Felipe Chavez Jr. passed away peacefully on Friday, June 18, 2021 in Albuquerque New Mexico, after living with Parkinsons for 27 years.
He was preceded in death by his parents Felipe and Lily Chavez, wife Ann Lucy Tafoya Chavez, his second wife, Beate Hitzler, brothers: Macedonio Chavez, Willie Chavez, Ray B. Chavez, Larry Chavez, and sister Frances Giron.
Felipe is survived by his daughter Genevieve Mitchell and her husband Paul Mitchell; sons: Jim Chavez and his wife Dianne, John Chavez and his wife Cara, Paul Chavez and his wife Megan, Lawrence Chavez and his wife Angie; longtime girlfriend Esther Sanchez; sister Emelia Aragon; brother Richard Chavez. He is also survived by his beloved grandkids: Josephine Chavez, Claire Chavez, Renee Chavez, Aurora Chavez, Rafael Chavez, Luke Mitchell, Aaron Mitchell, Jacob Mitchell, Adam Mitchell, Phil Chavez, Noah Chavez, Taylor Chavez, Lauren Chavez; great grandchildren: Eliora Mitchell, Caleb Mitchell, Alice Mitchell, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and family.
Felipe was born in Springerville, Arizona on February 26, 1932. He was one of eight children.
Felipe attended New Mexico State University and graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1954 and a Master’s Degree in Mathematics from University of New Mexico in 1964. In 1956 during his tour of duty with the United State Air Force he met and married Ann Lucy Tafoya, they were married until her death in 1994. Felipe worked for Sandia Laboratories for 37 years, retiring in 1993.
Felipe enjoyed building things, working on cars and houses, and woodworking. He had many good friends that he camped, hunted, fished, and traveled with over the years. He especially enjoyed his adventures with his good friend Ronald Bentz, and all his golfing trips with his brothers over the years. He had an avid interest in genealogy, metal detecting and travel. At the age of 30 Felipe began riding his bike to work at Sandia Labs. Over the years his interest and commitment to bike riding increased. He participated in bike tours and continued to ride faithfully until he was age 83.
A big part of Felipe’s life was focused on family. He never missed a Fourth of July Springerville Chavez Family Reunion until he was too sick to travel. He loved being with his siblings, their families, his nieces and nephews enjoying music, good food and family memories. Bapoo was very loved by all of his grandchildren. They have great memories of him going to Elephant Butte lake, going to McDonalds and camping. They also enjoyed spending time with him working in his shop. At the prompting of his granddaughters, Felipe wrote and published his Grandfather Memories, reflections of growing up in Springerville, AZ in the 1930’s and a history of his life.
Felipe's Life Celebration will begin with a Rosary on Thursday, July 1, 2021 at 7:00 p.m. in the Reflection of Life® Chapel inside Reflections Funerals & Life Celebrations located at 2400 Washington St. NE, 87110. Mass will be held on Friday, July 2, 2021 at 10:00 a.m. at the Shrine of St. Bernadette Catholic Church located at 11509 Indian School Rd NE, 87112. Felipe will be laid to rest following the Mass at Gate of Heaven Cemetery located at 7999 Wyoming Blvd NE, 87109.
Special thanks to Cynthia Lovato for loving and caring for Dad the past 6 years. Thanks also to the staff at Atria Vista Del Rio (Morada) and to Dr. Jill Marjama.
Donations can be made to the Peanut Butter and Jelly Family Services, Parkinson's Research or NMSU College of Engineering.
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