William George "Bill" O'Malley, 85, a World War II veteran and one of Norwalk's top basketball players in the 1940s, died last week. O'Malley, a member of Norwalk High School Class of 1944, enlisted in the Army the day after he graduated.
While in high school, he started a basketball career that lasted more than a decade. At Fort Sam Houston in Texas he excelled in the Southwestern Army League for two years. In 1947-48, O'Malley received the Pastime A.C. award as the outstanding athlete in the City of Norwalk. He played with the YMCA team in the city recreational league from 1948 through 1950. From 1951 on, he played semi-pro basketball with the O'Brien Emeralds in different leagues and tournaments throughout Fairfield and Westchester Counties.
His present sports activities consisted of golf, bowling and tennis. O'Malley was very active with the South Norwalk Boat Club, the Norwalk Old Timers and St. Matthew Church. He was also an active coach for many years at All Saints Catholic School and for the City of Norwalk. He was retired as staff manager from the John Hancock Life Insurance Company, where he had worked for 50 years. He is survived by his wife, Diane Seaman O'Malley; three children, Kathy O'Malley Bishop, Maryellen O'Malley Daher and Thomas Jude O'Malley; five grandchildren, all of Norwalk, and many nieces and nephews. O'Malley was buried with full military honors in St. John Cemetery.
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