It is said that some 80 percent of those who die at such a high altitude on such difficult terrain must simply be left in place. But now, against long odds, Clifton Maloney's body has been successfully recovered from the 23,000 foot level of Cho Oyu, moved to Katmandu in Nepal, and is ready to be placed on a Qatar Airlines flight for the journey home to his family.
His wife of 33 years, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, has been overwhelmed by the outpouring of support from friends and strangers alike, from senior citizens groups who were grateful for Mr. Maloney's efforts to build affordable senior housing to President Barack Obama, who phoned Congresswoman Maloney at home. President Obama offered comforting words, noting that Clif had died doing something he so deeply loved. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the U.S. Department of State provided the invaluable assistance extended to all American families who lose a loved one abroad.
Former President Bill Clinton, New York State Governor David Paterson, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver all called with words of comfort and support. Senators and Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle reached out. New York City Council Speaker Quinn, New York State Senate President Pro Tem Malcolm Smith, and dozens of elected officials on the federal, state, and city level have offered their condolences. Hundreds of friends, neighbors and New Yorkers from all walks of life have expressed their heartfelt sympathies to the Maloney family.
In a gesture that Congresswoman Maloney found particularly meaningful, the Emerald Society of the Fire Department of New York -- New York's Bravest -- reached out to offer to have its bagpipers at Clif Maloney's funeral service.
Congresswoman Maloney said she was deeply grateful to all the many people who made the body's return possible, including countless individuals along the way whose names we will never know. She said: "I am so grateful to those who have helped, including the Chinese government. When you see the professionalism that is exhibited by our American public servants around the world in times of crisis, whether it be enormous in scale like 9-11, or a tragedy that affects but a single family, it makes you so proud and so profoundly grateful to be an American."
The funeral will be held next Friday, October 9th, 2009, at the Brick Church on Park Avenue between East 91st and East 92nd Streets in Manhattan.
The Maloney family will be receiving friends at the family home this Thursday, October 1st from 2:00 -4:00 pm and from 6:00 -- 8:00 pm. They will also receive friends next Wednesday, October 7th from 2:00 -- 4:00 pm and from 6:00 -- 8:00 pm.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Arrangements for Clifton Maloney, Congresswoman Maloney's husband, From Trudy Mason
Clifton Maloney was a man who enjoyed beating the odds. At the age of 50 he took up running marathons. He went on to complete twenty. He climbed five of the famous 7 Summits, the tallest peaks on the seven continents. At the age of 71, he set a record by becoming the oldest man to summit Cho Oyu, an altitude of nearly 27,000 feet. Then, after safely descending to Base Camp 2, Clifton Maloney died quietly in his sleep on September 25, 2009.