E. Patrick Moloney, teacher, dies

Archbishop Curley High teacher was also a Civil War buff and an expert on the Battle of Gettysburg

March 09, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

E. Patrick Moloney, a banker turned educator who passed on to generations of Archbishop Curley High School students his enthusiasm and passion for American and Maryland history, died Saturday of congestive heart failure at Stella Maris Hospice in Timonium.

The longtime Northeast Baltimore resident was 79.

Mr. Moloney, the son of a Baltimore police officer and a homemaker, was born Edward Patrick Moloney in Baltimore and raised in the city's Bel Air-Edison neighborhood.

"He never used his first name," said his wife of 33 years, the former Rose Dagostaro.

He was a 1949 graduate of the old Charlotte Hall High School in Southern Maryland and was drafted into the Army in 1951.

He served in Japan during the Korean War and was discharged with the rank of sergeant in 1954.

He worked as a bank teller at Union Trust Co. while studying on the G.I. Bill of Rights at Loyola College, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1962. In 1976, he earned a master's degree from Morgan State University.

Mr. Moloney joined the Curley faculty in 1962 and, in addition to his duties teaching, later served as chairman of the history department and as school disciplinarian.

Mark J. Potter, who graduated from Curley and later taught there and was a member of the administration, is executive director of the Basilica of the Assumption Historic Trust Inc.

"I became a history teacher because of him, and he was a great Irish storyteller," said Mr. Potter. "He was a phenomenal teacher, and he simply brought history alive. One of his main courses was the history of Maryland."

The Rev. Joseph Benicewicz, who is president of Curley and was a member of the school's Class of 1978, has headed the school since last year.

"As a teacher, I have a real fondness for the history of Maryland, and that's because of him. He always made the subject matter exciting, and it made you want to learn more about it. He was able to instill in his students the desire to always want to learn more," he said. "He was a very effective teacher."

Father Benicewicz said the Marylander of the Week, Quote of the Week, and Monument of the Week were regular weekly class assignments that were designed to make students do extra research.

"In the history of Archbishop Curley High School, he was a very respected and revered person," he said. "He had a great love for the school and was a very dedicated man."

"He was a great influence on my career," recalled Charles R. "Bob" Mullauer, who graduated from Curley in 1969 and taught history there from 1986 to 1996. "He just didn't teach history; he taught about life, character and knowing right from wrong. He was much more than a history teacher."

He described Mr. Moloney as being a "tough and no-nonsense guy" who "certainly prepared me for the Marine Corps. He was tough but fair."

"He was a stern disciplinarian, but me, being the nerd that I was, I never really saw that side of him," said Mr. Potter.

"But he did have a quick wit. I remember when we were on a northern Baltimore County retreat and five guys went AWOL. They went to a farm and rode horses and did other stuff," said Mr. Potter. "When he heard about it, he got on the school loudspeaker and said, 'Will the five cowboys come to my office immediately,' and then proceeded to name them one by one."

"Yes, he was a strong disciplinarian and kept things running smoothly," said Father Benicewicz.

Mr. Moloney, who enjoyed collecting stamps and coins, was also the sponsor of the school's coin and stamp club.

Even though he retired in 1996, he remained a presence on the Northeast Baltimore school's campus. He volunteered in the Curley alumni office and at the annual Curley Gala.

In recognition of his long service to the school, the annual history award that is presented to a graduating student with the highest average was renamed the E. Patrick Moloney Award.

When he was off from school during the summer months, Mr. Moloney worked as a teller at Irvington Federal Savings & Loan Association.

Mr. Moloney had an extensive library devoted to Maryland history and the Civil War. He also visited sites and battlefields associated with the Civil War and collected artifacts from the conflict.

"He was very knowledgeable where Maryland units were located during various battles and was a walking encyclopedia of specific unit details," his wife said.

Mr. Moloney enjoyed taking visitors to Gettysburg, where he conducted a highly detailed battlefield tour.

"I was there with him one summer's day when it must have been 100 degrees. He stopped at every monument and would talk about it," recalled Mr. Potter.

"When he was talking, people would stop listening to the park guide and listen to him," Mrs. Moloney said.

Mr. Moloney also liked visiting Calvert Cliffs, where he enjoyed searching for prehistoric shark teeth. He also collected military patches.

He was a communicant of St. Isaac Jogues Roman Catholic Church, 9400 Old Harford Road, Carney, where a Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 8:45 a.m. Thursday.

In addition to his wife, Mr. Moloney is survived by two sons, Michael J. Moloney of Catonsville and Thomas Moloney of Ellicott City; a daughter, Patricia Ann Moloney-Harmon of Bolton Hill; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren. An earlier marriage ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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