Howard Rudy Chavez Jr. Howard attended local elementary schools and graduated from Lower Lake High School in 1975. After high school he entered into the US Coast Guard and served for two years. Howard received encouragement from his elders to pursue a career in education, and so he did and received his BA degree at Humbolt State University in June of 1980. He followed this up by completing his MA degree at the University of San Francisco in 1985. He was a teacher for the Konocti Unified School District from 1981 to 1990. Howard then worked as the principal of the Round Valley High School from 1990 to 1997. He also worked for a year as the superintendent and principal at the Pyramid Lake High School. In his later years Howard worked with different agencies to help Native American programs, offering his writing skills in obtaining federal grants and development of training and social involvement addressing various tribal issues. Howard leaves behind sons, Justin Latham, and Matthew Chavez; daughters, Summer Porter, Roberta and Cassandra Chavez; along with numerous grandchildren, nieces and nephews; his brother, Ron Montez; sisters, Leora John and Jeanne Lopez; and his love and life partner of twenty years, Janice Freeman. He loved that she was a traditional Indian woman believing in the old ways, and that she was a great cook. With Janice, Howard opened his heart and home to shelter and raise many needful Indian and non-Indian grandchildren. They provided a home and family atmosphere for these children that they otherwise would have been without. Affectionately these children called Howard "Papa" and he always had a word of encouragement for the kids, little quotes like "the early bird gets the worm" or "quitters never win and winners never quit." He believed in education as a way to make a difference for yourself and to help set an example for the generations to come. A traditional Native American wake will be held at the Big Valley Rancheria gymnasium from 4 p.m. Friday, March 21 to Monday March 24. A Memorial service will take place from Sunday, March 23 at 11 a.m. to Monday March 24, at 9 a.m. Contributions may be made to Jones Mortuary in care of Chavez Funeral. Arrangements entrusted to Jones Mortuary www.jonesmortuary.com FD311, Lakeport, CA. Please share your memories by signing the guest book at www.legacy.com.
Published in Lake County Record-Bee from Mar. 21 to Mar. 27, 2014