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Friday, February 10, 2023
10:00am - 12:00pm (Eastern time)
Friday, February 10, 2023
Starts at 12:00pm (Eastern time)
Baher Frank Malek, 54, of Indianapolis, passed away in hospice care on Thursday, February 2, 2023 at IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. He was born on July 23, 1968 to Frank and Odette (Girgis) Malek in Cairo, Egypt. Frank was a teacher and served in the Egyptian military, his mother worked as an accountant. His family immigrated to the United States in 1971 seeking religious freedom and asylum as Coptic Christians.
The family started their new life in America on the west side of Chicago where they lived for several years. They moved to Indianapolis when Baher was seven years old. He attended Lutheran High School and grew up watching his father, Frank, make his way in a new culture by working in electronics. Baher spent many hours as a young boy helping his parents run their “Space Age Electronics” store (a name that still makes everyone chuckle) - tinkering with systems and taking televisions, radios etc. apart and putting them back together. He had an engineering mind and the family business allowed for natural application.
Baher attended Valparaiso University (Sigma Chi) where he earned his B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1990. He worked in multiple industries, beginning his career as an IT systems engineer at Raytheon (then Naval Avionics) where he worked on military defense systems. In later years, he worked as a software engineer consultant at Eli Lilly and Thompson Electronics. In the mid 2000’s he went to work for Liberty Mutual’s IT department as a project manager overseeing quality and testing. He loved his team there and they have continued to be “his team”, bringing visits and joy to him over the next years of his disability. Throughout his career, he often considered going to seminary but grew in understanding that his tasks as an engineer were a sacred work in and of themselves.
In 1999, Baher met Bess Heller in a local church philosophy class while studying the book “The God Who is There” by Francis Schaeffer. They shared a ball point pen during class, and found each other to be their soulmate. They married nine months later. Over the years, God gave them four children and they were the apple of his eye. His family was his deepest joy.
Baher was an ardent follower of Jesus with a servant's heart, who has served as a deacon, small group leader, and Sunday school teacher over the years. He enjoyed skiing, coaching his son’s soccer teams, racquetball, and singing; once he surprised his kids by building a cello out of PVC pipe. He was a student of scripture, and took Greek, Hebrew and church history courses. He delighted in deep theological thought that was complemented by his strong technical side. Throughout his life, he was quick to see humor in any situation. He cared deeply about others knowing Jesus and would often volunteer to share God’s word at prisons, nursing homes or Arabic ministries; his family was part of Safe Families Foster Care for several years.
In 2014, he sustained a complex traumatic brain injury through viral encephalitis. He survived 7 weeks of continuous epileptic seizures in a medically induced coma. Here is an IndyStar article from 2015.
He then spent the next 8 plus years of his life, until his recent death, learning to navigate this new reality of living without a working memory while requiring 24 hour care. There are no words for such a journey, but we rejoice that he is with His Lord and Savior who has sustained his spirit, faith, humor and courage throughout. Bess has chronicled his journey here.
He is survived by Elizabeth "Bess" Malek-Maiorano; children, Clara, Benjamin, Zachary, and Theodore Atticus Malek; mother, Odette Malek; sister, Dahlia (George) Sirilla; in-laws, Mary & John Heller; sister-in-law, Claudia (Jeff) Rogers; many cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his father, and infant daughter, Audrey Joy Malek.
Location of service will be Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 1505 N. Delaware in Indianapolis, at 12:00 pm on Friday, February 10, 2023, with Pastor Brandon Shields of Soma Midtown Church officiating along with Pastor Isaac Moawed of Christian Arabic Church. Visitation will be from 10:00 am to noon at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. Burial will be at Oaklawn Memorial Gardens in Indianapolis.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Oaks Academy, c/o Nathan Hand, 1301 E. 16th Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202, https://www.theoaksacademy.org/giving/, Covenant Christian High School, 7525 W. 21st Street, Indianapolis, IN 46214, https://covenantchristian.org/support-us/, or Filter of Hope, 1400 Jack Warner Pkwy NE Tuscaloosa, AL 35404 https://filterofhope.org/?form=baher.