August 24, 1931 – March 16, 2006
This morning we lost our father, husband and best friend, “Big Joe” Muldoon. He passed away in his new home with his children and his loving wife, Alyse by his side. As the sun rose on Palm Sunday, the former altar boy was in his favorite place — on top of the hill on Gone Away Farm, looking out at the back 50, the horses and the Blue Ridge Mountains. After a long battle with cancer, he finally said good bye but he was funny to the end and he never lost his fighting Irish spirit.
Big Joe was big not only in size, but also in his larger than life personality, his immeasurable heart and his unlimited generosity. He touched the lives of so many – and so many of us benefited from a “leg up” from Big Joe. He made us all laugh, he inspired, he encouraged, he motivated and he made things happen. He was everyone’s favorite coach and the best at assembling and inspiring a winning team – whether it be a horse and rider, polo, business, law or your first little league win. He would send you in with a pat on the back and say, “just have a good time!”
He was always a leader that was willing to go places that no one else had dared to go. He established the first private law firm specializing in thrift regulation. He trained the first three-year old pony to win a national championship over fences at Madison Square Garden. He entered and trained a horse in the first Grand Prix in the United States, ridden by the first woman to ever ride in a US Grand Prix. He organized the first American polo games above 30 goals since the 1930s. He was the first to assemble an entirely family team to win a national tournament. When he retired from his law practice, he returned to his first love – training hunters and jumpers.
Big Joe was a true horseman. He was a consummate trainer, foxhunter, show rider, polo player and point to point competitor. He was always more focused on the horse than the rider. In fact, he could recite the background in great detail on every horse he ever owned or trained – hundreds of horses spanning over 60 years of a passionate love of the animal and sport.
We have all been an audience to the worlds best story teller. His wit was unmatched and we will all miss the “Big Joeisms” that defined his unique personality. No matter what your association with our father, we will all share in the void created by his absence.
Please join us in celebrating his life in the weeks to come.
A Viewing will be held at 3:00 to 5:00 PM and 7:00 to 9:00 PM
on Monday, March 24th at Pumphrey’s Funeral Home
300 W. Montgomery Avenue, Rockville, MD, 301-762-3939
The Funeral will be held at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at Our Lady of Mercy
9200 Kentsdale Road, Potomac, MD 20854, 301-365-1415
Please join us following the burial at Gone Away Farm in Poolesville, MD
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking for donations to be sent to the Polo Training Foundation at: U.S. Polo Association, 4037 Ironworks Parkway, Suite 110, Lexington, KY 40511
Joseph A. Muldoon, III
Mary Muldoon Tedaldi
Charles Alexander Muldoon
Alyse Best Muldoon