By Hannah Dunbar
Jerry Mallett is a name known by many at The University of Findlay, especially those closely associated with the Mazza Museum.
Mallett founded the Mazza Museum. He worked in the field of education for his entire life, recently serving as the curator for the Mazza Museum.
Mallett passed away on July 19.
“I am saddened that he is no longer with us in the world of literature and art as well as this University community,” said Benjamin Sapp, director of the Mazza Museum and instructor in the college of education.
According to mazzamuseum.org, the gallery is the largest museum of original artwork by children’s book illustrators in the world. The museum’s goal is to promote literacy and enrich the lives of all people through the art of children’s literature. And according to Sapp, Mallett went above and beyond to reach that goal.
“He created a museum in 1982 and at the time, the goal was to acquire at least one work of art per year and he would be proud of that,” said Sapp. “But he was a person where that wasn’t good enough, and that’s why today we have over 10,000 pieces of art from places all over the world.”
In addition to Mallett’s expertise in children’s literacy, he served as an educator and mentor as well. Before working at The University of Findlay, Mallett was a junior high school teacher and elementary principal. Mallett made the decision to become an Oiler in 1968 when he accepted a job as an assistant professor of education.
Alum of The University of Findlay, Sapp had Mallett as a professor as well as an adviser. Sapp said he can still remember stories Mallett told him in 1990.
“The first class I took with him met on Tuesdays and Thursdays for one hour and 15 minutes and you wished the class would have gone all day long,” said Sapp. “Everything he was teaching was taught through a story.”
According to an article written by UF media coordinator Joy Shaw, Mallett held many positions during his time at The University of Findlay and won several awards as well. One of these awards was the University’s Arch Award in 2006 for his outstanding teaching and motivational speaking.
Mallett succeeded in influencing many throughout his years here on earth, according to Sapp.
“The role model he was through his career to me and so many others has enabled us to hopefully carry on his dreams and goals of the Mazza Museum to be a rich resource not only for the university, but for the city of Findlay and the U.S. as well,” said Sapp.
Sapp was not the only individual affected by the passing of Mallett. Catelyn Radalia, senior occupational therapy major and education coordinator student assistant for the Mazza Museum, worked with Mallett as well.
“I got to know Dr. Mallett through working with the different programs at the Mazza Museum,” said Radalia. “He sincerely loved his job and what he did. Whenever he walked into the museum, he lit up,” said Radalia.
The University of Findlay and Mallett family will hold a celebration of life service to honor his life on Sept. 11 at 3 p.m. in Winebrenner Theological Seminary’s TLB Auditorium on campus. Any questions or interest in attending the service should be directed to the Mazza Museum via email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone at (419) 434-4560.
Sapp said an individual would have had to have met Mallett or spent time with him to truly appreciate the teacher, the man, and the friend that he was to so many.
“He was made for the stage and loved the stage, he was the world’s greatest teacher, and he was a true entrepreneur in the area of education,” said Sapp.