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June 24, 2010

Marjorie Malone, wife of former ULM football coach, dies at 96

Marjorie Malone, a longtime supporter of the University of Louisiana at Monroe and widow of football coach James L. "Jim" Malone, died Sunday in Dallas. She was 96.

Marjorie Malone met her husband while they were students at Louisiana State University. When he graduated and took the coaching position in Monroe, the couple maintained a long-distance relationship. Because of her relationship with the coach, the football players elected her homecoming queen in 1935, the first ever at the university.

Malone married her husband on Thanksgiving Day 1937 in her hometown of Pollock and became an instrumental part of the university legacy left behind by her husband, who coached the Indians to their first Junior College National Championship in 1935 and again in 1937. He was at the school from 1934 to 1953. The ULM football stadium bears his name.

Even though her husband dies in 1979, Marjorie Malone continued to support the university through all endeavorsand remained close friends with "Jim's Boys," the men who played football for her husband.

"First lady Deborah and I were fortunate to have the opportunity to get to know Mrs. Malone through her long-standing support of ULM and her vital presence at so many university functions," ULM President James E. Cofer Sr., said. "We were saddened to hear of her death, and can only hope that her family finds comfort in knowing that she and her husband left an indelible mark on this institution. Their presence is everywhere."

Oland Silk, a former writer for The News-Star, played football for the college in the late '40s. He remembers Marjorie Malone fondly.

"She was an icon along with her husband at the university for many years," Silk said. "She never walked away from the university when she moved to Dallas. She continued to support them and follow activities and she finally accepted the notion that Indians should be replaced by Warhawks."

After her husband's passing, Malone eventually moved to Dallas to be near her daughter, Boofie. Despite living in another state, she traveled back to Monroe for reunions with football players and other notable events hosted at the university.

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