Obituary – Leonard “Chico” McGee

04 Jul, 2015

Leonard McGee – affectionately known by all as “Chico”, passed away early this morning, 4 July 2015 at Notre Dame Hospital after a short illness.

Chico was a longstanding member of MSCM since 2000 – a frequent participant at Open Door every Tuesday, who could be counted upon to contribute his often lengthy opinions on the subject of the night.

Never one to be shy, Chico often referred to himself as the “Irish” and was extremely proud of his heritage. Many-a-time one had to listen to him expounding on the pride of the Irish and his roots to them.

He was one of the most colourful characters in MSCM – not only in the way he dressed (leather jackets, head scarves, gloves in the middle of summer, and his inevitable walking sticks), but also in his inability to be in a room without being noticed by all. He enjoyed being the centre of attention.

Chico also had many sides to his personality, always one to stand-up to authority on behalf of those he perceived as being the underdog – even if it meant getting himself in hot water with the law. He was always ready to defend his rights and those of others.

He was a generous soul, who even though not having any extra funds was always bringing “gifts” for his friends, and for their children, even if those gifts were found on the street – or bought at the dollar store. He loved books and frequently brought them to Open Door to be distributed – or if he was lucky, discussed with him. He enjoyed expressing himself with art, and filled many pages with his drawings which often portrayed his “Irish” roots.

Although Chico’s often very loudly expressed opinions were sometimes off-topic, he frequently surprised the Open Door gathering with pieces of wisdom kenned from his long life on the streets and his three decades on the inside.

He was proud of his large family and often spoke of them – although they were estranged these many years.

At the end of his life MSCM formed the only community that Chico belonged to and he will be greatly missed.

Rest in Peace Chico Leonard McGee.

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