Lawrence Daniel Chavez, 29, died Jan. 29, 2014, in DeRidder, La. He was born July 12, 1984, in Albuquerque, N.M. He is the son of Lawrence and Cora (Martinez) Chavez. He attended Cibola High School and completed his GED. He joined the U.S. Army at the age of 19, and after seven and a half years of active duty service as a health care specialist, transitioned to the U.S. Army Reserves as an information technology specialist. Lawrence is survived by his wife, Julie Schlumbrecht Chavez of Kenner, La. He is also survived by his parents Lawrence V. Chavez and Cora Chavez of Bernaillio, N.M.; his sister Christine Chavez Rodriguez and her husband, Eddi Rodriguez of Rio Rancho, N.M. He also leaves behind his maternal grandparents, Jesse and Marylee Martinez, of Las Cruces, N.M.; and his paternal grandmother, Josephine Chavez of Las Cruces. He is also survived by several aunts, uncles and cousins. He was preceded in death by his uncles, Elias Chavez and Daniel Martinez and his paternal grandfather, Elfego Chavez. Lawrence is a veteran of Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom, where he earned several medals, including: Afghanistan Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, two Army Commendation Medals, three Army Achievement Medals, Joint Meritorious Unit Award, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Valorous Unit Award, two Army Good Conduct Medals, National Defense Service Medal, Global War On Terrorism Service Medal, Humanitarian Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Campaign Star, Non Commissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, and a Combat Medical Badge. The discipline, dedication, and patriotism he learned in the Army never left him, as friends and family will attest. Lawrence was a lover of animals and always opened his home and heart to any stray that came to him. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you consider donations to Paws & Stripes, an organization that provides service dogs for military veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury. Donations can be made via Internet www.pawsandstripes.org Visitation will be held Friday, Feb. 7, at 6 p.m. at La Paz-Graham's Funeral Home and a rosary service will follow. A Mass for Lawrence will be held at La Paz on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 10 a.m., followed by a military honor service. He will be laid to rest at Hillcrest Cemetary with his grandfather, Elfego Chavez, who served our country in WWII.
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Published in Las Cruces Sun-News on Feb. 6, 2014