National Nurses United

National Nurse magazine July-August-September 2021

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22 N A T I O N A L N U R S E W W W . N A T I O N A L N U R S E S U N I T E D . O R G J U LY | A U G U S T | S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 1 In Memoriam Honoring our NNU RN members who've fallen on the front lines of Covid-19 S ince the pandemic began, National Nurses United has been tracking the nationwide deaths of registered nurses and other health care workers because our federal, state, and local gov- ernments—and our employers—weren't doing so. We are grieved to report that, as of press time, we have recorded 432 RN deaths, 24 of whom have been NNU members. We will continue to write obituaries honoring our members and continue to fight for the day when there are no new names to report. Dan Malone, RN when dan malone visited Birna Bjornsson's house for cheese- and-cracker nights, his entrance was greeted with joyous pandemonium. "Before he would come in, my daughter would say, 'Dan's here!! Dan, Dan!!!'," said Bjornsson, an RN and friend. "My dog would just go ballistic in circles, barking, barking, like he was celebrating—Yay, Dan is here!" According to friends and family, Malone loved a grand entrance. "When he walked into a room, you knew he walked into the room," recalled his sister, Dawn Malone. "He liked to be the center of atten- tion, but at the same time he was very caring and lovable." "He was very dramatic," said Annelle Mitchell, the youngest of the Malone children. He loved chunky turquoise jewelry and danc- ing. "Drama, drama, drama. He took it to a different level, he put the icing on the cake no matter what it was. He was definitely the life of the party." Dan Christopher Malone was born in Oak Park, Ill. on Jan. 19, 1964. His parents, Janice and Terrance Malone, raised six children: Steven, Michael, Terry Jo, Dan, Dawn, and Annelle. "He was a good child, we were very close," said his mother, Janice Malone, but added he had a devilish streak. "Some days when he was younger, I would sell him for a nickel, but most days I would keep him." Malone liked to provoke his mother for a reaction. "I would be doing dishes at a sink, and he would come up behind me, and clap, and he could clap so loud! It would just startle me." "He would tease me about how I wasn't planned," laughed Mit- chell. "He said I was the surprise child that my parents didn't want." But as adults, the three sisters and Malone grew very close. "We always called him our sister," said Mitchell. During his last year in high school, Malone worked as a waiter, a job that grew into a career. He earned the respect of his employer and was asked to move to Boston and then Miami to help open res- taurants. It was a job that filled his desire for travel. "He loved traveling," said Dawn Malone. "He wasn't afraid to be by himself. For his 50th birthday, he went to France by himself. He could make friends wherever he went, it didn't bother him to go off and start another adventure in another town." After high school, Malone earned his cosmetology license. He worked in salons and amassed dozens of longtime customers whose hair he was still styling after he became a nurse and had left Illinois. "He would come back every five or six weeks to do his clients," said Mitchell. "They were loyal customers for 20-plus years. He just knew how to treat people and knew what they wanted." It was at a salon where he met a nurse and thought to explore the medical field. "Originally he had gone to be a phlebotomist, but then he decided he wanted more," recalled sister Terry Jo Cunningham. Malone graduated from Robert Morris College in 2013 with his nursing degree. "He went all over the country as a travel nurse," said Bjornsson, who met Malone at Desert Regional Hospital in Palm Springs. "When he came to Palm Springs, he decided that this is where he wanted to live. He wanted someplace warm." Bjornsson said Malone was a great nurse, who took his job seriously. "He would spend time with his patients and share stories," said Bjornsson. "He was always into other people and where they were from." Bjornsson said she and Malone would text or call each other sev- eral times a day. "If I didn't text right back, he would text: HELLO???," laughed Bjornsson. "Sometimes I would say, 'Dan, I am not your girlfriend.'" Bjornsson said her daughter, Makayla, couldn't get enough of Malone. When he would leave their home, she would climb into his car and refuse to get out. A chase would inevitably ensue until Malone would eventually grab her, hold her and say, "My meshu- gana" and laugh. Dan Malone, RN (front) with siblings

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