Christina Anne McGovern, nee Brennan, of Huntersville, NC, passed away peacefully at age 87 surrounded by her family on September 27, 2023.
Born in Knockcroghery, County Roscommon, Ireland, to Bridget Dolan Brennan and Luke Brennan, she was one of five children in the Brennan household.
Christina came to the United States as a young adult in search of a better life and future. She flew by plane to New York at a time when most people still came by boat. Her Uncle Martin Dolan, already living in New York, helped arrange her first job at Schrafft's Restaurant where many an Irish lass earned their first dollar. Recognizing her aspirations for more challenging endeavors, Christina seized an opportunity at AT&T as an overseas telephone operator, armed with her impressive knowledge of the capitals of major countries.
Like many of her fellow Irish immigrants, Christina reveled in the lively music and dancing scene of iconic venues such as Jaeger House, City Center, the Leitrim House, and the Caravan. It was at one of these dances that she crossed paths with her husband, Felix McGovern of County Leitrim, whom she married in 1961. The couple established their home in the Bronx, welcoming three cherished daughters: Christina (Bater), Patricia (Young), and Deirdre (Hurley).
During her daughters' formative years, Christina enthusiastically explored New York City's cultural riches, making the most of its libraries, museums, historical sites, parks, pools, beaches, music, and classes. When her children entered school, Christina turned her focus towards her own personal growth and career development. After obtaining her GED, she volunteered at the local Congressman's office, honing her clerical skills. As the Bronx faced challenges in the early 1970s, she became an essential part of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. In a time when the Bronx was beset by fires and abandonment, the Coalition harnessed the power of organized communities, putting an end to landlords' arson-for-profit schemes and contributing to the passage of the Community Reinvestment Act. For Christina this just came naturally – she did not leave her country of birth to be victimized by the power structure in her new country. And while she was doing this, she was teaching her daughters by example to right wrongs and expand personal horizons.
Armed with the experience she gained; Christina embarked on her career in financial services as a student loan officer at Dollar Savings Bank. Concurrently, she continued her education by enrolling in free classes at Lehman College. After a few years, she joined TIAA-CREF, dedicating two decades to their Tax Department.
Upon retirement, Christina and Felix embraced a new adventure by relocating from Emerson, NJ, to Charlotte, North Carolina. Despite the allure of exploring a fresh geographical landscape, Christina's greatest joy remained spending quality time with her four cherished granddaughters: Lindsay, Sophia, Fiona, and Eva. In addition to her three daughters and four granddaughters, Christina leaves behind her sister, Rita Fallon, and brothers, John and Jim Brennan, as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
Christina Anne McGovern's legacy lives on through the lives she touched and the indelible mark she left on her family, community, and the country she embraced as her own. Her unwavering dedication to justice and her commitment to nurturing future generations will be remembered fondly, and her spirit will forever be cherished.
A visitation will be held on Sunday, October 1, 2023, 6p-8p at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home, 16901 Old Statesville Rd., Huntersville, NC. A funeral mass will be held on Monday, October 2, 2023 at 11am at St. Mark Catholic Church, 14740 Stumptown Rd, Huntersville, NC.
Condolences and memories may be shared at www.KepnerFH.com.