Michael Joseph Felix
November 20, 1984 - December 20, 2023
Michael Joseph Felix passed away on December 20, 2023, at the age of 39.
Michael, of proud Mexican and Korean heritage, was born in Los Angeles, CA to Hortensia Rhee and Guadalupe Felix Castano. He doted on his five sisters, Kristine, Lynette, Erica, Alexandria, and Katie, and adored his older brother, Jesse. Michael graduated from Sunny Hills High School in Fullerton, CA in 2002, and along the way developed a passion for cooking, which led him to study culinary arts at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, graduating in 2005.
Wanting to prove himself in one of the premier dining destinations in the world, Michael moved to NYC and worked in restaurants all over the city. While honing his skills and getting invaluable experience, he made treasured friends wherever he worked. Among them were Matthew Lief and Maria Dela Cruz, whom he met while all three were employed at Le Caprice in The Pierre Hotel. They partnered to form Landhaus, a successful event and corporate catering business, which earned a reputation for “great food made by great people.” After the pandemic, they partnered again on Three Maples, a popular Bed/Stuy neighborhood bar/restaurant which was the realization of a long-held dream.
In 2013, Michael met his soulmate and love of his life, Christina Rodriguez, a Florida native and successful NYC voiceover artist. They shared a passion for movies, TV shows, books, music, live theater, and good food, had a similar lively and ironic sense of humor, and became loving cat parents to a charming (and perpetually hungry) tuxedo cat named Walter. Christina and Michael blended seamlessly into each other’s circle of friends, and their wedding celebration at Berg’n in Brooklyn on October 15, 2017, was joyous and memorable. (Who else would request a groom’s cake which was half Death Star and half Golden Snitch?)
Michael returned to California regularly, spending time with his parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, sharing his love of the LA Dodgers, and indulging in his favorite California cuisine.
Michael was a person in whom there was not an ounce of pretense. Being with him made everyone feel at ease and “at home.” He was kind, generous of spirit, naturally curious about everything, and a consummate chef. The meals he lovingly prepared for family and friends over the years will be remembered always. Michael’s absence leaves a hole in all of our hearts.
Preceding Michael in death were his beloved grandmother Margarita Villalpando, his father Guadalupe Felix, and his brothers Jesse Felix and James Felix (died in infancy).
Michael is survived by his loving wife, Christina Rodriguez, his mother Hortensia Rhee, his sisters Kristine Marquez (Kevin), Lynette Sanchez, Erica Felix (Tito Mendoza), Alexandria Felix, and Katherine Felix, his parents-in-law Albert and Joanna Rodriguez, his sister-in-law Angela Rodriguez, and nieces and nephews Kambria O’Donnell, Kaitlyn Marquez, Kelly Marquez, Adrian Sanchez, Robert Jesse Apodaca, Joseph Mendoza, Gianah Mendoza, Xavier Mendoza, Jessica Avalos, Anthony Ortiz, and Aveyla Cortez.
Friends and family are invited to commemorate Michael’s life on Sunday, February 11, 2024 at 2:30 pm at Sparrow Funeral Home, 161 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11222. A live stream service will be provided for those unable to attend in person.
In lieu of flowers, you are welcome to donate to Paul the Cat Guy, a cat rescue charity that was dear to Michael’s heart.