Mr. Eric George Gowins was born in the Bronx, New York on March 10, 1964, to the late Ms. Evelyn Jenkins and Mr. George Gowins. Eric was the youngest of six siblings. Two siblings preceded him in death and three remain to mourn his memory. On May 30, 2018, Eric was called to his heavenly home.
Eric was a product of the New York City public school system attending elementary school P.S. 53 and Alfred E. Smith High School in the Bronx, New York. He completed his GED in order to dive into the world of work. He wanted to build a life that would allow him to pursue his interests. Eric loved to work and it was rare when he was not employed. His excellent work ethics were his trademark. He took pride in maintaining himself. Eric continued his education at the New York Culinary Arts Institute where he earned a degree in Culinary Arts in 1993. He was an outstanding chef as well as a renown “foodie”! He enjoyed good food especially Spanish cuisine which was his favorite. Eric enjoyed preparing delectable meals for family and friends. His collard greens and pork chops were second to none. Eric loved to eat and be merry.
Eric worked as a Chef for New York City at Rikers Island and various group homes managed by NYC. He also held positions with Access-A-Ride and other transportation companies. In 2012, Eric achieved his long-held goal by becoming a Bus Operator for the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). His career as a civil servant reached its pinnacle when he was awarded a permanent appointment at MTA. Eric was proud to be a bus operator and loved going to work every day until his death. Eric belonged to the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge another prideful moment in his life. Eric loved to show off his Master Mason ring to others.
In late 1990, Eric met and fell in love with Eda Franco. Eric and Eda united in holy matrimony in 1991. From that union, his daughter Dominique Ashley was born 3 days before Eric’s 29th birthday in 1992. Eric loved being a father and family man. He enjoyed spending time with his family and took pride in providing for them. Although the marriage ended in divorce in 1995, Eric and Eda were committed to co-parenting Dominique and sharing family values that were important to them both. In 2015, Eric became a grandfather to Bryce Liam Riley. Bryce was the apple of Eric’s eyes. He doted and spoiled his grandson.
In 2008, Eric met his special companion Jacqueline (Jackie) Maxwell. Eric created a family with Jackie and her daughter Jaslene Crooks. Eric’s big heart fully accepted and claimed Jaslene as his own from 6 months old. Without hesitation, he stepped into the role of father and assumed the responsibility of nurturing Jaslene. He often bragged about his daughters and how much they meant to him. Eric made certain that the bond of sisterly love existed between Dominique and Jaslene.
Eric’s sense of family was evident through the many relationships he had in his life. Family was important to him whether by blood or by heart. Eric was a fun-loving person. He loved to laugh and make jokes. Eric’s laughter filled the room. His personality was infectious. People loved to be in his company.
Eric impacted many people in his life through his acts, deeds, love and kindness. He leaves to cherish his memory his beloved daughters, Ms. Dominique Ashley Gowins and Young Miss Jaslene Crooks; his only grandchild, Young Master Bryce Liam Riley; his aunt, Ms. Malvine Brockett; his special companion, Ms. Jacqueline Maxwell, the mother of Dominique, who he affectionally called “baby mama,” Ms. Eda Franco and a host of other relatives (nieces, nephews and cousins), colleagues, friends and sisters-in-laws.
We will all sorely miss Eric.