Eugene Francis Michael, the charismatic owner of local post-War institutions such as the Mills Restaurant and the Gaslight Restaurant has died this week at the age of 82. Born in August 15, 1930 in Wheeling, West Virginia, Gene moved to El Paso in his youth and graduated from Austin High School. Better known as "Link", he coached local football, studied journalism at Texas Western College (now UTEP). When economic circumstances caused the closure of his restaurants, he later worked in a many local companies such as Rudolph Chevrolet, El Paso Country Club, Aaronson Brothers Department Store, Pistoleros Saloon and others. His recent favorite haunts included Memorial Park Senior Citizen's Centre, Sunland Park Mall and the King's X. He volunteered almost 10 years at Memorial Park Senior Citizens Center and danced with all the ladies on Monday and Fridays dances. Of Lebanese (and Ottoman before that) extraction, his father George Paul Michael Sr. and Emily Jacob Michael helped Gene along with his sister Vivian Michael Blaugrund. He leaves behind several children; Eugene (Gennie) Michael Jr., Lisa Marie Michael Reid, Bryane Michael, Evan Gourd and Stuart Gourd and several grandchildren who are Megan and Ryan Reid. He also leaves behind his sister Vivian Michael Blaugrund, nephew Johnny Blaugrund and niece Emily Fox. He also leaves behind a special friend L'Jon Veloz. A proud Maronite Christian, he attended St. Patrick's Cathedral regularly. A proud father, he gladly sacrificed all his money over half a life-time so that one of his sons to attend the most prestigious universities in the world. Gene Michael has reflected the El Paso he loved so much and the city has reflected him. If you are a long-time El Paso resident, your parents probably knew and liked him. Visitation will be held Thursday, May 16, 2013 at Harding Orr & McDaniel Funeral Home from 5:00 until 9:00 PM with a Rosary at 6:30 PM. Funeral Mass will be held on Friday, May 17, 2013 at St. Patrick's Cathedral at 10:00 AM., followed by interment at Mt. Carmel Cemetery 1755 N. Zaragosa Rd. We wish to thank his two main caregivers, Francisca Carmona and Norma Rodriguez and their extended families and the neighbors at Warren Terrace Apartments for their wonderful care and for making Gene's last days on earth happy. Also, our gratitude goes to CIMA Hospice for the excellent care they gave Gene. Funeral Services entrusted to Harding-Orr & McDaniel Funeral Home 320 Montana Avenue. www.FunerariaDelAngelHarding.com
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Published in El Paso Times from May 14 to May 21, 2013