Henry Chavez

Henry Bernard Chavez

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020
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Our beloved, Henry B. Chavez, Jr. was born February 2, 1936 to Henry Chavez and Helen Spindle Chavez in Albuquerque, NM. He died on March 18, 2020 at Keck Medical Center of USC in Los Angeles, CA from complications after a heart attack, with his son and his wife by his side.

Henry received his BS and MS in Biology at New Mexico State University and his PhD in Plant Pathology at the University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ. After three years as head of the University of Arizona's plant disease clinic, Henry went to work at Upjohn as technology research representative for the southwestern states. In 1970, He became Vice President of Superior Farming Company and under his leadership the company went from 4,000-acres in the San Joaquin Valley, to 50,000-acres including land in Coachella Valley, Northern Mexico, Arizona, Chile, and a joint venture in Europe. Henry and his management team were among the first private-sector groups to enter China, shortly after President Nixon commenced diplomatic relations.

In 1984, Governor Deukmejian appointed Henry to the California Horse Racing Board. During his tenure he served two terms as Chairman. In 1990, Henry, his wife Lydia, and Mario Jauregui started Spindle Cooling in San Luis, AZ which recently celebrated its 30-year anniversary.

Henry was very active in the community. He was involved with the San Luis, AZ Chamber of Commerce, President of the Port of Entry User's Organization, and a member of the Navy League and Elk's Club. In 2008 he was named one of Yuma, AZ top 10 Most Influential Hispanics, for his positive contributions to his community. In 2019, the city of San Luis named the street adjacent to Spindle cooling in his honor.

Henry is survived by his brother David, his wife Lydia, his 6 children, her 3 children, 25 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren and innumerable nieces and nephews who all love and will miss him. He is preceded in death by his parents, his sisters Judy Chavez, Patricia Sanchez, and Geraldine Gonzales, His daughter Cynthia Ann Chavez and son Henry Arthur Chavez. Henry loved his family, his work, dancing, traveling, and good wine. He will be missed greatly.

Henry's burial will occur this weekend at Greenlawn Cemetery, Northwest, in Bakersfield, California, with plans for memorials to be held after several months, when all friends and family will be invited to attend, in Bakersfield, CA and in Yuma, AZ. In lieu of flowers, a donation to the Shriner's Hospitals or to St. Jude's Hospital in Henry's honor is greatly appreciated.
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Service Details

A private ceremony will be held on Saturday, March 28, 2020, family and friends wishing to send flowers can send flowers to Greenlawn Funeral Home Northeast 3700 River Blvd. Bakersfield, CA 93305, flowers should be delivered by 5:00 p.m. Friday prior to ceremony.


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Private Condolence
Michele Chavez-Pardini sent flowers to the family of Henry Bernard Chavez.
Guaranteed hand delivery by a local florist

Jessica Orrell

Posted at 05:33pm
My grandpa was the glue of our family. He did his best to get our huge family together every year. My aunts, uncles and cousins would gather to tell stories, dance, play games, have talent shows, fish, cook, eat & drink! If there was good wine or tequila and
it smelled like tamales and chile we knew grandpa was in the house. His laughter is one of my favorite sounds, and he made me laugh often, always “pranking” us, once telling us grandkids he caught a bear on an annual camping trip. I loved helping to coordinate
his Navy League annual San Diego dinner before “Yuma Gang” day at the races, because it made me feel good to do something for the guy that did so much for others. I’m forever grateful my grandpa made us feel so loved.

Paulette, Tom and Family.

Posted at 10:12pm
I forgot to change quantity in my previous order for the trees. I had forgot about Judith.
Tree Image
A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Henry Chavez

Love you all Paulette, Tom and family.

Posted at 09:48pm
These four trees are for you, and your three (3) sisters (Judith, Geraldine and Patsy)
Tree Image
3 memorial trees were planted in the memory of Henry Chavez

Paulette Kaminski

Posted at 09:44pm
Uncle Henry, We will miss you ever so much, you were the thread that held the Chavez's (Gonzales, Sanchez) family together. It was always you who wanted to set up the reunions. And you always made time to travel back to New Mexico and stay in touch. You left a great legacy behind and that will live on through your kids and their extended families. Within our hearts you will always be with us. While we are left behind mourning, you have gone ahead rejoicing with family and friends who have been waiting for you. God be with you and your family during this time of final goodbyes. Love to you all. Paulette, Tom and family.

Rosalie Douglas

Posted at 08:37pm
Henry - You were my highschool sweetheart, father of my children and even though we went our separate ways I was glad we remained friends. It gives me pleasure to see your good traits in our daughters, their children and their children's children. I will miss you.
Rosalie Gallegos Chavez Douglas

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