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William Michael Maloof
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Obituary for William Michael Maloof

Maloof, William Michael, Sr. (Mike)

Atlanta attorney Mike Maloof, 72, known for his gruff exterior, deep intelligence and soft heart, passed away March 3, 2018 from metastatic melanoma. His family was by his side at Emory University Hospital at the time of his death.

Mike, raised in Atlanta, was born in St. Helens, England to Manuel and Dolly Maloof, and came to the United States via Ellis Island when he was six months old. He attended St. Pius X high school, where he played football for four years and made friendships that lasted his lifetime. He was proud of having been named, during his senior year, as best team lineman and for receiving honorable mention as state left tackle. He attended the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Management. A lifelong loyal Tech fan, he never got over the traditional rivalry that he referred to as old-fashioned hatred of UGA. He also attended Emory Law School where he obtained a Doctorate of Jurisprudence.

Mike began practicing law in 1972 with the law firm of Moulton, Carriere, Cavan and Maloof. From 1972 to 1980, while a partner with the law firm, he worked as a deputy coroner in DeKalb County. Being the son of Manuel Maloof, the legendary barkeep turned Dekalb County Chief Executive Officer and Commission Chairman, gave Mike a kitchen-table understanding of government, politics and the legal system. Mike’s own lifetime love of the law and passionate defense of the U.S. Constitution provided him with extraordinary friendships, proud moments and colorful stores that stoked his skills as a raconteur. In 1983, he became a sole practitioner specializing in criminal defense and personal injury. His belief that every defendant deserved legal representation earned him a reputation for taking on tough cases, and he never wavered from his duty. As an attorney, he was proud for being known for his unusual degree of principle and compassion. As a friend, he was known for cutting through trivia and providing unflinching advice. When Atlanta Magazine began its Super Lawyer nominations, Mike was nominated 14 times during the first 15 years of the acclamation. He also was named as one of Georgia's Legal Elite by Georgia Trend magazine. Mike inspired both of his children to follow their father into the law profession. Until his death, he practiced law with his son, Michael Jr., at The Maloof Law Firm. His daughter, Tatum, is a paralegal practicing in Decatur.

Outside of the office and courtroom, Mike’s personal life was busy and fulfilling. A Life Member of Druid Hills Golf Club, he could be found spending happy, intense hours on the golf course and in the men’s grill, debating—sometimes loudly, and usually with a lot of gesturing—current events. He loved the camaraderie among his golf club friends. At home, Mike loved his dogs and was an avid gardener, always happy working in the yard and gardens. Every July, his friends started lining up for gifts of his tomatoes. He also enjoyed playing bridge and was happy to return to the game after a long hiatus. Most of all, Mike loved his family and was completely supportive of anything that brought them happiness. For him, the end of a perfect day consisted of a glass of wine by the backyard pond with his wife, Sally, and his beloved Australian Shepherd, Simon, at his feet. He enjoyed traveling with Sally and their dear friends, Drew and Gail Davidson. New York, the Caribbean and Europe were just a few of the destinations they enjoyed.

Mike leaves behind Sally Maloof, his wife of 42 years; two children, William Michael Maloof, Jr. and Ellen Tatum Maloof; and his Australian Shepherd, Simon. He also is survived by four brothers, Johnny (Jan), Jerry (Maura), David and Brian (Margie) Maloof, and one sister, Christine Kempton (Owen), Brother in Law, Ned Daniel (Beth) and Goddaughters Amanda Linn and Laurie Davidson, along with many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be held at AS Turner Funeral Home, March 15, 2018, from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. A memorial service will be held at St. John Chrysostom Melkite Catholic Church on March 16, 2018, at 2 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the DeKalb Humane Society, American Cancer Society or a charity of choice.

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