Norbert would like to let everyone know his work here is done. He received a call, a type of offer he could not refuse, and as a savvy businessman looking for the best deal in town, Norbert signed a new contract. One where he has the grandest seat in the house with the most beautiful view. He signed on with God with a huge bonus of getting to be reunited with family and friends whom he has not seen in a long time; his new mission will be socializing, celebrating, dancing, building, gardening and eating the finest rubbish to his heart’s content.
Norbert Orlando Chavez passed away suddenly and unexpectedly on Sunday, June 14, 2020, in Albuquerque, NM. He was surrounded by his wife, son, daughter-in-law, and friend, who battled to try to keep him with us on earth. Norbert was 56 years old.
He was the oldest of four children born to Rafael Orlando Chavez (Ralph) and Ricardita Sofia Sanchez (Dickie) in Mountainair, NM, on August 28, 1963. Norbert’s parents were born in Corona, NM and then moved to Las Cruces, NM, and finally to Albuquerque in 1969. His father worked as the Business Agent for the Teamsters Union Local 492 and his mother worked for the Labor Union Local 16. Norbert has two brothers, Robert and Larry and one sister, Tammie. The family lived in the South Valley where Norbert grew up and attended Barcelona Elementary, Adobe Acres Elementary, Harrison Middle School and then graduated from Rio Grande High School in 1981. Norbert obtained his Cosmetology License in 1982. Although Norbert had known Natalie since elementary school, years later, as cosmetologists, they became good friends while working at Nevarez Salon. Their friendship blossomed and they were married in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their first son, Matthew, was born in 1986. Norbert, literally, being a “jack of all trades” not only would cut and style Natalie’s hair, but he also built their first home in the South Valley. Their second son, Jordan, was born in 1991, and shortly thereafter Norbert built the family’s second beautiful home where the family now resides.
Norbert’s industrious spirit led him to work in diverse business ventures. He opened one hair salon for Natalie on Isleta Boulevard and followed with opening another salon of his own, which was called “Bangs”. He then initiated his own beauty supply company, Enchantment Beauty Supply. He was also a General Contractor and always had several projects going at once. He was gifted in the area of sales. In 1999, he worked for SES, a national employee leasing company, where in the first year he was awarded the honor of “top salesman” for ten consecutive months. He then decided to partner with his brother Larry and create his own employee leasing and payroll company, MRG. In addition, he partnered with both Larry and Jude (his brother-in-law) and they developed their own insurance agency, ISG. He also opened Zia Strength Systems, a fitness gym that Jordan now operates. He moved on to purchase the world-famous K&I Diner on Broadway. As one can see, Norbert did it all: from selling solar power and waterfalls to building houses, selling insurance and even operating his own restaurant. Norbert was also known for creating jobs and positions for people in need. He often did this regardless of whether his company necessarily needed the positions or not. This was a testimony to his generosity and his willingness to help people. In addition to all of his business ventures, Norbert loved camping, traveling, sports, hanging out with his friends, cousins, and having his morning coffee with his parents. Above all else, he simply loved being surrounded by family. Norbert was a man who helped strangers without hesitation, talked to the person at the party who felt out of place, and he welcomed everyone into his home.
As hard as Norbert worked, he was dedicated to his family and was involved with his sons year-round throughout all their youth seasons of football, basketball and baseball. He was a volunteer coach, coaching his sons in YAFL, Little League Baseball and Youth Basketball. Norbert and Natalie traveled across the country supporting Matthew and Jordan during their collegiate baseball seasons at Peru State College in Nebraska, at Luna Community College, and at New Mexico Highlands. He was a huge community supporter. Over the course of the past 25 years, he annually donated large sums of money to Rio Grande High School Athletics and to many other South Valley schools and youth sports programs.
Norbert was thrilled that his family was now growing. He loved his daughter-in-law, Lynae (Matthew’s wife), and he also loved Luisa (Jordan’s girlfriend) very much. He embraced Lynae and Luisa as his own daughters and was overjoyed with the happiness they had brought his sons. In recent years, one of the brightest highlights of Norbert’s life was his grandchildren. He loved Isabella (Bella Shae) who is now 13. He traveled the country supporting her in her national cheerleading and volleyball competitions and was the loudest Papa there! Then came little Emmitt who is now three years old. Emmitt was Norbert’s “Best Little Buddy”. They were inseparable and just getting started. Norbert could not wait to see newborn Jayla “Nora” Rose Chavez. Norbert went home to be with Jesus on the same day “Nory Jay” was born. Though he never got to see her here on earth, he was the first to see her in heaven before she was born to Jordan and Luisa.
Of course, Norbert loved Natalie more than words could express! He would move mountains for Natalie. Norbert and Natalie were two peas in a pod; they loved, laughed, and lived life to the hilt! Norbert and Natalie spent their entire lives building a home that welcomed both of their families in and they merged those two families into one. Family gatherings were a constant in the Chavez home. Norbert was always pitching new ideas to Natalie for additions and continual upgrades to their beautiful home and backyard to accommodate the festivities. Over the years Norbert hosted huge celebrations, such as, graduations, birthdays, baptismals, Mother’s Day events, and weddings for many of his family members. He did it all with a smile on his face and a beer in his hand, or blue juice, as his grandson called it.
May Norbert’s legacy live on in the hearts of his family, friends and the vast numbers of people in our community that he has shared his love with! May his grandchildren continue to say, “He walks in the clouds and sleeps on the moon”, and may they always call him their “Rainbow in the Sky”.
Norbert is preceded in death by his father Ralph Chavez, nephew Larry “Moose” Chavez, and brother-in-law Phillip Stevens. He is survived by his wife Natalie, sons Matthew and Jordan Chavez and daughter-in-law Lynae Chavez and Luisa Martinez; grandchildren Isabella, Emmitt and (newborn) Jayla “Nora” Rose Chavez. He is also survived by his mother Dickie Chavez and his siblings, Robert and Angela Chavez, Larry Chavez, Gregory and Tammie Saiz, mother-in-law Judith Griego, sisters-in-law Yvette Griego and Astra Stevens, brother-in-law Orlando Griego, and brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Jude and Noelle Griego. He is survived by his nieces and nephews: Lorenzo and Tiffany Chavez; Lukas, Jillian and Allison Chavez; Joseph, Christian, and Eliana Saiz; Vincent and Phillip Prairie; Dana, Raymond III, Raymond IV, Chrisgianna, and Steven Ray Jeremy Sanchez; Jade, Cassie, Tyeson, and Emery Garcia; Rosendo Garcia; Jacqueline, Daniel, Shane, and Tristen Murphy; Jerel and Corey Stevens; and Isabella, Jude and Valdez Griego.
On June 26, 2020, there will be a Rosary at 8:20am and a Funeral Mass at 9:00am at St Anne’s Catholic Church at 1400 Arenal Rd SW, Albuquerque, NM, 87105. There will be a reception following at 1:00pm.
Nephews: Jade Garcia, Corey Stevens, Lorenzo Chavez, Lukas Chavez, Joseph Saiz, Christian Saiz, and best friend Henry Anaya.
Brother-in-laws: Orlando Griego, Jude Griego, and Gregory Saiz; and nephews: Rosendo Garcia, Jerel Stevens, Orlando “Jude” Griego, and Valdez Griego.
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