Daniel Angelo Felix – better known as Danny – graduated from Escalon High School with the Class of 2012. Earlier this year, he lost his battle with cancer, passing away at the age of 23.
Friday saw the culmination of a project in his honor, the placing of a memorial bench in the Main Street Park in downtown Escalon.
His mom, Dina Felix, joined by several family members and friends, gathered for an official ribbon cutting and brief dedication service.
“Danny loved his hometown of Escalon,” Dina said. “He loved playing at this park and playing on the Santa Fe caboose.”
He also played football for the Escalon Outlaws and later at the high school level, taking part in many parades along the Main Street, especially for Homecoming.
“He loved coming to Park Fete,” Dina added, noting that the new bench will now be available for those who want to sit and enjoy the Park Fete or other parades downtown.
“He enjoyed it all very much,” she said.
Danny was in Texas going to college in 2015 when he fell ill but it wasn’t until several months later that doctors at UCSF provided the cancer diagnosis, after he had come home because he was too ill to stay at school.
A fundraiser in May 2016 was hosted at the high school to help defray medical costs and, at that point, Dina said he was doing better. But the cancer returned in 2017 and though it was a valiant fight, Danny passed away on Jan. 11 of this year.
The idea for the bench was quickly formed and the family also this year presented the first Daniel Angelo Felix Memorial Scholarship, which will be an annual scholarship at EHS. The first recipient of this new scholarship was Gabby Rigg.
“He played Outlaws, he played for the Cougars, he did wrestling,” Dina said of her son being involve in many activities.
He also was in the FFA, did mock trial, participated in Friends Helping Friends and took part in field events for the track and field team.
Among those on hand for the dedication ceremony were classmates Dylan Furtado and Nate Caton, his brother J.J. with wife Rita Valencia-Felix and their son, Francis Daniel Felix, grandmother Cruz Felix, aunt Angelica Campos, her husband Juan and their children Andres and Mateo, family friend Sarah Bonney, and Karen Nunes from the high school and her husband John.
Dina Felix also offered thanks to the City of Escalon, specifically City Manager Tammy Alcantor and Juston Collins of the Public Works Department for their help in getting the project done. She was able to attach the memorial plaque on Thursday, just prior to Friday’s dedication.
“I just want to say ‘thank you’ for the love and support the community showed my son,” Dina said.