Bernard “Bunny” Mallahan passed away on December 30, 2021 at 90 years old. Bunny lived his entire life in Bellingham, WA. He was born to John & Ann Mallahan on March 23, 1931 and was the 5th of 6 boys born to the couple. Arriving home on Easter Sunday, his grandma Ellen exclaimed “he looks just like a bunny!” and it stuck. He attended school at Lowell Elementary, and was an altar boy at his parish of Sacred Heart. While Bunny attended Seminary alongside all of his brothers, he chose not to become a priest and finished his senior year of high school at Bellingham High School. After leaving school, he started work with the National Guard, where he honorably served for 20 years. Following his time in the National Guard, he spent 30 years working for the Department of Transportation. With the DOT he taught defensive driving for many years, and one of his favorite duties was to plow the snow. Bunny was introduced to the love of his life, Rita by his aunts. They were married in 1955 and together have seven children. Throughout his life, Bunny was a devout Catholic, and attended the parishes of Assumption, served as the president of CCD for many years and on the St. Vincent Depaul society in multiple capacities. He also practiced in the parish of St. Joe’s in Ferndale, WA, where he joined in the Outreach Program to feed and care for those in need in Ferndale. While he did not become a priest, he had a knack for leading prayers, providing counsel and serving within his community.
Bunny’s favorite pastimes included: trips to Birch Bay which started in the 1930’s at his Uncle Matt’s Cabin and expanding to more cabins and more family, enjoying many summers of golf tournaments, 4th of July Parades, crab on the beach, and many memories. Bunny loved the outdoors. He enjoyed deer hunting annually, a good walk in the woods, and a stump with lunch often. There were many days and evenings for Bunny off the Slater Road fishing. He loved to have a pole in the water and listen to the river, birds and more than occasionally he brought home a fish. He also enjoyed road trips since he loved to drive and did not miss a chance to explore logging roads, or venture over a snowy mountain pass. Bunny was also an avid reader; he devoured books and especially loved history, true crime, mysteries, autobiographies, and bird books. The bird books turned into a hobby as he loved to feed the birds and teach the grandkids about the birds and how to appropriately identify – he had a soft spot for the “Chickadee” and “Hummingbirds”. He and Rita would keep Hummingbirds all year long – feeding them into the winter and having them nest close by their home. His taste in genre for reading transitioned to the television where he loved TV that was “straight from the files” - Cops, Discovery Channel, History Channel and True Crime. A word search was often not far from his “tv” chair.
He loved to play games including pinochle, rummy with Rita in the mornings, UNO, crazy-8's, go fish and old maid; and he’d been known to hide a card or two or pull off a big cheat to win.... teaching the grandkids, the joy of pulling off a sham . His roaring belly laugh was contagious.
His true joy was his family; his smile lit up anytime he was with them. He loved his brothers, parents, aunts, children, grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and most of all his wife Rita of 65 years.
He is survived by his loving wife Rita; youngest brother, Steve (Kay) Mallahan; son, John and grandchildren Dane (Alicia) & Justine; daughter, Tammy (Chris); son, Steve and grandchildren Jennifer (Tyler) & Stephanie; son Dennis (Bev) and grandchildren Taylor, Tiffany (Daniel Schober), Trisha (TJ Foster) and great grandchildren Dallas, Rylee & Kasen; daughter Mary (David Bazard) and grandchildren Piper & Maddie (Ava); son Vince (Darla); daughter Emily (Randy Carr) and grandchildren Coleman and Katie. And numerous nieces, nephews and other family members including the adopted” healthcare workers at Shuksan Healthcare in Bellingham who cared for him, lovingly, until the end.
Bunny will be remembered by all as having a huge heart and even with the significant pain and suffering he endured over the last years of his life, he maintained a positive outlook and shared much joy with those around him. Bunny truly loved people and shared his love with those that surrounded him, ending life with great dignity and grace. He will be greatly missed. Tally-ho!
Viewing from 9:00 am to 9:30, Rosary 9:30 to 10 am, Funeral Mass at 10am, Saturday the 8th of January, 2022 at St. Joseph Catholic Church 5781 Hendrickson Ave. Ferndale, WA. 98248 with Father Thumbi officiating.