It is with a heavy heart that I must inform you of the passing of my father, Dan Malloy. As many of you already know, Danny was a mainstay in the tile business for over 60 years. He began his career in the early 1950s at his uncle’s business, Sierra Specialty, as a supplier of tools and sanitary ware to contractors in Los Angeles. Sierra Specialty was located next to Pomona Tile and many of the contractors would come to Danny for advice. This led to his involvement in developing many of the tools of the trade and setting materials that are used today. He was always interested in working with the contractors to find better, easier, and more efficient ways to install ceramic tile.
One of these improvements was the V-cap, which, along with close associates, originated at our kitchen table. The tile saw was developed in our back yard using the cut-off tubing from a lawn chair, a fishing bucket, a recirculating pump and a ¼-horsepower motor. The prototype was given to Felker Industries(now Dresser) and from that came the 610 Tub Saw. Other tools that Danny had an influence on were the rubber spacer, cap strip, cutting board, and the drain frame.
Also, in the early days he worked with a young chemist to improve the curing time of cement. With Danny’s encouragement and support, Henry Rothberg, Sr. went on to found one of the largest and most successful setting material companies in existence today,Laticrete. He also worked closely with the founders of Custom Building ProductsandBostikto develop innovative systems of setting and grouting.
After the death of his uncle, Danny founded International Tile & Supply Corporation in 1968. As his business and the industry grew, he became one of the first to import ceramic tile from Italy, Spain, Japan, Korea, Thailand and Sri Lanka. Throughout the next 40 years, Dan would travel extensively, sometimes being the first to explore opportunities and was instrumental in developing factories and product to bring to the U.S. market. His business grew into a well-known wholesale distributor of ceramic tile throughout Southern California.
After the sale of International Tile, he continued in business as Dan Malloy Tile Design, producing custom tile, molding, and glazes until his passing.
My father’s passion for ceramics cannot only be seen in his business acumen, but also for the contributions he made. He was an avid supporter of theCeramic Tile Institute’s Apprenticeship Program. Many of the industry leaders today can attest to the support that Dan provided them early in their careers. He was always proud to be in the ceramic tile industry and also had great respect for everyone in it.
He was a man that truly loved what he did. He was a gentleman and his handshake was his word. I have not only lost a father but the entire tile industry has lost a valuable business partner and a dear friend.