Felix Omai: The Size of a Kitten, The Soul of Thirty Tigers

Passionate, fierce, and sharp.

Felix Omai, Southern Humboldt resident walked from our world yesterday. Or, rather, in my mind, she swaggered off with the collar of her black leather jacket turned up and a camera ready in her hands.

Probably the most important thing you need to know about Felix is that she was the size of kitten and had the soul of thirty tigers. Back in 2011, during the Occupy Movement, she and an officer had a verbal difference of opinion that ended with her being charged with resisting arrest and going to the hospital with broken ribs. (More on the story here.) Needless to say she fought the charges.

Seeing her swagger through a crowd at a Southern Humboldt gathering in my early twenties, I think I fell a little in love. Through the years, she moved into the heart of the community–KMUD, human rights, animal rights, women’s rights. She cared deeply, passionately about justice.

Cool and somewhat caustic on the outside, somehow, her rough voice conveyed her warm heart.

Goodbye, Felix. SoHum won’t be the same without you.

Capture

Felix’s photo of the slide that closed Hwy 101 for days.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

53 comments

  • Love the photo!!all thou I didn’t have the privilege to meet her,she was wonderful.rip

  • Have a good journey…RIP Felix. 💜

  • Felix, I remember all of the great fun Russ, myself and you had; barbecues on the roof of the dharma center…. hiking to the cabin and just hanging out…. I’d just seen you at Winco a month ago, where you told me Russ had passed-
    You welcomed me to garberville, held me while I wept for my first wife’s passing, and were one of the best friends a person could ever have. All of the great souls are leaving.

  • I will miss her voice for Justice in southern humboldt! I loved her!

  • I learned of her passing as i drove home from Ukiah yesterday. Thanks KMUD for your beautiful reporting of her passing and selection of tribute songs.

  • Is there a chance, that the lawsuit she filed against the authorities, for their brutality, can be continued. They postponed it so many times… I think they should not get away with it.

  • Rip Felix 🙏

  • Rest In Peace, Felix. You were always very nice to me, and for that, I thank you and wish you Love and Light on your new journey.

  • In a little cabin near Seely Creek so very many years ago a gruff woman dressed like James Dean reached into a box and gently offered me a treasure by the light of kerosene lamps. As she passed the puppy from her hands to mine she looked me in the eye and I was impaled by the seriousness there.
    “Dogs are amazing, all you have do is love them and they’ll do anything for you. ”
    Felix was like that puppy she offered me that night.
    A pit bull. Loyal, brave, and an unending source of joy.
    Just being around her made a day more interesting.
    Her tongue and her wit were equally sharp and there were times when she didn’t mind scolding me. I took those lessons to heart, her words knocked some of the silliness out of the girl I was.
    I am proud to have loved her.

  • Pingback: Felix Omai moves on | Sohum Parlance II

  • Kym, thank you for the lovely words. You captured both her fierceness and sweet center. Felix is undoubtedly rolling her eyes right now at all of the tributes and memories we are sharing, but this is one time she’ll have to let us say them! She lived life on her own terms, which is, in itself, a marvelous accomplishment. I think that’s one of the things she would like us all to do, to honor her spirit.

    • I hope when I die I’ve come to a place when I’m as much me as she was her.

      • Kym you are here for us. You are so talented . For me you really put a human face on growing, one that I find comforting. These are the real Americans Hero photos .

        I judge a person by their shoes. In Felix ,(whom I did not know) I saw she wore good boots. She was ready. I like that a lot. I love these black and whites of SoHum women. Full of strength and love. Really someone should make a blanket of these so you can wrap your young ones in them at night. Or a banner 100 feet long displayed . I wonder if a tee shirt company could make them ?
        I find the more wrinkles in your face the more attractive you are.
        RIP Felix

    • I have no doubt that Felix is rolling her eyes and saying, “Fuck, what’s going on here?”
      My heart feels heavy with loss. I liked Felix in my life. I will keep her in my heart and conscious mind…….

