including horseshoe tournaments, spaghetti dinners, and an Aunt Mary Pat benefit. He loved the department more than anything else and would do anything for anyone who needed it. He enjoyed carpentry and helped fix up the crew room and the firefighter memorial at the fire company.
He was handy at home. He built chairs and a table for his patio and was always working on a project. Mike loved to cook and barbecue. He would cook for the crew and for his family, and for the last two summers he donated his time and grilling skills to the Knowlton Swim Club to raise money for the swim team. At Christmas, he enjoyed accompanying Santa around boroughs of Morton and Rutledge to visit the residents.
Mike was a Disney, Star Wars, and Marvel fanatic. He had seen every Marvel movie. His favorite character was the Punisher. Mike and his wife, Melissa, were married in 2015, then had a ceremony at Canada in EPCOT and a honeymoon at Disney World in April 2017.
Morton-Rutledge Fire Chief Don Holstein said, “You’d walk in and he was the guy who was always there. He was all about helping others, either in community or helping friends. If you needed someone to help you move, he was there, an outstanding individual. There wasn’t anything you asked that he wouldn’t get done.”
He is survived by his wife, Melissa, and his five children, Bailey, Michael Jr., Matthew, Cooper, and Harper.
He was a dedicated fireman, always willing to lend a hand to friends, the fire department, and members of the community.