By Bobby Bordelon
Greenbrier County has lost one of its leaders with the passing of Steve Malcomb on Thursday, July 16.
“I have known Steve since the 90’s,” said Greenbrier County Commission President Lowell Rose. “He was a good friend to my whole family. Although he seemed a little rough around the edges, he had a big heart and would go out of his way to help anyone in need. I served two years on the County Commission with Steve in my first term of office. I will definitely miss him.”
Born in Pocahontas County in 1943 to Claude G. and Fayree Fuel Malcomb, Steve Malcomb eventually took up residence in Greenbrier County. He told one crowd during a political debate in 2018 that his “mother was from Renick, I spent all my summers in Greenbrier County, Camp Shaw-Mi-Del-Eca, Bluestone Camp.”
Malcomb worked as a police officer in Washington D.C. In the Metro Police Department before returning to West Virginia. While serving, he was given the nickname “Cowboy” for wearing Stetson hat while serving with the Narcotics Division.
Recently in 2018, Malcomb ran but lost in the race for House of Delegates. He introduced himself with stories from his time as an officer:
“I went to Charleston School of Commerce, took up banking, bookkeeping, and accounting. I was employed by the First National Bank in Marlinton, and a teller came back and said ‘Steve, there’s a policeman from Washington out here wanting to talk to you,’ and it about halfway scared me—I didn’t weigh 90 pounds wide open.
“He was a recruiter, and as he talked on, he said, ‘You like motorcycles?’ and I said, ‘Yes sir, a little fast.’ ‘Well, how would you like to be escorting the president of the United States?’ Well, I couldn’t get to Charleston quick enough to take the Civil Service Test. I went to the academy and came out of the academy, and they said, ‘What assignment do you want?’ And I threw my little chest out and said, ‘I want to be a motorman.’ The guy laughed at me and said, ‘You’ve got to have 10 years on, and we only take the elite.’
“So I went through the ghetto. … Three years, I did get the motorcycle, and my wife worked at the White House, and was around the White House, and one of my best childhood friends was head liaison between the White House and the Capitol, and one of my other friends was at the Capitol, so when I was on the motorcycle, I would just make a little tour.
“I studied to get promoted, and the first thing I know, I was back in the ghetto, where they wanted a drug task force formed. I handpicked 30 men and formed the drug task force. For 12 years, I worked drugs. I was supposed to be undercover; first thing I know, I’m on the front page of The Washington Post, with my picture, saying what type of drug work we were doing.”
Over 30 years ago, Malcomb returned to Greenbrier County, serving in several leadership roles, such as County Commission and Sheriff. During his time on the Greenbrier County Commission, Malcomb was one of the driving forces behind the county’s bed tax, the fund used to support county-wide tourism advertising and the annual Arts and Recreation allocations.
“I was so sad to hear of Steve’s passing yesterday,” said Kara Dense, executive director of the Greenbrier County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “Although before my return to Greenbrier County and my tenure here with the CVB, I know that Steve was the driving force behind implementing the county bed tax in 2000. This bed tax was the beginning of the Greenbrier County CVB and has allowed our organization to promote Greenbrier County as a premier tourist destination. Steve was the first County Commissioner to hold that seat on our Board of Directors. He had a full understanding of how the tax should be spent to grow and enhance tourism. We will forever be grateful for his work and staunch support of the tourism industry in Greenbrier County.”
Malcomb was always full of stories and sitting in on important county meetings – he helped organize the Greenbrier County Republican Executive Committee’s part of the recent Fourth of July parade hosted by The Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs.
“Steve Malcomb’s family called me and would like to let everyone know how thankful they are for the prayers during this difficult time,” said Ben Anderson, president of the Greenbrier County Republican Executive Club. “… Malcomb always told me that he needed a purpose. I can tell you right now that he fulfilled a massive purpose: he was a friend to all who truly got to know him, and he touched others with his Christian heart. After talking to Steve, you couldn’t help but feel good. He was a people person. He often told me that the one thing that made him feel best of all was getting to help people. That’s all he wanted to do. … Everyone knew Malcomb was a little rough around the edges. That’s why I loved him: he spoke his mind and held nothing back. He was one of a kind. He always said “not everybody likes Raisin Bran” and “not everyone understands my humor”. He wore his title of an “overqualified outsider” as a badge of honor. Well, I’m here to tell you that Steve Malcomb was one of the best men I’ve ever known, and I will always cherish the memories of the times we’ve spent together and the conversations we had. Thank you, Steve, for being my friend.”
There will be a memorial service held for Steve at Wallace & Wallace in Lewisburg on Sunday, July 19th. Visitation from 2:00-4:00 PM, memorial service at 4:00 PM with Pastor Ron Miller officiating. To read his obituary, see below or go to https://www.wallaceandwallacefh.com/obituaries/Claude-Stephen-Malcomb?obId=17396944#/celebrationWall.
Claude Stephen “Steve” Malcomb, 76, of Lewisburg passed away Thursday July 16, 2020 at his residence.
Steve was born August 8, 1943 in Pocahontas County and was the son of the late Claude G. and Fayree Fuel Malcomb.
He was a member of Clifton Presbyterian Church. Steve was a past member of the Greenbrier County Commission. He was a retired officer with the Metro Police Department in Washington, DC, and was given the nickname “Cowboy” because he wore a Stetson hat while serving with the Narcotics Division.
Other than his parents he was preceded in death by his sister Melanie Malcomb Shafer.
Surviving are his children, Kimberly Kirkland and her husband Lance of Buckhannon, WV.; Kevin Malcomb and his wife Lora of Buckeye, WV and David Malcomb and his wife Melody of Buckhannon, WV; seven grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
A memorial service will be held for Steve on Sunday July 19, 2020 at 4:00 PM at the Wallace & Wallace Funeral Home in Lewisburg with Pastor Ron Miller officiating.
There will be a visitation from 2:00 PM until 4:00 PM at the funeral home.