Thomas John "Tommy" Mallette was called home by his Lord and Savior on Wednesday, December 18, 2013 after a brief illness. He had recently celebrated his 85th birthday being visited by his extended family and friends, who love him and will miss him dearly, even while they celebrate his glorious life of reverence for the Lord and selfless devotion to his family.
Tom was born in Yazoo City on December 6, 1928, to Lawrence Edward and Katie Farrell Mallette. He grew up in Greenwood, hunting and playing along the banks of the Yazoo and Tallahatchie Rivers with his three beloved older brothers, Lawrence, Charlie and Billy. He kept the home fires burning while he watched his brothers all march off to serve their country in World War II, and celebrated their triumphant return. He served in the U.S. Navy himself just after the war and graduation from Greenwood High School, where he played clarinet in the band and was active in theatre. He remained an avid student and historian of WWII all his life, sharing and inspiring his family with his vast knowledge.
He graduated from the University of Mississippi and Ole Miss Law School, where he and his partner won the prestigious Moot Court competition. He was a member of Phi Delta Theta fraternity, and he met the love of his life, wife of over 61 years and mother of his four children, Cathy Johnston of Greenville, while running through the Grove.
He began his lifelong career as a respected oil and gas attorney with the Lyle Cashion Co. before establishing his own practice, and was known and loved in nearly every county seat in Mississippi. In the state where Do Ya Know is practiced religiously, Tom Mallette was an acknowledged master.
He was active in various civic organizations and community projects in and around Jackson over the years, and was one of the founding members, with the Fraziers, Guytons and others, of the Hanging Moss Swim Club in the early 1960's.
He and his wife Cathy travelled to Europe, to Hawaii and Micronesia, and points in between. And contrary to popular opinion, he actually was a fashion trend-setter, and he actually did know all there was to know about the inner workings of the internal combustion engine. His leadership and invaluable advice in these and other areas will be sorely missed.
He is survived by his wife, Cathy, and his four children, all of whom live in the Jackson area. They are Dr. Robert Mallette, his wife Mary, and their sons Drew and Dan; Jack Mallette, his children T.J., Elise and Mary Kate; Gale Purser and her daughter Amelia; and Jim Mallette, his wife Debbie, and his children Katie and Brad.
Funeral arrangements are being made by Wright and Ferguson, with visitation at St. Richard's Catholic Church at 12:30 p.m., Monday, December 23rd. A celebratory Mass of Christian burial will follow at 2 p.m., with internment at Lakewood Memorial Park following the service.
The family would like to express its deepest appreciation to Dr. Mike Beall for his many years of selfless service in the care of Tom Mallette and his entire extended family. We would also like to thank Padre Juan Chavajay for his spiritual care, and for giving Tom his Last Rites and final Holy Communion.
There are many ways to measure the life of a man. In the ways that count the most, devotion to God, his family and friends, Tom Mallette was an unparalleled success.
Above all, he was a Good Man. And while we grieve, it is for ourselves that we grieve. Tom is with his parents and brothers. He is with Artie Shaw, and Benny Goodman, and Woody Herman and his Thundering Herd, blowing eights to the bar, swinging and jitterbugging till the band stops playing. And if he has any say in the matter, it never will!!!