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Mourning Uncle Felix from afar amid Coronavirus

Leitrim's Felix McGowan in his American West prime

By Dan Dennehy

My uncle, Felix McGowan, my Mom’s brother, passed away on St. Patrick's night at 83 years of age.

Felix was born in Corderry, Kilargue, County Leitrim, one of nine.

In 1975, he followed my late Mom Dora across the Atlantic and worked in New York City until he made a life for himself moving homes for the celebrities living in California's San Fernando Valley.

He was a Hibernian like his father and brothers-in-law. Some places he lived had no Irish cultural centers, yet he somehow kept track of our exploits.

Felix worked as a cross-continental teamster, heavy equipment operator. He would leave the valley with his family and move to Scottsdale, Arizona, then Texas, and finally to Pueblo, Colorado.

Like a good cowboy, Felix was a tall, witty, guy. He always had a song and cold beer at the ready.

He died listening to his son Patrick sing to him on St Patrick's night.

Coronavirus was not the cause of his passing, but the virus will keep us away from his funeral and his children, Patrick, Mark and Tony, and his grandkids.

So our prayers will have to do for now and until such time as we can make the journey west.

So a trip to the Rockies when the smoke clears. Uncle Felix would like that.