Victor Edwin Chavez
1930 - 2020
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August 28, 1930 - October 30, 2020 L.A. Superior Court Judge Victor Chavez was an extraordinary leader, a compassionate man and dedicated to the law, his family and faith. Victor passed away October 30 in Los Angeles from complications following orthopedic surgery. Born August 28, 1930 near downtown Los Angeles to Raymond and Sarah who moved from New Mexico with his two older sisters. Victor's love of travel began with family trips on the railroad his Dad worked for while his Mom instilled education as she graduated in one of UCLA's first classes in Westwood. Victor attended Mount Carmel High School, spent a year and a half at a Jesuit seminary in Los Angeles and graduated from Loyola University in 1953. He joined the Air Force ROTC in high school and became an Intelligence officer, 1st Lt. after college. Victor graduated from Loyola Law School in 1959 and joined Farmers Insurance defense firm Early, Maslach, Foran & Williams, then started Pomerantz and Chavez as a plaintiff's trial lawyer. After 30 years as a civil attorney, Victor was appointed to the L.A. Superior Court in 1990. He held many leadership positions, including being elected Presiding Judge. One of Victor's greatest joys was mentoring new judges. He maintained a full docket of criminal and civil trials until his death. Victor enjoyed being a lawyer and judge, looking forward to going to work every day. "The proudest day of my life was the day I took the oath to be a lawyer." Considered ethical and a man of integrity, as an attorney he was a fierce and honest advocate. He respected the court and his colleagues, showing fairness to all who came before him. Victor became a leader of every organization he joined, from the Mexican-American Bar Association to the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates, Los Angeles (ABOTA). His graciousness and easy-going personality brought people together. He was serious about the law but had a bright smile, endless humor and fascinating stories. As a founding member of Cowboy Lawyers, Victor rode horseback nearly every weekend with his beloved wife of 31 years, Marlene Schall Chavez. Together they traveled the world and attended all types of performing arts from the Los Angeles Opera, Hollywood Bowl, and theatre performances harkening back to his school days as singer, actor, trumpet player, DJ and journalist. Victor enjoyed gardening daily and farmed an impressive collection of orchids. He was an avid reader, sports player and fan and supporter of non-profits. Victor's family was close to his heart, being involved and proud of his six children [and four step-children], taking great glee in his oldest daughter Victoria becoming a judge before him, swearing him in as a judge and officiating at his marriage to Marlene at a ranch with Western attire, horses and all. Victor and Marlene entertained for many holidays and BBQs, basketball and shuffleboard, mingling an array of diverse friends. Although he was a devout Catholic, his marriage to Marlene caused him to embrace many Jewish traditions, including attending High Holy Days services and presiding over Passover Seders in their home. Friendships were important to Victor. He had many all his life and made new ones naturally. His daily lunches with friends at Langers, Market City Café, the Police Academy and more in DTLA were legendary. Victor was always learning and curious about others. Victor is survived by wife Marlene, children Victoria (Tim Morris), Stephanie, Christopher (Karine), Elizabeth (Christian Kiernan); daughter-in-law Christina Chavez, son-in-law Michael Moffet; stepchildren Jessica Supowitz, Adam, Mathew and Seth Gruner and 16 grandchildren. He was predeceased by son Robert (2008) and daughter Catherine Moffet (2019) whom he missed every day. A memorial mass will be celebrated privately with family due to Covid restrictions. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Victor's honor to Catholic Charities at or P.O. Box 15095, Los Angeles, California 90015. This amazing man will be greatly missed and live in our hearts always. We were all blessed to have Victor in our lives.

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Published in Los Angeles Times from Nov. 4 to Nov. 8, 2020.
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Memories & Condolences
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6 entries
November 23, 2020
Victor was a true joy. His lightness of being, grace, love of friends, quick to laughter, great companion and generous spirit will be missed by all lucky enough to have known him.

Bob Willett
Rober Willett
November 11, 2020
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Arturo Jacinto
November 8, 2020
I’m saddened by the news. I am a court reporter who worked on a few civil trials with Judge Chavez in 2012-2013. He was very pleasant and always made my trials easier to report because of who he was and the attorneys knew what to expect in his courtroom. And Judge Chavez always helped the jury panel through the trials by explaining the process. He lived a full life on earth. I pray for the family’s comfort, peace, and understanding during this season. Blessings and love to his family and friends❤
November 8, 2020
One of my favorite judges. I had the pleasure of reporting a trial in Judge Chavez's courtroom. Judge Chavez educated the jurors every step of the way during the trial as to what was taking place. When the trial was over, Judge Chavez would take the jurors into chambers to see what it was like. The jurors asked Judge Chavez if they could hug him and told him how much they appreciated how painless Judge Chavez made serving on a jury. Judge Chavez was brought to tears. It was truly an awesome moment I will never forget.
Judge Chavez, you will be truly missed.
Sincerely, Shawnda Dorn, Court Reporter
Shawnda Dorn
November 6, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of Victor’s passing. He was a nice man; a tru gentleman. I am glad I knew him.
Cheryl Dowden
November 5, 2020
I was one of many who attended judge lunches with Victor, always to his favorite downtown places. Nothing fancy, that was not Victor. We shared stories and lots of laughter. He was like a favorite tio (uncle) who was always fun to be with. Of course, he was a great judge, a gentleman and so well respected. But for many judges at the Court, he was just our friend. A huge hole has been left in our hearts. Godspeed, Victor.
Judge Yolanda Orozco
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