    • Perfect Marcia , the eye roll …!Fe would be annoyed at so many nice things being said but underneath she would be touched . And Kym really got it with the swagger and her collar up on her leather jacket, also there was always the backward hat with her cowlick sticking out the opening . She was my buddy since our early 20’s .. No one will ever take her place or match her fierceness . I couldn’t believe how small she looked in that hospital bed after they unplugged her , she was never that small when alive . Happy trails buddy..

  • One of the most inspiring and amazing folks I have ever met, a role model for me as a young activist and inspiration as a tough but loving woman in the world.
    I was not close with her but always enjoyed seeing her around for the last twenty years, made me cry to read this.
    Her presence at any event always made me feel safe in a way I cant explain. She could hold some serious energy down in the midst of craziness.
    May she live on thru her photos and passion for justice. A true wise woman who called it like she saw it! ♡

  • Many memories of Felix, not the least of which was 25 plus years ago when she let me sleep in a basement alcove of an apartment building she helped manage. Her compassion knew no bounds.

  • I only met her once, but she radiated Power, and will not be forgotten. Thank you for a beautiful tribute, Kym and KMUD. af

  • Super cool lady

  • Never met Felix ,but from all the love that all these people have for her she was surely someone special rest in peace and take a picture of heaven I wished I could have met her

  • Oh my, She lived up to her name. Freind, warrior, primordial artist, mentor, lover, fearless, faithfull, inspirational, Thank Your great spirit Felix. think I speak for Ez too.

  • Felix I will miss you and the friendship we have shared

  • I love you Felix. Peace.

  • Darn. I got to know Felix when she worked for Jimmy Dangler at Singing Salmon music located behind our store. My first impression of her was much like anyone else’s first impression. Thankfully, I didn’t judge the book by it’s cover.
    I formed a deep respect and trust in her when I saw how she loved and treated her dogs. I got to listen to many of her opinions, many that I shared but I lacked the courage of conviction that she had. She had a strong sense of right and wrong. She would not back away from an injustice, a trait that caused her some strife. What the cops did to her on the bridge could never be justified. If nothing else a poster should be made with their names and faces with the caption “Felix’s abusers”.
    The world would not work if everyone was a Felix Omai, but this world is a much better place because there was one Felix. I count her as one of my most admired friends. I will miss her greatly. Everyone in Southern Humbolt should be crying.

  • Felix.. Thanks for making tea and playing fiddle tunes in the sun.. On mandolins. Ill miss you there will never be anyone like you.

    • I used to be on the ‘Wild River Radio Show’ and always Felix would come in to the studio and be amazed at the mandolin music I would play. We picked a few times and she always was intent to figure out what I was playing a try few riffs. Bless you Felix as you were one who would jump in to help with whatever was needed, no question.

  • I have mentioned elsewhere that dear Felix and I were high school sweethearts in Mill Valley in the late 60s and early 70s. We were our first loves, and a few years later lost track of each other as things and people changed. We were reacquainted only about 5 years ago as she was recovering from a nasty illness and I was in the process of relocating to Bali, Indonesia. We had so much to reminisce about and so much to share about the directions our lives had taken that we stayed fairly close here online ever since, and had a couple of chances to meet in real life, the first time at The Humboldt County Fair where we sat at the races with Ed Denson and gabbed a lot. I moved away, but we stayed in touch and recently shared wonderful stories about biking to Tiburon with her dog Tutty running behind for miles and miles. We had a nice birthday conversation and then she was gone a couple of days later, but we were still talking about her visiting here. Now she’s visiting everywhere, and is still welcome here and I can see that she is beloved wherever she found honest and kind souls. Make her welcome.

  • RIP Felix

  • Maybe you could show us more of her photographic work. Humboldt has many wonderful artists and personalities. It’s so nice when they are properly apprieciated .

  • Robert "Bobbyg" Godwin

    Bettye and I were happy to see her at the KMUD Awards Night dinner and I was glad to have gotten to give her a hug She will be missed!

