Ride in Peace: longtime dealer John Malik Sr.

Publish Date: 
Apr 2, 2014

LEESBURG, Fla. – Services are scheduled April 9 for John Malik Sr., former owner of Gator Harley-Davidson, who died March 30 at the age of 82.

Dealer principal John Malik Jr. said his dad was all about American-made products, especially cars and motorcycles. “If you didn’t have a Harley-Davidson, (he) really didn’t want it in the parking lot,” he told the Daily Commercial.

The family bought the dealership in 1993 and turned it into Gator Harley-Davidson after having worked with snowmobiles, ATVs, body shops and watercraft in the Chicago area. Malik Sr. and his wife, Arlene, owned the business as well as Stormy Hill Harley-Davidson in Clermont, until two years ago, when Malik Jr. and his sister, Janice Malik, took them over.

Malik Jr. now runs the Leesburg store and Janice operates the Clermont store, which opened in 2002.

Malik Sr. had a stroke 16 years ago and had been in a wheelchair since. Despite retiring two years ago, he still came into the store every day and acted like a goodwill ambassador.

“Everybody loved him, everybody (came) in here (to) see him, and talk to him, and he’d go around telling jokes and doing his thing,” Malik Jr. said.

Malik Sr. was hospitalized March 18 after falling out of his chair and hitting his head on concrete. He suffered another stroke while in the hospital, Malik Jr. said.

A public service will be at 10:30 a.m. on April 9 at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Mount Dora.

Posted by Holly Wagner