Eileen Naomi Sward Malone was born on March 13, 1927, to Elmer Sward and Thelma Densmore Sward in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, and departed this life on Oct. 15, 2023. She was 96 years old.
When she was 5 years old, her parents and two sisters, Nadine and Genevieve, packed their Model A Ford and moved to Missouri. She graduated from Rolla High School in 1945.
Eileen remembered helping to make and serve sandwiches at the USO during WWII. During that time, she played on the Rolla Girls’ Basketball team; however, they only played games with St. James and Salem due to gas and tire rationing. At the Rolla theater, she recalled selling tickets for the price of 13 cents and 4 mills.
She worked as a switchboard operator during the time when operators said, “Number, please” and “Thank you.”
Eileen was baptized in Beaver Creek at an early age by Max Copeland, and she served her Lord with joy for the rest of her life.
On Sept. 24, 1947, she married Chester Malone, and they lived in the same house until she moved to Houston in 2010. Chester preceded her in death on March 25, 1992.
Eileen retired from the United Telephone Company Business in Rolla in 1983 after 35 years. She was a member of the Independent Telephone Pioneer Association and PCRMC Auxiliary in Rolla.
Eileen was a longtime member of the Ridgeview Christian Church in Rolla and later the First Christian Church in Houston. As long as her health permitted, she attended Summersville Christian Church.
She loved volunteering at Phelps County Medical Center and Able Commission in Rolla. In Houston, she served as a Blood Mobile Volunteer.
In addition to volunteering, she loved reading, playing board games with friends and family, knitting and traveling with her family. In 1989, Eileen realized one of her life’s dreams when she visited the Holy Land.
In addition to her husband, Chester Malone, and their unborn baby boy, she was also preceded in death by her parents and her sister Genevieve Pittman, her brothers-in-law, Gell Pittman, Doan Gale, and Bill Stark, her niece Patsy Frerichs, and her nephew Earl Crome.
Surviving her are her sister, Nadine Stark; nephews Dwayne Gale and Jerry (Barbara) Stark; nieces Dana (Danny) McGuire; Beverly (Sonny) Clapper—as well as many great and great-great-nieces and nephews, the Gale family, who were loved as family; and many other family and friends.
Eileen Malone lived Philippians 4 as truly as any person has ever done. She exemplified graciousness in every way. Whatsoever things were true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, of good report, or virtuous—she thought on those things. She lived with a smile and a kind word every day of her life. Dignity, wisdom, and kindness were her rules for living; therefore, as scripture promised, she had no fear of old age. Her passing leaves an emptiness, but her memory will always bring a smile to all who loved her.
A visitation for Eileen took place from 10 am. to 11 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, at Evans Funeral Home, Houston. A funeral service followed at 11 a.m. at Evans Funeral Home. Burial will be in Ozark Memorial Gardens in Rolla, Mo. Memorial Contributions can be made to the Summersville Christian Church or the Ozarks Food Harvest. Online condolences may be left at www.evansfh.com. Arrangements entrusted to Evans Funeral Home.