Remembering Joe McGovern

January 7, 2017 • News

Written by the ESM Family

Nobody feels or remembers the grief and pain of losing a loved one deeper, longer, and harder than family. But Joe McGovern was truly a lifelong part of the ESM family and our East Coast ocean tribe — and two years ago today, on January 7th, 2015, his family made the unfathomably brave and loving decision to let Joe peacefully slip away after suffering a traumatic injury while surfing in Central Florida.

Son, husband, father, brother, and lifelong hardcore surfer, right up ’til the very end. Photo: Steve Melidossian

Joe left us that January day, and it still hurts bad. It’s also hard to believe he’s gone, especially this time of year — Surf Expo time — when Joe would make his annual trip to visit Central Florida’s shores and catch up with all of his friends here.

Those of us in Joe’s surfing family were not bound by blood but by the mystical liquids of ocean energy and riding waves, which truly can make you feel as close as a brother or sister. We are brothers and sisters of the sea — of a special, magical pursuit that only we understand between us.

Halcyon days in Puerto Rico, Winter 1967. Forty years later, the smile, stoke and deep love of waveriding never diminished in the slightest. Photo: McGovern Collection

On January 7th, 2017 we wanted to honor and remember another dear, dear friend lost along life’s capricious trail. We’ve had far too many of them go these past few years, but we’re still sending our continuing love and support to the Joe’s wife Mary Ellen, his daughters Jenny and Katie, and the rest of Clan McGovern.

Take a moment to think of Joe today, raise a glass of his beloved Guinness from the Auld Country, and give a big, hearty salute to a wonderful son, father, husband, and our brother of the sea gone too soon.

S’lainte, brother! May the road and the waves rise up to meet you.

S’lainte, old friend! Photo: Steve Fitzpatrick

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