Malachi House Spring 2021 Newsletter

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MALACHI HOUSE A loving home for life’s last journey

MISSION STATEMENT Malachi House, created out of a Christian sense of ministry, serves persons who are terminally ill without regard to gender, race, religion, or national origin and without cost to the resident or family. This home ministers to individuals who need an available caregiver, who have limited or no financial resources and are in need of special home care in the final stages of life. A trained staff and volunteers provide spiritual, emotional, and physical support with the assistance of a hospice team.

From: Kaki, Malachi House Co-founder For: Tom, my silent partner When I was an inexperienced, unqualified person and accepted the work of Malachi House, I went to Tommy. He was known and highly respected in the Cleveland community. Tommy gave me the blueprint to be successful with the idea of Malachi House and I did my best to execute it. Through his encouragement, support and advice he gave me the confidence to move forward. He was my silent partner. Tommy remained along-side me in those challenging 35 years, both as my mentor and through his annual financial support that was so necessary. His main focus, however, was the care of the Malachi House residents, the dying poor. We agreed it is God’s work. In his final days I was able to thank Tommy, the first Malachi House board member, and now I wish to thank those in the Malachi House family who were there in the early years and shared in the unfolding of the mission of Malachi House. I thank all of you for your continued interest and support of a mission that was dear to Tommy and is dear to me. I especially would like to thank my friend and yours, Pat McCartan who died the same blessed day as my Tom. Love always, Kaki




LETTER FROM THE CHAIRMAN AND EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Eleven months ago, we gave the Malachi House staff the troubling news that we were withdrawing the volunteers, social workers, aids and chaplains due to Covid-19. We never imagined that walking into Malachi House with a mask, face shield, gloves and temperature checks would ever feel normal-but at this point it does. Every one of our staff members picked up the pace and took on the role of so many crucial men and women who have supported us over the years. Our devoted staff had one thing in mind-the Malachi House mission to serve those in need who are terminally ill.



It is very special when we have family members visiting our residents, but it was heartbreaking to ask them to visit their loved ones through a glass door. It didn’t stop the love, laughter, tears and warmth from coming through. We did make a difficult decision to allow loved ones to visit inside, with PPE, when the resident was actively dying and witnessing this was so bitter-sweet. It takes a toll on your mind and body every day, but we highly commend our co-founder, Kaki O’Neill, board of directors and associate board for their overwhelming support to push us through. Our volunteers, hospice partners and supporters throughout the community never forgot us, sending encouraging notes and calling and lifting our spirits with a joke or two. We had an unprecedented year in terms of donations and we are truly overwhelmed by the humility, kindness and unwavering support of the community to continue our mission. We concluded the Holidays last year with a beautiful Thanksgiving Day, Lights for Life tribute and a blessed Christmas celebration for our residents through your generous donations and the unselfish efforts of the staff. This year we look towards the future with these thoughts: “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible” ~St. Francis of Assisi~

L. Joseph Lee Board Chair

Judy Ghazoul Hilow Executive Director


A FINAL RESTING PLACE FOR THE MALACHI HOUSE RESIDENTS This past fall, longtime Board Member, John Sullivan, organized the procurement of a plot at Lakeview Cemetery. On this plot we will be placing a crypt, as well as the creation of a stone, for the interment of the ashes of our residents who have passed away. We are so pleased to know that the final resting place of our residents will be within the gates of this serene and historic Cleveland landmark.


With a bit of extra planning, resident Minnie was able to celebrate her 100th birthday with staff and family this past November. A group of Minnie’s children and grandchildren gathered outside the front of Malachi House to safely wish Minnie a happy birthday through the glass door. A bittersweet celebration from afar that was made extra special with gifts and cake that had been delivered to Malachi House 36 hours previously to ensure no transfer of germs. 100 years is certainly something to celebrate... Happy Birthday, Minnie!

In the future, we will be able to join together in memory and celebration of the lives of our dear residents during an annual service as we inter those who have recently passed. Our duty to care for the Malachi House residents during their final journey will then come full circle. A special thank you to John Sullivan for his efforts on this special memorial location. We will be updating you throughout the process. PHOTOS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: JOHN SULLIVAN, JUDY GHAZOUL HILOW AND LAKEVIEW CEMETERY STAFF MEMBER DISCUSS PLANS FOR THE NEW PLOT. LOCATION OF THE MALACHI HOUSE PLOT AT LAKEVIEW CEMETERY. VIEW FROM ACROSS THE STREET OF NEW PLOT


MARGARET’S LEGACY Malachi House resident, Margaret, was extremely close with her sister, Barbara, who was previously her care taker. The two were practically inseparable but when Margaret’s health began to decline, Barbara knew it was time for some additional help - Malachi House was the solution. Margaret was a leader in the black community in Greater Cleveland, a trailblazer for gender equality and her sister’s hero; she left behind an incredible legacy. In October of 1990 Margaret founded the Greater Cleveland Chapter of The National Coalition of 100 Black Women. As part of a national 501c3 non-profit, this incredible organization advocates on behalf of black women and girls to promote leadership development and gender equality in areas of health, education, and economic empowerment. Through Margaret’s founding leadership, the Greater Cleveland Chapter celebrated its 30th anniversary this year. Margaret was also the first female president of the African American Archives Auxiliary (Quad A) at the Western Reserve Historical Society. This organization works to document and preserve African American life, history and culture in Northeast Ohio. During her final days at Malachi House, Margaret received frequent visits from her sister, Barbara, and niece. These two couldn’t say enough about the incredible life that Margaret led. Barbara even compared her to Wonder Woman. Not only was Margaret visited by family during her time at Malachi House but also had a very special visitor who drove all the way from Detroit just to tell her what an impact she had on her life. We are all honored to have been blessed with Margaret’s presence.

