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CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — The owner of a popular Carolina Beach restaurant has died. Michael McGowan and his wife owned Michael’s Seafood, perhaps best known for its award-winning seafood chowder.

The 46-year-old had cystic fibrosis. He died last night at Duke University Hospital.

While McGowan may be known best for his restaurant, to his many friends he was much more.

“What can I say about Michael? Michael is one of the most wonderful, kind, genuine people you could ever meet,” Cynthia Remahl said. “A pillar in this community. I can’t say enough for how much he has given to this community.”

People streamed in to the restaurant Wednesday bringing flowers and good wishes.

“He wasn’t just a boss, he was our friend, we’re going to really miss him,” said Aris Axelgard, a manager at Michael’s Seafood.

McGowan and his wife Shelly worked together to build Michael’s Seafood.
He won a number of cooking competitions, including the 2009, 2010 and 2011 Great Chowder Cook-Off in Newport, RI. But McGowan wasn’t just all about chowder.

“Then he would go over to the soccer fields. They always sponsored teams,” Remahl said. “He coached. They were out and about and involved, always doing things in the community, always donating to the community and giving to various organizations.”

McGowan suffered from cystic fibrosis since he was a child and championed the fight against the disease. He and his family hosted the Shrimp Open Golf Tournament every year and raised almost $400,000 for CF and lung transplant research.

Around Carolina Beach, people remember their friend.

“Mike was just a good guy,” Dan Wilcox said. “He was willing to help out. He believed in his causes. Mike and Shelly are one of the reasons that our town is what it is; people like that. They have been a wonderful part of our town, and he’s going to be missed.”

McGowan is a man who served his community. It is not easy to say goodbye.

“We love you, and we’ll miss you,” Axelgard said. “We know you’re in a better place, and you’re not in pain any more, and we’re going to miss you.”

McGowan’s funeral will be at Lifepoint Church in Wilmington Monday at 11 a.m.

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8 Comments on "Friends remember Michael’s Seafood owner"

Kim Luciano
2015 years 10 months ago

To Michael’s Family and Friends,

I went to high school with Mike in Newport PA; has always been a kind soul. Mike will dearly missed.

Deepest Sympathy,

2015 years 10 months ago

Well said. I always went to Michael’s fundraisers for CF because it is a cause that is very close to my heart because my dear friend past away from CF about two years ago. I hope his family keeps the fundraisers alive for others in his memory. Michael was an inspiration for everyone in the community and will always be remembered with warm thoughts. Prayers and love are being lifted to his family. Keep faith and stay strong.

Ray and Cherylyn berrio
2015 years 10 months ago

We are so saddened by your loss and the for the loss to our community. I hope the family in time finds some comfort and can heal in the coming years to remember the wonderful and blessed times you were able to have with Michael. I know this is such a hard time for all , we have lost family members at this very young age and we know this is hard for all of you. We are praying for you that you can try to remember and share all the good times you were able to have.
Ray and Cherylyn Berrio

Sweet pea
2015 years 10 months ago

Dear Shelly and those who worked at Michael’s … I am very sorry for your loss… Michael will be forever remembered for those who’s lives he touched… Carolina Beach has lost a beautiful person.. My condolences to you and all that vacation there and reside there… God’s many Blessings be bestowed on you and yours,
Sincerely ,

Bill& Annette Ambrose
2015 years 10 months ago

We were so sad to of Michael’s passing. We very fond memories of eating almost every night at Michael’s when it was I. The original building and we were new in Carolina Beach. We were so happy for them when Shelley got pregnant and Michael got his new lungs. Shelley you are strong and I know you will carry on well for yourself and the boys. Our best!

2015 years 10 months ago

Prayers to the family and friends.

2015 years 10 months ago

You bring tears to my eyes Gable. Mr. Mike is looking and does know. I didn’t know him but can instantly tell what he meant obviously not just to his family but friends, co workers, patrons…and you. God bless you Gable, his family and all that knew him.

2015 years 10 months ago

My name is Gable I have known his son for a long time and when i heard this from his niece i just broke out crying. I am 11 years old but this really hurt me and I know that he would do anything for me and that he would do anything for me. He wasn’t related to me but i still loved him and really was sad to see him go i wil defineley be praying for him and keep him in my heart. He will look down on his two boys and all of his family. He really was a good family friend of mine. We will never forget you Mr. Mike. I made something spcial for him and I hope that he looks down and sees it every where i am going to carry it with me. So just remember everybody that Even if i am 11 i still have a big heart for mike.


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