Thursday, May 26, 2016

Remembering Demetrius Mallisham

By Craig Bettenhausen

Remington has lost a friend. Demetrius Mallisham, 46, was our representative in the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhoods. Mallisham took ill suddenly despite seeming good health and died of multiple organ failure associated with pancreatitis on April 28th.

A frequent sight at events and meetings around Remington, Mallisham had a hand in most of the good things that have happened for Remington in recent years. He was skilled at building direct collaboration between residents and city employees to get things done. He was a cheerful, warm, and calming person who will be sorely missed here and in the other communities he served.

“He followed up, showed up, and obviously loved the people and neighborhoods he so diligently served,” said City Council member Mary Pat Clarke. “Demetrius was too young and too joyful to be taken from us, leaving us shocked and grieving at such a tragic loss to family, colleagues, and community alike.”

“Demetrius will be sorely missed as an advocate for Remington and as a wonderful and cheerful presence in our meetings,” said 27th Street resident Wynn Engle-Pratt.

GRIA president Ryan Flanigan said, “He went to bat for Remington in the face of tremendous opposition and did so without ever compromising his loyalty to the mayor he worked for. It is public servants like him that push our city to be the place we dream it can be.”

Huntingdon Avenue resident William Hellmann recalls running into Mallisham at a public meeting about slumlords. Hellmann was a tenant of a slumlord and lost around three years of personal documents in the fallout from leaving. Mallisham stepped in and helped him work with city agencies to recover and replace what was possible. “He cared about his work and cared about people.” Hellmann said.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement, “All of us who worked with, and loved, Demetrius knew him as being constantly upbeat, enthusiastic and eager to help,” she said. “For someone who was not originally from Baltimore city, he made Charm City his home. I will never forget the number of times I joined a neighborhood event and saw him joyfully interacting with community members and children. What a champion of our city.”