With sorrow we report the death of Maria Ann (Malkiewicz) Pitt (March 17, 1972-November 12, 2019) was born in Baltimore, MD.
Maria is the daughter of Wallace and Rose Malkiewicz of Hagerstown, MD. Marie attended Smithsburg High School, where she served as a drum major and earned the distinction of salutatorian.
It was during those years that she developed her love of theater, playing such roles as Miss Adelaide in Guys and Dolls and Agnes in Agnes of God with the Washington County Playhouse.
She began her studies at the Catholic University of America planning to major in drama, but her transformative experiences living and working within Campus Ministry led her to shift to religious studies, and she graduated in 1993 with a BA in Religion.
Her commitment to social justice and her driving concern for the poor and vulnerable led her to participate in Jesuit Volunteer Corps, working as a job developer at St. Joseph the Worker in Phoenix, AZ. That year was transformative for her; in her words, “I came here to St. Joseph the Worker hoping to change the world, but I leave hoping that I have been changed.”
Ultimately, these commitments drew her to graduate work in moral theology at Yale Divinity School. She regarded her studies under Margaret Farley as being particularly influential. While at Yale, she was awarded the Tew Prize for High Achievement in the field of ethics and worked both as director of the President’s Public Service Fellowship at Yale and as a researcher in the Beinecke Rare Books Library.
Graduating with a Master of Arts in Religion in 1996, she then began further studies in moral theology at the University of Notre Dame as a Presidential Fellow.
While at Notre Dame, she met her best friends, Nancy Johnson and Robert Lawrence, as well as her husband, David Pitt.
Maria and Dave were married in South Bend, IN in 2004. Shortly afterward, they moved to Charlotte, NC, where their first daughter, Emmelia, was born. They moved to Dubuque, IA in 2007, where their second daughter, Theodora, was born.
Maria served for several years as an adjunct instructor in philosophy at Clarke University and developed courses on the philosophy of women and political philosophy.
Her academic interests merged with her continued commitment to issues of justice, leading to her work as a legal advocate at the Riverview Center in Galena, IL where she worked with victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, assisting them to represent themselves in the courtroom. In this work, she discovered her passion for the law. She worked as a legal assistant for Craig Brown in Galena, during which time she earned a law degree from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in St. Paul, MN, graduating summa cum laude in May 2019.
She looked forward to opening her own law practice to continue her lifelong commitment to justice and to advocacy for the vulnerable. Maria is survived by her parents, her husband, and her daughters. Additionally, she is survived by her in-laws, Roger and Valerie Pitt, Kim and Michael Male; her nephews, Andrew and Matthew Male; and her uncles, aunts, and cousins in Maryland. Maria was preceded in death by her grandparents, Grace and Daniel Montgomery, and Virginia and Walter Malkiewicz.
Prayer and fellowship commemorating Maria’s life will be held on Sunday, November 17, at Wartburg Theological Seminary, beginning at 4:30 p.m., and followed by an opportunity to visit together. Wartburg Theological Seminary 333 Wartburg Place
Dubuque, Iowa 52003.
Dubuque, Iowa 52003.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to either St. Joseph the Worker in Phoenix, AZ or the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Hoffmann, Schneider, and Kitchen Funeral Home and Cremation Service is in care of arrangements.
A tribute video can be viewed and condolences can be sent to the family by visiting Maria’s obituary at www.hskfhcares.com.