Written by Michelle Currie:
Felix came into our lives during our association with Bandag Europe. He immediately won us over with his knowledge and wit. The three of us traveled throughout Europe with Felix as our connection to the clients, their countries, and their businesses. Windshield time with Felix was never boring. A true Renaissance man, Felix, would engage Bob in philosophical discussions on the meaning of life and the next moment turn to me, Michelle, and discuss the latest fashion trend. Our respect and affection for Felix grew during these trips.
On one of our trips to Dresden, Germany Bob asked Felix to ask the proprietor of the hotel for an iron so he could iron his shirt. She said yes. While we were in the restaurant having dinner, the proprietor came over to our table and looking at me, the wife, asked something in German. Felix could hardly keep from laughing. I turned to Felix and asked him to translate. He said that the woman asked if I wanted an ironing board with the iron. He was now laughing. Felix knew what I would say, “I didn’t ask for the iron. Ask Mr. Currie if he would like the ironing board.” As Felix translated, the woman looked at me in horror. Felix was now laughing out loud. He translated to Bob that the woman said to bring her his shirt and she would iron it for him. I do believe that she said something rude about me but Felix being the gentleman he is would not translate that part. His laughter was enough. That was Felix. He was our buffer between our ugly American ways and the ways of Europe. He did not judge, he accepted people as they were and for what they had to offer.
When Bandag cut him loose, Currie grabbed him. Felix ran our European office for 10+ years. He took care of our clients, the business and the Curries. Our friendship deepened and so did our admiration. We had lots of success and fun with Felix. Then a marketing trip to Russia brought Olga into his life and ours. He was amazed that someone so beautiful, young, and smart would be interested in him. We weren’t surprised. Olga brought out the best of Felix. She was the love of his life and he was grateful every day he was with her.
Felix and Olga were acting as tour guides for myself and my friend, Annie. Annie asked if Felix knew of the American Cemetery in Belgium and of course he knew. So, on our way to visit Aachen, Germany Felix took us to this cemetery. This was in December and it was colder than the Arctic. Annie was looking for the grave of an American Soldier who died in the battle of Aachen and was the father of her friend back home. No one had ever visited his grave. We would be the first. We found the caretaker who lead us to the grave which was in the farthest corner of the site. Standing in the freezing cold the caretaker told us the story of the Battle of Aachen and what the soldiers had endured. Felix was moved and had tears in his eyes. That was Felix, going out of his way to help and connecting on an emotional level with someone he didn’t even know.
It is difficult to condense so many years of association and friendship down to so few words. Yet, when we think of Felix these are the words that come to mind.
Knowledgeable, Teacher, Mentor, Generous, Wine Connoisseur, Foodie, Loyal, Caring, and Friend.
I last spoke to Felix on his birthday, June 30, 2017. He sounded upbeat and we were planning to get together. Bob and I are saddened by Felix’s sudden passing and will carry our memories forward. He was loved and admired by many and may he rest in the arms of the Lord.