Richard Brian Maltas, 77, of Ridgefield, longtime resident of Redding, passed away on Thursday, June 4, 2020. He was the loving husband of the late Marilyn (Zandri) Maltas. Married in 1963, and for 52 years Marilyn was Brian’s heart and soul.
Mr. Maltas was born in Norwalk, CT on April 12, 1943; a son of the late Virginia (Tallon) and Richard Benjamin (Ben) Maltas. As a young man he joyfully worked as a caddy, planting the seeds for a lifetime passion for the game of golf. He also spent many years as a tool and die maker, and thoroughly enjoyed the ability to create useful tools and fittings by hand. He dutifully served as a volunteer Fireman at the Ridgefield Firehouse alongside his Father inlaw Arthur Strouse.
A longtime resident of Redding, Mr. Maltas was the 2nd generation co-owner of Frances Cleaners of Ridgefield along with his wife Marilyn. When his mother inlaw Frances passed on the business to them she told them "For quality they will come to the top of the mountain." Taking her mantra to heart and taking pride in striving to be the best, he built one of the highest quality Dry Cleaning businesses in the country, taking in many unique items from museums and private collectors. He cleaned items worn by legends Jimmy Hendrix, the Robes of Muhammad Ali, Rocky Marciano and Joe Lewis. In addition, he cleaned the uniforms of the Olympic Dream Team, including players Michael Jordon, Patrick Ewing, Scotty Pippen, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Being a very humble man he would very rarely speak of these incredible accomplishments.
Brian enjoyed many outdoor sporting activities, and believed in celebrating life by bringing people together. For years he sponsored and played on the Frances Cleaners Softball Team in the Ridgefield Softball League. After the games he would invite the team and their families back to his home in Redding for a barbeque and dip in the pool. During these parties they were known to play a silly game everyone loved, where a whole watermelon was greased and thrown into the pool. Almost impossible to hold, whoever could get it out of the pool would win $50. This wonderful game always filled the backyard with joy laughter as people clumsily tried to wrestle this silly fruit away from each other.
Brian also enjoyed golf, was a member of the Ridgefield Golf Club, and The New London Country Club and also down in Florida at the Indian River Plantation, where he won many events. His favorite golf memories were playing the course as a foursome with his immediate family; his wife, his son Scott and his significant other Danielle.
He also enjoyed deep sea fishing, owning a fishing boat called "The Scott Rich" named after his sons. The boat would be docked on the Connecticut shore but during the weekends he would take his family across Long Island Sound and off to Montauk. After arriving in Montauk on Friday evenings, Captain Brian would often be heard saying "Red sky at night sailors delight!" while deciding if it was safe to take his family deep sea fishing out to the canyons the next day.
Finally, Mr. Maltas loved sports! He was a devout Boston Red Sox fan! He also loved Big East Basketball, and used to take his family to the Big East Tournament starting in 1982 all the way through the 2000s. He was a huge University of Connecticut Men’s and Women’s Basketball Fan. Attending the 2011 Final Four when in Houston UConn won the championship with his son Scott was one of his big bucket list favorites, along with watching the NY Yankees play the Boston Red Sox from the "Green Monstah" in 2013.
Mr. Maltas is survived by two sons; Scott and his significant other, Danielle, Richard, and his wife Molly, as well as a grandson, Devin. He is also survived by his brothers Thomas and Michael as well as his sisters Jean and Patricia. In addition, he is survived by Mindy and Azaria his two tea-cup Grand Chihuahuas all of whom he loved dearly.
In addition to his parents and his wife, Mr. Maltas was predeceased by a son, Brian Joseph, his sister Virginia and his brother George.
Mr. Maltas was cremated while wearing his favorite navy blue Boston Red Sox hat with the classic Red Boston "B" above the brim. Also with him were photos of his wife, family and friends. He was surrounded by his happiest memories for his journey back to his loving wife.
Due to the coronavirus guidelines, a celebration of life will take place at a later date.
While waiting to celebrate, if you wish to remember Brian, please enjoy two of his favorite songs: "Time to Say Goodbye" by Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman and "The Last Farewell" by Roger Whittaker.
A memorial has been put in place at www.francescleaners.com.