THE FINISHING TOUCH ON KAKI’S GARDEN You may have read about our treasured gardens at Malachi House in our 2019-2020 Annual Report. We’re glad to announce that the gardens have received one final, special touch; we’ve installed two beautiful garden plaques as a tribute to our Cofounder Kaki O’Neill. We are looking forward to the springtime to enjoy the therapeutic benefits of nature in Kaki’s Garden. Again, many thanks to Bob Rensel and the Gardeners of Greater Cleveland for all of their generosity in crafting these gardens.


BOARD SPOTLIGHT | ANTHONY RINALDI Longtime Board Member, Anthony Rinaldi, is the sole owner of Anthony Rinaldi & Company, LLC. He concentrates his practice in the areas of tax, succession and estate planning. Previously, Anthony was a tax executive with the International Management Group in the firm’s international tax department. At the time, IMG was the largest sports management firm in the world. Since moving from IMG, he founded Anthony Rinaldi & Company, LLC in 2002. He is known for his ability to make sophisticated legal issues and tax planning understandable and is highly regarded for his devotion and commitment to the diverse needs of his clients. Anthony earned his Bachelor of Science from the University of Akron and Juris Doctor from Ohio Northern University. When not finding solutions to meet his clients’ needs, he enjoys spending time with his family. He was first introduced to Malachi House in 2008 by a good friend, Joe Granzier (former Malachi House Board Chair). When Joe invited Anthony to the house for a tour, Anthony was sold. To this day he is amazed by the work of the employees and volunteers with a limited budget and personnel. When reflecting on his experiences at Malachi House, Anthony said “it really is a special place”.

WELCOME TO OUR NEW CLINICAL DIRECTOR | CAROLYN BENDER We are pleased to welcome Carolyn Bender as the new Clinical Director at Malachi House. Previously, Carolyn was a nurse at Crossroads Hospice and Palliative Care for 6 years. Carolyn has been coming to Malachi House as a Hospice Nurse to care for our residents for almost 5 years. This aided in Carolyn’s smooth transition into the role of Clinical Director. In conjunction with Crossroads Hospice, she worked for Bryant & Stratton College as an adjunct faculty member teaching clinicals for the RN students in Labor & Delivery and Gerontology. In her spare time she enjoys cooking, baking and traveling to Florida to visit 2 of her 3 children. Not to mention, her 3 furry (dogs) children that keep Carolyn very busy at home! She is excited to be a part of Malachi House and looks forward to making a difference for future years to come in this new role.

MALACHI HOUSE 2810 Clinton Avenue Cleveland, OH 44113 (p)216.621.8831 (f )216.621.8841



CO-FOUNDERS Fr. Paul Hritz (1923-2013) Catherine “Kaki” O’Neill


Malachi House, created out of a Christian sense of ministry, serves persons who are terminally ill without regard to gender, race, religion, or national origin and without cost to the resident or family. This home ministers to individuals who need an available caregiver, who have limited or no financial resources and are in need of special home care in the final stages of life. A trained staff and volunteers provide spiritual, emotional, and physical support with the assistance of a hospice team.

MALACHI HOUSE WISH LIST At this time, Malachi House is not accepting in-person donations of any kind at our doors due to COVID-19 and for the safety and security of our residents, staff, and hospice teams. However, we are still in need of our everyday items that are typically listed on our wish list. To meet these needs we are accepting gift cards or check donations by mail as well as credit card donations online or by phone.

WE ARE IN NEED OF GIFT CARDS FROM: Walmart • Target • Giant Eagle • Save-a-Lot • Home Depot • Gordon Food Service • Dave’s Market • Amazon We are also in need of and will accept Forever Stamps from USPS. QUESTIONS? Email us at

BOARD OF TRUSTEES L. Joseph Lee Chairperson John Schriner Vice-Chairperson Jeffrey D. Neuman, CPA Treasurer Donna M. Skurzak Secretary J. Brandon Walters, MD, FAAHPM Medical Director Matthew A. Becker Joseph C. Granzier Kevin M. Kelly Diane C. Kennedy Patricia F. Krewson, Esq. Ann C. Lutz Jonathan Onk Anthony Rinaldi, Esq. Shareefah Sabur John J. Sullivan Terrence V. Upchurch II ASSOCIATE BOARD David Amos Michael Kelley II Co-Chairs Patsy Coughlin, Esq. Steven Dieringer, CPA Bryan Evans, Esq. Meghan Hanrahan John P. Hausman Brian Johnson Elizabeth Kalfas Taryn Kaplan Stephanie Ristau EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Judy Ghazoul Hilow Malachi House is a 501(c)(3) Corporation

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