Ignacio “Nash” Chavez, a hardworking man who valued his family above all else, passed away peacefully on January 12, 2024, with family by his side. Nash was born on March 14, 1942, in Overton, NE, to Phyllis (Hernandez) and Telesforo Chavez.
From a young age, he learned the importance of dedication and providing for his loved ones, and he carried this responsibility with pride throughout his life. As a teenager Nash moved with his family to the Albert Lea area, where he began his journey of hard work. He found employment assisting farmers in Hollandale, MN. It was during this time that destiny intervened, and on a fateful evening at the movie theater, he laid eyes on Jean Hanson, the love of his life. Their courtship began with playful flirtation and popcorn-throwing, leading to a New Year's Eve date at the Quik Stop and culminating in a joyous wedding on December 22, 1963. Together, they made Albert Lea their home, creating a lifetime of shared joys and unwavering love.
Nash's family was his singular priority, and he was their unwavering rock, supporting them through life's joys and challenges. Family trips to the Wisconsin Dells provided treasured memories, while breakfasts with his daughter became a cherished tradition. For eight years, Nash served as a dedicated scout leader to his sons, imparting wisdom and guiding them along their path.
Nash's pride and joy was his role as a doting grandfather and great-grandfather. Whether taking them fishing or lending a hand in building pinewood derby cars; he reveled in the shared experiences and made lifetime memories that will be cherished forever. His love for them knew no bounds.
Nash's work ethic was commendable. He dedicated 28 years of his life to Wilson Foods, working until 1991 and then relocating to Austin, MN, working in the maintenance department at Riverland College for an additional 32 years, until his declining health forced him to retire at the age of 80. His unwavering commitment to his profession was a testament to his integrity and dedication.
Known for his sense of humor, Nash was always up for a joke, sporting a straight face to keep everyone in stitches. His mastery for jokes and tricks were unmatched, often wrapping birthday and Christmas gifts with layers of tape, bringing laughter and joy to all who witnessed his mischievous ways.
Nash will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Jean of 60 blessed years; children, George (Amy Nelsestuen) Chavez of Waunakee, WI, Mike (Heather DeJoode) Chavez of Ankeny, IA, and Kim (Don) Downing of Blaine, MN; grandchildren, Brian, Jayson, Marcus, Brandon, and Amariyah; 8 great-grandchildren; siblings, Patsy Fuentez, Suzie Garza, Tony (Artie) Chavez, Greg Chavez, Delfina Chavez, and Kathy Chavez; sisters and brother-in-law, Margaret Smith, Gail (Doug) Hanson, Rich (Cindy) Hanson; many nieces and nephews; and his beloved pup, Copper.
Nash was preceded in death by his parents, parents-in-law, George and Jean Hanson, siblings, Lupe Salcedo, Albert Chavez, and Linda McColloch.
Nash’s family would like to give a special thanks to St Croix Hospice for the wonderful care and support they provided.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00 PM on Friday, January 19, 2024 at Bonnerup Funeral and Cremation Services in Albert Lea, MN; Pastor Marcia Pederson will officiate. Nash’s family will greet guests at a visitation held two hours prior to the service at the funeral home. Interment will be at Hillcrest Cemetery in Albert Lea, MN.