George A. Chavez

Died: Mon., Aug. 28, 2017

Recitation of the Rosary

10:00 AM Sat., Sep. 16, 2017
Location: St. Joseph Catholic Church

Memorial Mass

10:30 AM Sat., Sep. 16, 2017
Location: St. Joseph Catholic Church

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Music by The Piano Brothers

George A. Chavez, 88, died August 28 at his home, surrounded by his family, following a brief illness from acute myeloid leukemia.

                He was born July 25, 1929 to Cora Walker Chavez and Casimiro Chavez in Laramie, Wyoming and was one of 12 children.

                He worked for the Denver and Salt lake Railway from age 14 to 18 and then spent six years in the U.S. Air Force serving in the military police and participating in Golden Glove boxing. After being honorably discharged from military service in 1953 he met the love of his life, Inez Madrid and they were married shortly after on September 26, 1954. They would have celebrated 63 years of marriage this month.

                He joined the Colorado State Patrol in 1959 and served for nearly 30 years, all in Salida. During his career he received many medals, plaques and letters of commendation for his service. Probably the most notable of his incidents of heroism occurred on June 7, 1974 when he stopped a vehicle on U.S. Highway 50 west of Cotopaxi to check a safety sticker. The driver pulled a gun and took him hostage, driving him up a side road. A struggle ensued in the man’s car. Chavez was shot in the hand and neck and the man was shot in the face. All shots came from the assailant’s gun.

                Chavez walked back to the highway where a construction worker stopped to help. Chavez called for help on his radio, asking for aid for his assailant as well, and both were taken to Salida Hospital. The assailant was later flown by Flight for Life to Colorado Springs. Later it was learned the man was wanted in California for a parole violation and had a lengthy police record. He was charged with kidnapping and felonious assault. Chavez was back on duty a week after that incident for which he received the Medal of Valor from the Colorado State Patrol.

                In another incident he saved the life of a local man, Tom Koenig, who was involved in an accident and n another situation, while Chavez was having coffee at The Spa restaurant (now The Bounty) he resuscitated a women who went into cardiac arrest. In both of those situations he received awards from the Red Cross.

                After retiring from the Colorado State Patrol, he ran for Chaffee County Sheriff and served one term, from 1991 to 1995.

                He was above all, a devoted family man and enjoyed spending time with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In his earlier years he had worked as a cement finisher and cabinet maker and he continued his carpentry work as a hobby, building bird houses for the kids and even some furniture. He enjoyed yard work and was an avid gardener and loved sharing his crops with his friends and neighbors. He also enjoyed golfing, was a lifetime member of the Salida Elks Lodge and a member of   Ray Lines Post 64 of the American Legion, Post 3810 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

                He is survived by his wife, Inez, three children, Jill (Steve) Murphy of Castle Pine,Ric (Trish) Chavez, Nashville, Tennessee and Lisa Ashley, Howard; seven grandchildren, Shaun (Rachel) Murphy, Kirsten (John) Hime, Tara (Brian) Allen, Amy (Kevin) Kullivan, Megan (Adam) Teepe, Lauren (Amar) Dave and Matt (Kayla) Chavez; 15 great-grandchildren and many friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and three brothers.

Recitation of the Holy Rosary is at 10 a.m. September 16 at St. Joseph Catholic Church followed by a memorial Mass at 10:30 a.m. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery.

Memorials may be sent to Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Home Health and Hospice or to St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Lewis and Glenn Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be offered at      

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Jerry & PJ Harrington
   Posted Wed August 30, 2017
Jerry has some wonderful memories in the early days, coffee time, hunting with George. He was a good friend, he will be missed.

Dorothy Mueller-Christine and Larry Christine
   Posted Thu August 31, 2017
George and Inez were some of the first friends my parents, Dave and Joan Mueller, made when they moved to Salida in 1989. They helped in the effort that got George elected as sheriff and their friendship continued from there. George was always very generous with the huge bounty from his garden. What a wonderful man who left a loving legacy and will remain in the memories of those that knew him. Condolences to Inez and the rest of the family. With love, Dorothy and Larry

Chaille Womack
   Posted Thu August 31, 2017
I am saddened to learn of George's passing. Please know, Inez, that I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts and prayers at this sorrowful time. With sincere sympathy, Chaille

Kenneth Overturf
   Posted Fri September 01, 2017
George was my friend and mentor for 50 plus years. He set the example for me, and I'm sure many other young men, for character, honor, and self discipline. I well remember the Saturday afternoons punching the "heavy bag" hanging from the tree in front of the Crestone house and the midnight "ride alongs" up Monarch Pass and to Leadville, and the guidance and direction he gave me during those times.

This world was a better place because George was here and he will be missed. Inez and Family, my and Gretta's deepest condolences.

Andrew Garduno
   Posted Sat September 02, 2017
I was visiting my mother in Salida yesterday
and heard of his passing. It was very sad news.
George was extremely instrumental in my
becoming a Colorado State Trooper in 1972.
I'll will always treasure my memories of this
Good, Honorable, Heroic man.
My deepest condolences to his wife and family.
Be with God George. Sincerely, Andrew Garduno

Tom Naccarato Grand Junction
   Posted Tue September 05, 2017
George was such a great example to all young men growing up in Salida during the 60's and 70's. I sure his example reached into the decades beyond those years also. He was one Trooper that certainly make a difference for the good of our community. Rest in peace Trooper Chavez. You SERVED Well and Honorably.

Michael Stokes
   Posted Thu September 07, 2017
So sorry for you loss , I have great memories of your dad. Another angel returned to heaven.

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