Sharon Ann Maloney died Oct. 8 at her Warrenton home after a battle with cancer. She was 73. Known as “Sam” to her friends, Maloney lived most of her life in Fauquier County. She was born August 7, 1947 in Washington, D.C., the daughter of John Townsend and Betty Couzens Maloney.
She is survived by her two brothers, John “Chip” Maloney Jr. and Kevin Maloney, both of Warrenton; nephews John Maloney and Derrick Maloney and their wives, Chanell and Beth, all of Warrenton, and four great-nephews and four great-nieces.
Sharon Maloney “worked tirelessly over her admirably selfless life to assure the care, feeding and frequent rescue of animals large and small,” according to an obituary submitted to the Fauquier Times by her family. Maloney’s mother founded the Fauquier County SPCA, which for many years was located at the Maloney family farm on Springs Road.
“Sharon Maloney was immersed in the shelter and continued that compassionate tradition after the SPCA moved to larger quarters in Casanova in 1989,” said the obituary. Maloney served as president of the organization at the time of her death and had previously served the on its board of directors; she supported the SPCA with direct donations and fundraising efforts.
Maloney also had a lifelong interest in horses, winning a championship at the 1968 Devon Horse Show as an amateur while competing against professionals. After attending high school at Stone Ridge School of the Sacred Heart and college at Marymount Junior College, Maloney worked as a groom and exercise rider in California.
She returned to Virginia a few years later and started a business breaking and training horses, later owning, breeding and training racehorses. She left the equestrian scene in 2015 but kept several retired racehorses on her family’s farm and soon welcomed numerous rescued donkeys to the farm.
Maloney was also interested in collecting antiques and a “colossal fan” of the Washington Football Team, the obituary said. She was passionate about politics and social issues, occasionally participating in demonstrations in Washington, D.C. Before her death, she was proud to have voted in the 2020 presidential election.
A celebration of Maloney’s life will take place Oct. 31 at the Warrenton Horse Show Grounds from 1 to 3 p.m. The family asks all attendees remain in or near their cars, maintain physical distancing and wear face masks. No food or drinks will be provided, but tailgating is “encouraged.”
Donations in Maloney’s memory can be sent to the Fauquier SPCA at P.O. Box 733, Warrenton, Va. 20188.