Floral 08

Barbara Malek

September 13, 1938 ~ May 12, 2023 (age 84) 84 Years Old

Barbara Malek Obituary

In Loving Memory


On Friday, May 12, 2023, Barbara Malek of Youngstown, OH, sadly passed away at the age of 84.  Barbara's presence in our lives was a constant reminder of the profound impact one person can have on the lives of others.  Her boundless love, courage & genuine kindness illuminated the world around her, leaving an indelible mark on our hearts.

Born September 13, 1938, in Erie, PA, Barbara embarked on a remarkable life journey which touched the lives of many.  After graduating from high school, Barbara pursued her passion for literature.  She attended Villa Maria College in Erie, PA where she graduated cum laude with her Bachelor of Arts degree in 1965.  Barbara continued her education at the University of Pittsburgh where she earned her Master’s of Science degree from the Graduate School of Library and Information Sciences in 1967.

Shortly thereafter, Barbara was hired at New York Public Library where she worked for the Tumpkins Square Library and at the Donnell Library Center, a location famous for housing the collection of the original Winnie the Pooh dolls in the Children’s Reading Room.  The branch also had the largest New York Public Library circulating collection of materials in languages other than English.

IN 1972, Barbara made the move to Youngstown, OH where she became a reference librarian at the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County (PLYMC).  Her knowledge and expertise enabled Barbara to quickly achieve supervisory roles at the library.  For nearly 30 years, with only a brief hiatus when she moved back to Erie to care for her mother, Barbara was a dedicated & outstanding member of the PLYMC staff, able to relate to both colleagues and patrons with ease and was truly an ambassador for libraries and learning.

Barbara's fierce independence & unapologetically straightforward nature left quite an impression on everyone fortunate enough to cross her path.  She possessed a unique ability to instill a simple beauty into every aspect of her life, whether it was in tending her garden, sharing delectable homemade treats, embarking on shopping escapades or showering boundless love & compassion on the countless dogs & cats whom she rescued and cherished, over the years—her endearing, "fur babies."

“Barb”, as her closest friends called her, had a remarkable ability to deeply connect with people, share herself & evoke that very same spirit of honesty in each person she knew. Her authenticity inspired those around her to embrace their true selves and embrace life's joys and challenges with unflinching truth.

For close friends & family, our world feels an immeasurable loss in Barbara's absence, yet we consider ourselves exceptionally fortunate to have had her grace our lives.  Her memory will forever inspire us to live with the same unwavering spirit that she embodied.

Barbara was preceded in death by her mother Frances Lesinski Malek, her father Henry Malek & brother Frank Lesinski, Sr.  She’s survived by her nephew Mark Eddie and wife Cyndi Lesinski, nephew Frank Lesinski, great-nephew Kolton Lesinski and two great-nieces Rae Lesinski & Tianna Lesinski

A memorial service is planned for Tuesday, July 25 at 11AM at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown, 1105 Elm St., Youngstown, OH 44505; with a Celebration of Life gathering immediately following.

In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in memory of Barbara Malek, to The Humane Society or ASPCA, two of the many animal charities very near & dear to Barbara's heart.

To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Barbara Malek, please visit our Tree Store.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know Barbara Malek?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor Barbara's memory.


Memorial Service
July 25, 2023

11:00 AM
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Youngstown (Youngstown)


© 2024 Shriver-Allison-Courtley-Weller-King Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility