Father, businessman, humanitarian. Born June 14, 1951, in Toronto. Died May 14, 2011, in Toronto of prostate cancer, aged 59.
On June 14, 1951, Howard Malach was born in Toronto, sharing the same birthday as his father, Morris. At dawn on May 14, 2011, Howard peacefully passed away with his family at his bedside – the exact date his father had died.
This remarkable fact of Howard’s life and death was the perfect bookend for a man who believed deeply in the magic of synchronicity. But Howard was by no means just a daydreaming philosopher. He was also a sensitive father, clever businessman and active community leader.
One of two children of Morris and Anita Malach, Howard grew up in Toronto with his younger brother, Stephen. Howard’s ability to inspire people was evident from his days as student council vice-president at his high school, William Lyon Mackenzie C.I. When Howard would walk through the halls, heads would turn. But the attention never got to his head. Once, when he was complimented on his looks, Howard said, “I can only control how I act, not how I look,” a testament to his preference for the profound over the superficial.
Howard continued his education at the University of Western Ontario, studying philosophy. His quest to find a deeper meaning led him to India, where his encounters with extreme poverty taught him the value of gratitude and generosity, as well as the power of karma.
Loyalty to his loved ones brought Howard back to Canada. At the wedding of his best friend David, Howard was reconnected with Frances Gelbard, whom he had known in high school. When Fran saw his outrageous beard, she exclaimed to a friend at her table, “What is that?!” She would repeat the same sentiment many times over their 36 years of marriage.
Both fiercely independent, they shared a deep mutual respect and a passion for adventure. There was one subject they did agree on: that they would raise their three children, Lauren, Sabrina and Evan, in a loving home, nurturing each of them to their fullest potential.
While juggling family life with running a heavy-equipment parts business, Howard always found time to contribute to volunteer projects. He helped found the Out of the Cold program at his synagogue, Temple Har Zion, leading a team of volunteers that distributed clothing to the homeless.
The most daunting challenge of Howard’s life came when his health was threatened. He fought prostate cancer for 10 years with alternative methods before the disease advanced to his bones. But even on his toughest days, Howard maintained a positive attitude. “It’s a tapestry of love,” he said from his sickbed, reflecting on the connectedness of family, community and life itself.
This tapestry of love is Howard’s legacy.
By Evan Malach, Howard’s son.Report Typo/Error
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