M. Joan Malpas, who co-owned an Ellicott City antiques business and had worked at the Johns Hopkins University, died of heart disease Sept. 17 at Heartlands Assisted Living in Ellicott City. She was 87.
Born Myra Joan Quick in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of Louis Quick, a Glenn L. Martin Co. fabricator and his wife, Martha Stroble, a homemaker. She was a 1950 graduate of Eastern High School and earned a degree at the Maryland Institute College of Art, where she studied painting.
Mrs. Malpas became the assistant director of Dismas House, a recovery program in West Baltimore. She later was an administrator with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and eventually became the executive administrative assistant at what now is the The Modell Lyric on Mount Royal Avenue.
In the 1970s she operated The Corner by the Bridge, a seafood restaurant in Chincoteague, Virginia, and later worked in alumni relations and admissions at the Johns Hopkins University.
“She had an exceptional speaking voice and had the privilege of being the first Johns Hopkins University telephone message voice,” said her son, Blair Jett of Ellicott City. “She had an uncanny knack for making everyone she met feel like her best friend.”
In 1952 she married R. Frederick Jett, an attorney who lived in Ten Hills. They later divorced and she married the Rev. Father Jack Malpas, rector at St. Bartholomew Episcopal Church on Edmondson Avenue. They lived on Winans Way in Hunting Ridge.
She and the Rev. Malpas also lived in East Harting, England, for five years.
“She loved the English village life,” her son said.
In 1988, after returning to the United States, Mrs. Malpas became the co-owner of Cottage Antiques in Ellicott City with her son. She remained active in the business until the 2016 flood destroyed the shop.
“Even if customers didn’t know her personally, they would always comment on the creative price tags Joan would make,” said her son. “She would write, ‘This came from a lovely estate in Catonsville.’ ”
Mrs. Malpas collected rare playing cards. Her son said his mother was a gifted cook. “She was known for her crab cakes and magnificent cream of crab soup," he said.
In addition to her son, survivors include two other sons, Mark Jett of Canyon Lake, California, and Douglas Jett of San Mateo, California; a daughter, Pamela Jett Naumann of Joppa; and four grandchildren. Her husband of 35 years died in 2006.