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Youngstown icon Claire Maluso remembered

YOUNGSTOWN — Known for her love of and devotion to the Mahoning Valley, particularly downtown Youngstown, Claire Maluso has died at the age of 92.

“God bless Claire,” said Mahoning County Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti, a longtime friend. “She did so many good things for the area. She was so involved with the community. Any time you’d call Claire for help, she was there. She was a go-getter and a real good friend.”

Maluso died June 6. Calling hours are 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Rossi and Santucci Funeral Home in Boardman with a 10 a.m. Monday service at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Basilica in Youngstown.

Mayor Jamael Tito Brown said: “My prayers and sympathy go out to John Maluso (her husband) and his family. Claire was a true advocate for the city of Youngstown. We enjoyed working with her on many projects across the city of Youngstown. She will truly be missed.”

Maluso served as director of training and development at the former Strouss department store chain and was vice president of Hartzell’s Rose and Sons clothing store as well as operating her own travel agency.

She was hired by the city of Youngstown in 1988 as Federal Plaza director, serving in that position for 10 years. During that time, she organized numerous festivals, business ribbon cuttings, beautification projects and other events.

“What a woman,” Rimedio-Righetti said. “If you went to her, she got things done. She had many hats and always worked hard to get things accomplished.”

Maluso left that job in 1998 to become economic development and community outreach director for U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. She stayed there until 2002.

Maluso then returned to the Federal Plaza position and held it for a few years, even after the plaza was torn down to reopen Federal Street to vehicular traffic, before retiring.

George McKelvey, who was mayor when Maluso returned to the city job, said: “Claire was a wonderful person and a hard worker. There wasn’t anything she wouldn’t do, and she always did a great job.”

dskolnick@vindy.com

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