Christopher McGovern, of Saranac Lake, passed away of natural causes in the early morning hours of Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. Chris was known to many for his commanding stage presence as a longtime company member of Pendragon Theatre.
He attended Missouri State University and was a graduate of the National Shakespeare Conservatory in New York, where he completed a three-year “Classical Intensive Actor” program. In the 12-plus years that Chris spent in Saranac Lake, he gave life to numerous characters. From Captain Ahab (“Moby Dick Rehearsed”) and Captain Scott (“Terra Nova”) to roles in plays as diverse as “Dinner with Friends,” “Twelfth Night,” “Lend Me a Tenor” and “Twelve Angry Men,” Chris demonstrated the range of his gifts as a performer. Chris also directed “The Dumbwaiter” as part of the New Directions series.
Originally from Springfield, Mo., Chris was predeceased by his father, Dudley McGovern, mother Mary Margaret “MiMi” McGovern and older brother Jay. He is survived by his sister in-law, Kathy McGovern, and his uncle, Paul Leaton.
Chris inherited his powerful, resonant voice from his father, a Springfield radio broadcaster and news director for 40 years. Chris will be remembered by friends for his thoughtful and inquisitive mind, his fun-loving nature and his tremendous talent. He was a humble and sensitive person and an avid reader. Like his mother, a librarian, Chris had a keen mind and was conversant in an array of subjects. His interests included film, theatre, history, archaeology, miniature model building, and the natural world. Chris recently renewed his interest in gardening, a hobby he once shared with his mother. He enjoyed fine food, gatherings of friends and late nights.
Chris’s inimitable voice and theatrical presence will be missed by audiences and by his family of colleagues. His kind and gentle soul will be missed by his many friends and all their pets whom he scratched. Chris was a dedicated caretaker of his two cats, Tessa and Tina, originally rescued by his mother in Missouri and then cared for by Chris until they recently died. In lieu of flowers, you may make contributions to the Tri-Lakes Humane Society where a special fund, The Tessa Fund, has been established in Chris’s memory to help owners of adult cats obtain medical care regardless of their means.
A memorial service will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at Pendragon Theatre, with a celebration of Chris’s life immediately to follow. Parking is available at the theatre and at the Saranac Lake Welcome Center. Friends are welcome to bring a dish and memories to share. He will be interred at a family plot in Missouri at a later date.