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Phillip B. Malik
A funeral service was held on Tuesday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Modesto for Phillip Benjamin Malik, 94, of Modesto. He died peacefully in his sleep surrounded by his family on October 8, 2009.

Burial was at Turlock Memorial Park.

Born Jan. 1, 1915 in Gengachi, Iran, Phillip and his family fled the persecution of Christians in Iran and ended up Habbaniya near Baghdad, Iraq. Phillip arrived in Chicago in 1953, a few months ahead of his wife Maria and their five children. He decided to return to Baghdad, due to the extreme cold he experienced in Chicago. Phillip Paul Sr. of Turlock encouraged Mr. Malik to come to California for a visit before leaving. He ended up purchasing a 20-acre almond ranch on Esmar Road in Keyes. Maria and the children would join Phillip on the 4th of July in 1954 to begin their new life in the United States.

The family would later move to a 40-acre almond and walnut ranch on Morgan Road in Ceres. One of his proudest moments was when he became a U.S. citizen. Phillip was a mobile home salesman in the late 1950's, hired by the late Elmer Arnett. He later opened his own sales lot, followed by the construction of a mobile home park at the corner of Central and Service in Ceres. In the ensuing years, Phillip became a successful land developer. Mr. Malik loved to travel and visited places like London, Russia, Fiji, Taiwan and Australia. Mr. Malik was an active member in the St. Thomas the Apostle Assyrian Catholic church in Turlock. Their dedication to help build churches in war-torn Iraq led to an audience with Pope John Paul II at the Vatican who thanked them for their efforts.

He leaves behind his children, Diane Pedota, Linda Glynn, and Ron Malik, all of Modesto, Bob Malik of Los Angeles and Phillip Malik Jr. of San Francisco; and 11 grandchildren, Michael Pedota, Julie Kilty, Sara Whitehead, Natalie Malik, Paul Malik, John Glynn II, Christopher Glynn, Phillip Malik III, Jordan Malik, Narsai Malik and Stephanye Malik; and seven great-grandchildren, Will Kilty, Caroline Kilty, Devyn McKenna, Vance Whitehead, Jace Whitehead, John Glynn III and Frankie Pedota. He was preceded in death by his wife of 65 years, Maria Malik, son Don and daughter Gina Marie Malik.

Remembrances may be sent to Optimal Hospice of Modesto or to Assyrian Aid Society of America.

-Ceres Courier /October 14, 2009