SOMERS POINT — Hundreds of people filled the pews and aisles of St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church Monday to celebrate the life of Atlantic City firefighter Albert “Albie” Mallen.
Mallen was honored with a traditional firefighter’s funeral, which included uniformed members of the Atlantic City Fire and Police departments saluting their fallen brother.
Celebrant Monsignor Michael J. Coyne performed the Mass and gave the homily, speaking directly to Mallen’s two sons, Ryan, 10, and Gavin, 8, and telling them to hold on to the memories they have of their father.
Reciting lines from the poem “What to Bury,” Coyne told the crowd to remember all the things Mallen accomplished during his life.
Atlantic City Fire Captain Frank Phillips told one of the many Albie Mallen stories his fellow firefighters had. Crediting his athletic background, Phillips told a story of Mallen’s “unconventional” firefighter’s radio calling style, which he said sounded more like a sports broadcaster.
Leading Holy Spirit High School to championships in 1987 and 1988, the former quarterback was remembered fondly for his love of sports.
Philips read the Firefighter’s Prayer to conclude the mass and placed Mallen’s helmet on the altar.
Mallen’s family carried the casket after the Mass, which was then transferred to pallbearers from the Atlantic City Fire Department, who placed Mallen on the back of the Engine 2 firetruck.
During the final salute, the Atlantic City Fire Department Sand Pipers Pipes & Drums played “Danny Boy.”
The funeral procession, including a police escort and fire vehicles, traveled to Holy Cross cemetery in Mays Landing, where Mallen was laid to rest.
Mallen was struck and killed June 26 on the tracks of an Atlantic City Rail Line train in Galloway Township.
The NJ Transit train was headed to Philadelphia from Atlantic City when Mallen was struck and killed, two miles north of the Absecon station, NJ Transit officials said Thursday.
NJ Transit officials identified Mallen the following day but have not provided any more information about the incident.