Theodore R. Chavis Jr. Alpharetta, GA Theodore R. Chavis Jr., Professor Emeritus Michigan State University, 91, departed this life and went to be with the Lord on November 7, 2013. A native of Asheville, NC he was the son of the late Theodore R. Chavis Sr. and Anna Alston Chavis. Theodore (Ted) was born on June 14, 1922, the eldest of four siblings all whom preceded him in death. His early years in Asheville were devoted to musical and academic pursuits. An outstanding child soprano, Ted and was one of the original members of the singing group The Cabin Kids. He was a graduate of Stephens-Lee High School where he was known for his beautiful singing voice. An outstanding student, Theodore enrolled in Talladega College at the age of 16 where he obtained his undergraduate degree in Sociology/Social Work. A veteran of World War II, he served in the US Army in the Pacific Theater. During his time in the military he contracted Dengue Fever that threatened his life. Upon discharge from the Army he utilized the GI Bill to enroll in Atlanta University's School of Social Work. During his tenure at Atlanta University, he met his future wife, Montios Louise Gandy and graduated with high honors. Devoted to his profession, he continued his postgraduate studies at Smith College, The University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Howard University, The University of Houston, and Tulane University. Professor Chavis was employed at Michigan State University in the School of Social Work for twenty-three years. He served as the Faculty Practicum Coordinator and Field Instructor for many years. Ted was active in many of the university's affirmative action initiatives. He served on the University's Anti-Discrimination Judicial Board, University Commencement Committee, and was involved in the Employee Assistance Program. His favorite charity was the Capital Area United Way. Prior to his tenure at Michigan State University, Ted was employed at the North Carolina Employment Service in Fayetteville, NC. He also served as a medical-psychiatric social worker at the Percy Jones Army Hospital in Battle Creek, MI. Additionally, he was the Assistant Chief of Social Work at Fort Custer Veterans Hospital in Battle Creek, MI. A resident of East Lansing, MI for 41 years, he was a life long member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. In his later years of life he resided with his daughter Lisa and son-in-law Charlie Baggett in Weston, FL; Mesa, AZ; Kenmore, WA; St. Charles, MO; Knoxville, TN; and Alpharetta, GA. Theodore was preceded in death by his loving wife Montios Louise Gandy and devoted daughter Carolyn Louise Chavis-Noffsinger. Surviving to emulate his life and legacy are: his daughter Lisa Maria Chavis-Baggett, son-in-law Charles W. Baggett, granddaughter Camille Rai Baggett; sister-in-laws: Mabel Carter, Trevor Chavis, Esma Gandy, and Carrie Walker (Milton); brother-in-law Charles Jarmon, and numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 11 a.m. in Asheville, NC. The Hart Funeral Home, 60 Phifer Street, Asheville, NC 28801, will handle arrangements. (828) 252-2090. In lieu of flowers donations can be made in Theodore's memory to Arbor Terrace Assisted Living, 12200 Crabapple Road, Alpharetta, GA 30004. (678) 894-7803.
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Hart Funeral Service, Inc. - Asheville
60 Phifer St.
Asheville, NC 28801
Published in Lansing State Journal on Nov. 13, 2013