LIBERTY — Dr. Max Abraham Malkoff, DMD, 82, beloved husband, father, stepfather, grandfather and owner of more than 1,500 colorful neckties, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, after a long battle with congestive heart failure and amyloidosis.
A dentist with an adventurous side, he lived in a house of wildly colorful artwork and led a life that matched those bright paint strokes that surrounded his Ohio family.
Dr. Malkoff ran a dental practice for 48 years in downtown Youngstown, and later in Liberty, where he lived with his wife of 40 years, Susan Diana Malkoff, LISW. Throughout his career, his practice treated the underserved and vulnerable populations of the Youngstown area.
Dr. Malkoff was born April 3, 1940, in Youngstown, where he lived with his mother, father and older sister. He also lived for a short time in the Buffalo, N.Y., and Philadelphia metro areas.
While attending The University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, Max married his first wife, Barbara Plant, on Saturday, July 22, 1961. The family moved back to Ohio and lived in Liberty on Arbor Circle with their children Amy, Pamela and David.
When Dr. Malkoff was 41 years old, he married his wife, Susan, at Congregation Rodef Sholom (now known as Ohev Beth Sholom) on Friday, Dec. 18, 1981. They built a happy life together on Sampson Drive in Liberty Township for the remainder of his days.
Max and Sue traveled the world together and threw lavish parties and Thanksgiving celebrations that filled the house with laughter and music. Their home was decorated with eclectic works of art they collected from around the country and across the globe. “I’ve learned so much from her,” Malkoff said of his wife, “Sue and I agree, or have grown to agree, on the extreme importance of family in history. This is what we talk about quite often.”
Dr. Malkoff was appointed president of the Youngstown chapter of The Alpha Omega International Dental Society. Founded in 1907, AO is the oldest international dental organization and the oldest international Jewish medical organization.
“I love being Jewish. There is nothing I found more fun in my life than being ethnically Jewish,” Dr. Malkoff said in an interview recorded last year.
Max considered himself one of the most active people at Congregation Rodef Sholom. He once served as the leader of the youth group and president of the brotherhood. Dr. Malkoff helped to coordinate multiple annual fundraisers and organize the annual temple Hanukkah party. He remembers the Hanukkah events fondly, but the oil from the latke potato pancakes would always ruin his shoes.
An avid scuba diver and one-time scoutmaster with Boy Scouts of America, Dr. Malkoff enjoyed athletic adventures all over the world. “Life is a strange thing. I think I’ve just been so much luckier than the average person,” Dr. Malkoff recalled in the interview. “I have more exciting experiences, and I’ve had way more than the average person. I mean, helicopters and parachuting and skydiving and all kinds of crazy things that I’ve done.” He enjoyed sharing these outings with his kids and passed on a sense of fun and fearlessness that continues today.
Twice, Malkoff joined the longest-running cycling event in America, the annual Tour of the Scioto River Valley, riding his bicycle over 200 miles from just south of Columbus to the Ohio River on the Ohio / Kentucky border and back.
When asked about his own mortality, Dr. Malkoff paused for a moment and said: “I don’t fear death. I wonder about it and anticipate it. I think that there’s nothing after death. That’s it, it just goes on to the next generation. But I don’t have any fear of it. I wonder about transferring the good that we’ve learned. Have we done that? Have we transferred the good that we’ve learned to the next generation? I hope I have. I think I have.”
In addition to his wife, Susan, Max is survived by his children, Amy Malkoff of Marblehead, Mass., Pamela Malkoff, LMFT, ATR-BC, of Atlanta (Dr. Gregory Grossman), David Malkoff of Atlanta (Nathalie Malkoff), Keith Rubenstein of Lake Forest, Ill. (Susan Rubenstein) and Kim Rubenstein, M.A., Psy.D., of Highland Park, Ill. (Tom Lundin); and his beloved neighbor, Sean Donchatz of Youngstown. He also leaves eight grandchildren and stepgrandchildren, Sawyer, Cydney, Varona, Drexel, Lucy, Sydney, Ella and Zack.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Sam E. and Heny Kline Malkoff; and his sister, Jessie Tobey Hackes.
Services will be 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 3, 2022, at Rodef Sholom Cemetery Chapel, 2200 Belmont Ave., Youngstown, OH 44505.
Max would like you to obey the 25 mph speed limit and stop signs on Sampson Drive.
Donations in Max’s memory may be made to American Heart Association, www.heart.org, or Amyloidosis Foundation, www.amyloidosis.org.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Shriver-Allison-Courtley-Weller-King Funeral Home. Friends and family may view this obituary and share memories and condolences at www.shriverallisoncourtleyfuneralhome.com.