Claudio Filemon Chavez, 87, passed from this life to life in heaven because of fervent prayer and his final acceptance of the prayer of Our Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit on Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Farmington. He was born Nov. 22, 1926, in Turley, to Teresa Lobato and Silvano Chavez.
Claudio was a commercial and residential contractor and real estate broker in Aztec for over 50 years. He developed several residential subdivisions in Aztec. He established the first commercial business on what is now Aztec Boulevard and continued that development throughout his career. He donated a piece of land to the city at Aztec Boulevard and Main Street and is commemorated with a bench and plaque at that location.
He envisioned growth in Aztec over 40 years ago. Claudio was active in civic organizations like the Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Kiwanis Club. He also contributed to the development of the Good Samaritan Home, and was a contributing member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Aztec, as well as supporting other charities in the county.
As a self-made man from the depression era, after he graduated high school, went to training in Denver, Colo., for refrigeration and worked for Gates Tire Company. He then moved back to Aztec and worked on the Navajo Dam construction and became a general contractor, broker and invested in properties. He was also famous for his humor like his sign at the end of town that said "FOR RENT, FOR SALE FOR SOMETHING" and wrote his own book of advice, titled "Creating Oneself Endlessly." He continued to manage his own properties until his early 80s.
Claudio enjoyed getting together with family and friends for a good meal, music and dancing. He loved to tell a story or two whether they were true or not. He traveled with the prime timers to many destinations and enjoyed seeing the world.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Elsie Emma Chavez; two children who died shortly after birth, John and Michael; and grandson, Isadore Chavez Jr.
Claudio is survived by his five surviving children, Maria (Johnn) Saiz, Caesar Chavez, Isadore (Yvonne) Chavez, Arlene (Max) Blackwood and Patricia (John) Chavez Smith; his brothers, Dennis (Emma) Chavez and Flavio Chavez; sister, Ruby Sewell; sisters-in-laws, Priscilla Padilla, Lydia Valdez and Lina Chavez; his grandchildren, Johnn Jacob Saiz, Claudia Saiz Sanchez, Dina Osona, Devon Chavez, Joseph Blackwood, Joshua Blackwood, Johnathon Smith, Ryan Smith and Grey Smith; his great-grandchildren, Alexis Sanchez, Izaiah Sanchez, Alicia Sanchez, Izra Sanchez, Elijah Chavez, Brooklyn Blackwood, Antoinette Smith and baby boy Smith due in April; and two godchildren, Ramona Hilliard and Sylvia Larkin.
Pallbearers are Johnathon Smith, Joseph Blackwood, Jacob Saiz, Devon Chavez, Joshua Blackwood and Juan Carlos Sanchez.
Honorary pallbearers are Michael Padilla, Lincoln Chavez, Claudia Saiz Sanchez, Ryan Smith, Grey Smith, Johnn Saiz, Caesar Chavez, Emma and Dennis Chavez, Flavio Chavez, Mario Chavez, Emily Chavez, Priscilla Padilla and JoAnn Schmaltz; numerous uncles, aunts, cousins; and all of all of our beloved family.
The family wishes to thank the many people who have helped in the care of Claudio including Tawni Gillan, Carmen Martinez, the many caregivers over the years and the people at the Bloomfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, San Juan Regional Medical Center, Physical Therapy and Sports Medicine of Northern New Mexico, Dr. Parks and Dr. Barkman. We also wish to thank all those in the Aztec community and our most precious and beloved family, who has reached out so many times to offer help, visited and called and gave of themselves.
A viewing will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 13, at Cope Memorial Chapel of Aztec.
A viewing will be from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 14, at Cope Memorial Chapel of Aztec.
A prayer service for family and friends will be at 11 a.m. on Friday, March 14, in the Turley Cemetery.
A rosary will be recited at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 15, at St.
Joseph's Catholic Church, 500 N. Mesa Verde Ave. in Aztec.
A Mass of Christian burial will follow at 11 a.m., with Father Joe Blonski as celebrant.
Interment will follow the Mass in the Aztec Cemetery.
A reception will be at St. Joseph's Parish Hall after the interment.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Bloomfield Nursing and Rehabilitation Center or to St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 500 N. Mesa Verde Ave. in Aztec.
Claudio's care is entrusted to Cope Memorial Chapel of Aztec, 405 S. Main Ave., 505-334-9332. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so at www.serenityandcompany.com.