  • It is not uncommon for a person after an assault to develop blood clots which could eventually travel to the brain or heart. The prisons in China grow cilantro outside the grounds and feed it to the prisoners to help treat blood stasis from the assaults. Someone needs to look into this corrupt bullshit!

  • crap! I can feel her in my arms right now. We lost another deep hugger. She had the time for it, always. crap. Walk on sweetheart, you were fantastic. I will never forget. We are so lucky to have so many of us. Lets keep doing it, in the memory and glory of life pulled close and held long enough for our big hearts to catch up and find each other. crap. It’s OK, go… it’s freedom, just really hard sometimes. Because it was real love. Happy Valentines day everybody! L,B

  • Peace To you Felix. I only knew you a short while, but I knew from the start you were a special person. My heart goes out to your loved ones.

  • I would love to see her photos!!

  • I had a couple of conversations with her. One was when she was fighting a deputy who was abusing a young woman. She got arrested. She was as brave as anyone I’ve ever met. I admired her. (Kick Scalia’s ass Felix)

  • RIP Felix! You’ll be missed!

  • Moved by her ComPASSION!

    FELIX!?!! Damn. A big hole in the fabric of the community.
    What an AUTHENTIC person was she. That trait is so reassuring, so comforting for me; to know what, who I am dealing with. Be true to my self. A great role model.
    Am SO SAD.
    And, AM very HAPPY to have known her, to have experienced her compassion and her grace!

    Had ‘seen her around’ forever (20+ years). Wasn’t, though, till she sat in a tree, to save it, in Garberville that I started to understand and find kinship in her deep values.
    After she was on the KMUD Board, etc. (as was I), we’d connect to share our love of the medium and our frustration with the imperfect (like me/us) people administering it. I (we, I believe) discovered a common thread in that place. I found a deep appreciation, love, & respect for her.
    Then, after the community turned their backs on me, shunned and assaulted me, she (was one of the few who) invited me in, and served me tea in her sweet funky little home in G’ville. She listened. She showed me her heart. She had this immense compassion, that was so healing. A true and honest friend. She helped me heal.
    I would have not have guessed in advance who wouldn’t jump on ‘the bandwagon’. NEVER would have imagined that, in the storm of condemnation, this ‘biker-esque, butch woman’ would have opened her heart to me in my wounded state.
    THANK YOU FELIX for teaching me, for helping me further break down my preconceived ideas. To stay open to love, kinship, and surprises, no matter what, or where.
    True authenticity is what I, and many I know, strive for. Taking off our ‘masks’. Very challenging.
    My friend Felix seemed to do it so effortlessly.

  • Felix, for all the dogs that would have had no homes, except for you! I salute you, my dear friend! You soar high into the fields of great love and compassion for all of life itself! YOU were loved!

  • The animal shelter has had an over abundance of dogs lately, & I think one way to honor her memory is to obviously adopt if you can!
    The shelter also welcomes donations of treats&toys&$ of corse, as well as volunteer time!!!
    The people there continue to utilize the same type of passion (&compassion) as felix for the dogs.

  • I met Felix around 1993-5 under unusual circumstances, she sought me out for sponsorship for another unusual place. We worked together for a brief time but to tell you the truth at first I was scared of her but after inviting her to my home and her willingness to do what was needed I found her sweet side, that kitten heart. She strayed from the “herd” sorta speak, but we always recognized one another here there over the years…she will be missed.

  • Oh it’s always hard to be in a far away land and find out trouble is real . Felix shared Love with me for 20 years and my memories are full . We always hugged and I can still feel our last one at swing class on Wednesday before we left for our travels. She is a So Humboldt Hero and We should never forget Her .

  • Love you Felix. Ill never forget her walking her three legged dog through town every day. She rescued two amputee puppies and shared them with our town. She had a heart of gold. Humboldts treasure is the blessing to be with our loved ones for a short time in the heart of the redwoods. RIP good friend. Felix you and our loved ones help make this place our home, thanks for the friendship. Love and respect to your friends and family. I am sorry for your loss. Thank you kim for being kind and respectful to our community. Humboldt Heroes will never be forgotten. Neither will the abusers…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *