Andrew A. Molloy
Married Rosemary Boccalatte
Obituary in the Poughkeepsie Journal, August
MEMORANDUM TO THE MARIST COLLEGE COMMUNITY
It is with the deepest regret that I inform you of the death of Dr. Andrew Molloy, one of the true giants in the history of Marist College. Andrew was a son of Marist who both literally and figuratively played a major role in the building of our College. Andrew passed away Saturday, August 19, following a lengthy heart ailment. His affiliation with Marist spanned half a century as a student, professor, academic administrator, and mentor to many. He joined the Marist Brothers in 1946, and was awarded a B.A. from the College in 1951. He taught at schools in Lawrence, Massachusetts and New York City before going on to earn a Ph.D. in chemistry from Catholic University in 1961.
Andrew returned to Marist in 1960 as an assistant professor of chemistry and department chair. In 1966, he accepted a position upstate at Elmira College, where he also served as interim academic dean and dean of graduate and adult education. Andrew returned to his alma mater in 1980 to serve as academic vice president. During his five-year tenure in that position, he played a critical role in advancing the academic quality of our College and helped to chart a course for Marist that has resulted in the success we are enjoying today.
He rejoined the faculty in 1985 as professor of chemistry, and later as division chair and dean of science. Andrew excelled in all the roles he played at Marist, but took particular pride in being a teacher. In 1998, his colleagues honored him with the Trustees Distinguished Teaching Award, which is the highest honor that can be given to a professor at the College.
The Marist Brothers' motto "orare et laborare," means to pray and to work, and Andrew wasn't afraid to do both. As a Marist Brother, Andrew participated in the construction of several campus buildings including the Chapel, the former gymnasium and auditorium that is now Marian Hall, and Donnelly Hall. In 1985, after returning to teaching, he personally renovated the chemistry labs during his summer break.
Andrew's leadership in teaching at the high school and college levels played a major role in his successful application for a grant of nearly $2 million from the National Science Foundation for our landmark program "Science on the Move." Thanks to Andrew, science teachers and students throughout the Hudson River Valley received valuable support in the teaching and learning of science using the latest technology then available.
Andrew was a member of the American Chemical Society, Sigma Xi, the New York Academy of Science, the Hudson River Environmental Society, and served on the board of the Spaceship Discovery Science and Technology Center in Hyde Park.
As devoted as Andrew was to Marist College, his first priority and the love of his life was his family. He married Rosemary, also a Marist graduate, in 1966, and they had four boys, Andrew, Richard, Stephen, and Joseph. The Molloys are blessed by several grandchildren, and Andrew is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins. Andrew was known as a warm, kind, and gentle man. He had a great Irish wit, and every now and then when telling a story, he would interject a phrase with an Irish brogue. He will be remembered fondly by all who knew him, and his greatest gift to future Marist faculty and administrators will be the example of his life.
Calling hours for Andrew are from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 22, in the Marist Chapel. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated in the Chapel at noon on Wednesday, August 23, followed by burial in Saint Sylvia's Cemetery in Tivoli.
Messages of condolence may be sent to Rosemary at her home address:
1262 Turkey Hill Road Milan, NY 12571
Dennis J. Murray
Eulogy for Andrew A. Molloy August 23, 2006 By J. Richard La Pietra
Andrew Molloy left this earth from the mid-Hudson Valley where he spent so many years of his life. In the course of that life he had three families. He was born into the first, to Edythe and Sydney Ackermann, followed by his younger brother, Bill, who had scarcely arrived when the boys lost their father in death. Edythe's courageous struggle in dark economic and emotional times cannot even be imagined, but life took a better turn when she married Frank Molloy, who adopted the two boys. In his early teens Andy acquired a very large family of brothers when he joined the Marists. In that family he received the major portion of his post-elementary education and found his calling to be a teacher and mentor of the young. After more than two decades of service to his Brothers and his many students, he felt the call to found his own family and with a perfect helpmate, his beloved Rosemary, raised four sons to sterling manhood. Andrew's professional life has been as fully integrated as his personal life. His single profession has been in the field of education in three separate venues: secondary school teaching as a Marist Brother, and college teaching and administration at Marist and Elmira Colleges.
