Businessman dies at 41 after fall from firm's roof

July 21, 1993|By Amy L. Miller | Amy L. Miller,Staff Writer

An Eldersburg businessman died at the Northwest Hospital Center in Randallstown Monday night after he fell nearly 20 feet while attempting to repair the roof of his Liberty Road warehouse.

Michael Gerard Malstrom was caulking a leak at Corvette Specialties, a Corvette parts, service and restoration business, when he slipped about 6:45 p.m. He had been a partner in the business since 1989.

Mr. Malstrom, whom friends described as devoted to his wife, Carolyn, had celebrated his 41st birthday Saturday. He also was president of M.G.M. Electric Co., an electrical contracting firm.

Mr. Malstrom was pronounced dead about 8 p.m. at the hospital, where he was taken by the Sykesville Fire Company medic unit.

"Although they did work on the patient when he was brought in, he was basically dead on arrival," Lee Kennedy, a Northwest Hospital spokesman, said yesterday.

An autopsy showed that Mr. Malstrom died of internal, head and back injuries, said Dr. James Locke of the state medical examiner's office. Dr. Locke said he found no sign of a heart attack or other ailment.

State police classified the incident as an accident, said Tfc. Matt Jones of the state police barracks in Westminster.

"When I talked with his wife, she said he was in excellent physical shape," Trooper Jones said.

Yesterday, friends remembered Mr. Malstrom as a quiet, private man who was generous with the circle of people who knew him.

"He was very unselfish, giving and a special kind of man," said Brian Tilles, Mr. Malstrom's partner and owner of Corvette Specialties for 17 years. "He touched a lot of people and was very loved."

The two had just incorporated Specialty Motors, a business to sell the Corvettes they restored, Mr. Tilles said.

A 1970 graduate of Calvert Hall College in Towson, Mr. Malstrom was described as a man driven to make his dreams a reality.

"He was constantly working on a new project, inventing new projects and designs and making them come to fruition," Mr. Tilles said. "He would get up at 4:30 in the morning to start his day and work until 6 or 6:30 at night.

"He was a driving force, and made people work harder and try harder by his vision."

Frank Clary, Calvert Hall's treasurer and a friend of Mr. Malstrom's father, said the former student was a hard worker and very supportive of his alma mater.

"He had done some [electrical] projects at the school for us and did a tremendous job," Mr. Clary said. "He always attended the bull roasts and such and bought three, four or five tables for his family, employees and friends."

Mr. Malstrom's work, restoring and working with the Corvettes he loved, was his pleasure, Mr. Tilles said. His appreciation of the sports car is what brought Mr. Malstrom and Mr. Tilles together about six years ago.

"He had acquired a Corvette and called me looking for some parts," Mr. Tilles said. "He had a great fondness for Corvettes, restoring them and repairing them. He enjoyed being around them."

But nothing meant as much to Mr. Malstrom as his wife of eight years, Carolyn Joyce Malstrom, Mr. Tilles said.

"I never knew a man to adore his wife like he did," he said. "He might be having a bad day, but when he'd hear her voice on the telephone, his voice would change and there'd be a big smile on his face.

"They were like what love is all about."

In addition to his wife, Mr. Malstrom is survived by a daughter, Christine Lynn Beach-Rybikowsky of Westminster and his parents, Geri and William Joseph Malstrom Jr. of Parkville.

He also is survived by eight brothers and sisters: Bill Malstrom III and Paul Malstrom, both of Phoenix; Barbara Rodgers, Tim Malstrom, David Malstrom and Carol Malstrom, all of Parkville; Chris Malstrom of Edgewood; and Tom Malstrom of Towson.

Friends may call at the Haight Funeral Home in Sykesville from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. today and tomorrow.

The funeral liturgy will be at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church on Liberty Road in Eldersburg.

* Interment will be private.

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