PEORIA -- Jim Maloof had that spark, that zest for life, and a passion for Peoria.
President of the Peoria Area Chamber of Commerce and an employee for Maloof years ago Rob Parks said, "I still refer to him as the mayor. Then I had to stop and remind people which mayor I'm actually talking about because there's been several since Jim was mayor."
Maloof was "larger than life."
She said he was someone
that always cared and always saw the silver lining. She said, "Jim's attitude when
he was Mayor, in the years I worked for him and it was not a real good time in
Peoria at that point, he was always positive. He was always on the go, he would
call anybody, do anything, If he thought it might help the city of Peoria in
Even well into his
ninties, Maloof was actively involved with the community, his business and what
many said is his proudest accomplishment - bringing part of St. Jude's Children's
Research Hospital to Peoria.
Former Mayor and friend
Dave Ransburg said, "Well I think he touched a lot of people's lives, whether
it was politically, or selling a house, or with St. Jude's, or just in
friendship. Jim is a very positive guy."
Ransburg said he was
lucky to call Maloof a good friend.
He called him Peoria's
Cheerleader. He said, "I think we can either be dragged along by our future or
we can get involved and engaged and create our future and I think Jim was very
good at dreaming sort of the impossible dream. Whether it was with St. Jude's
or the community, 'saying in very tough times things will get better.'"
Community members said
he helped the city in every way, setting a standard for public service and
leadership. Maloof leaves behind hundreds of friends, his family, and a long
line of incredible accomplishments.
quality many remember - Maloof's passion for song.
He was known as Peoria's "singing mayor" and he could always be found greeting people with a warm smile and melody.