Andrew simply loved teaching. In the classroom he was dynamic and absolutely uninhibited. In the days before whiz-bang technology (those were the days when the spirit duplicator was reverenced) his classroom was whiz-bang. There was no way you would fall asleep. He made chemistry come alive, even to the nursing students at Mount Saint Mary College. At the same time he was a caring mentor spending countless hours working with students solving chemistry problems and problems of other sorts as well. He was also a "roll-up-your-sleeves-and-pitch-in" kind of a guy and generous almost to a fault. Early on he was assigned to teach Calc I. A few days before classes were to begin one of the older Brothers asked him to switch assignments and take his Calc III instead. For a chemist teaching Calc I would have been challenge enough, but taking on Calc III was like climbing a vertical wall. His kindly acquiescence cost him many, many hours of midnight oil!
Neither was Andy a stranger to hard physical work. I can picture him even now: a young, wiry, strong frame, a sweat-stained, grease-smudged T-shirt stuck to his back, lugging around a bag of tools or a load of lumber. He was a talented carpenter and jack-of-all-trades, as adept at sweating a pipe joint as pouring concrete forms. He worked to build this very chapel, as well as Donnelly Hall, and what is now Marian Hall.
To describe Andy's smile is to describe the man. It was not a bright, plastic grin, not effervescent and bubbly. It was more of a boyish smile with the slightest touch of shyness, not the shyness of withdrawal, but the kind of shyness that backs off just a little to make some space for you to come in, an inviting, warm, friendly smile. And it was genuine. He was no respecter of persons; by that I mean that whatever your station in life, Andy treated you with the same respect, courtesy, and invitation to engage. And he loved simple joys. So many times he would tell me how much he enjoyed a knock on the door and friends dropping in, making a pot of coffee and sitting around the kitchen table schmoozing. Simple joys like standing around a piano at a party singing. His strong deep voice could fire your adrenaline as he belted out "Stout Hearted Men" or his sweet tenor voice melt Irish hearts in a rendition of Danny Boy. He was equally at home in concert chorus, church choir, or playing the role of the Rabbi in "Fiddler on the Roof."
Andrew Molloy was a romantic, an idealist. Who but a romantic would stage his engagement at the von Trappe lodge in the Vermont hills. Can't you hear the sound of music as Andy slid the ring on Rosemary's finger. So many times I heard him speak of building a log cabin in the woods, an ideal that was, perhaps, conceived as a child raised in the Adirondacks. And build a log home in the woods he did. At a time when many are winding down, he was ramping up. I would sometimes imagine him, Don Quixote mounted on a fiery steed off to tilt at yet another windmill. How else conceive of a man certainly past his physical prime taking on the renovation of thousands of square feet of laboratory space in a single summer with only a student helper. How else conceive of a man undertaking the enormous Science on the Move project when so-called wiser heads counseled otherwise. At the time the application was in the final pre-approval stages the Molloys, Nolans, Sullivans, and we were celebrating anniversaries on a cruise. Andy was dragging along his lap-top, plugging in at every port of call to deal with NSF's latest quibble.
I have omitted more than I have said in attempting to express our appreciation, yours and mine, of Andrew's exemplary life. Representatives of all three of his families are here: his brother Bill, the central figure of his birth family, and Bill's family; his Marist brothers, and the family he founded with Rosemary and her family. Added to these are a host of friends and colleagues. Though you all come from different walks of his life perhaps you would agree with my conclusions. Andrew's life mirrored Marcellin Champagnat's advice to do good quietly. He was a man of deep religious conviction whose faith and hope in God was the foundation of his life. He loved his heavenly Father, and with St. Francis, he sought rather to love than to be loved. His love for Rosemary was exquisite. He loved his sons with the pride of a father and rejoiced in their families. His love extended to his brother, Bill, to his and Rosemary's families, and to all of us.
I can think of no better way to capture his spirit:
Andrew Molloy was a great man who never aspired to greatness.