Felicita Gomez, longtime UVic custodian who had pub named after her, laid to rest in Saanich

Felicita Gomez, longtime UVic custodian who had pub named after her, laid to rest in Saanich

They loved her so much, they named a pub after her.

The namesake of the University of Victoria’s campus pub, beloved janitor Felicita Gomez, was laid to rest Tuesday in Saanich at age 97.

Many current and former UVic students know the longtime custodian well after she worked the campus for 22 years.

Between 1967 and 1989, Felicita became somewhat of an adopted mother to hundreds of students, and six years before she retired she cut the ribbon to Felicita’s Campus Pub at UVic’s Student Union Building.

“Their concerns were her concerns. She did so much more than just clean the place,” said grandson Shane Gomez. “She helped them and mothered them and mentored them, which is just extraordinary for someone with a limited formal education and who came from a dairy farm in Spain.”

Shane said he’s appreciative that the university chose to honour his grandmother, who he says was a “no BS kind of woman” who always told the truth.

“To anyone who I try to explain who my grandma was in as quick a manner as possible, I just tell them that she was a custodian at the University of Victoria and after 22 years of working there, they loved her so much, and she loved them so much that they named the pub after her,” he said. “I mean, how often does that sort of thing happen?”

Outside of her work, Felicita loved flowers and was a talented gardener, Shane said.

In a Facebook post, Felicita’s Campus Pub extended condolences to the Gomez family.

“Felicita’s name will always be present as part of UVic student life,” it wrote. “Felicita also means happiness, and that’s how we want her memory to be. When you come to Fels, celebrate life, celebrate happiness, celebrate Felicita.”

Family and friends of Felicita gathered at McCall Gardens Tuesday to remember her.


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