‘He's in My Heart': Escondido Football Coach Who Died of COVID Honored By County of San Diego

After a 34-day battle with COVID-19, the father of three teenage boys died Aug. 31 at the age of 47

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During a ceremony to celebrate Grossmont High School's new Event Center, San Diego County leaders presented a proclamation for the late Carlos Chavez, who died at 47 following a 34-day battle with COVID-19.

But, his life left a major impact.

Chavez worked as an inspector of record for several school districts and one of his final projects was working to aid Grossmont High's new event center through its building and construction.

Supervisor Joel Anderson presented the proclamation honoring Chavez and his team Chavez & Associates, Inc. for their dedication in construction inspection services for over twenty years.

Proclaiming March 16th as “Chavez & Associates, Inc. Day” in the Second District, March 22, 2022.
San Diego County proclaims March 16th as “Chavez & Associates, Inc. Day” in the Second District.

Ruth Chavez smiles at the memory of her beloved husband, a well-respected businessman, youth football coach and beloved father and son.

"He was just the person that he walked in the room and with his loud voice and his firm shake, people knew who he was and they would know that was Carlos coming in," said Ruth.

It’s been nearly seven months since Chavez's passing, he leaves behind his three teenage sons, wife and mother.

"Our faith is what's keeping us going every single day," said Ruth. "Yes, it was something tragic, but in the midst of loss, grief, sorrow, there's growth."

In the midst of loss, grief, sorrow, there's growth

Ruth Chavez, wife of Carlos Chavez

Chavez was admired for his personality and passion coaching the Escondido youth Pop Warner League for more than a decade.

"Every morning the one thing I do is thank God for another day and another day that he's given us to do better than yesterday and to help my boys excel and also be successful in life," said Ruth.

Chavez was honored during a grand memorial last fall at Orange Glen High School.

"I had a lot of his coworkers reach out to me and say 'Ruth we don't know you in person, but Carlos always spoke about the boys and you, he was very proud of his family,'" said Ruth through tears.

Ruth and Carlos had just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary.

"It makes me feel proud that I had a good man, I mean, I still do," said Ruth. "He's in my heart and I know the boys too."

Chavez is also still present in the boys’ hearts and day-to-day.

'Every morning before I get dressed, I just like to see him go in my room and say, like 'Oh, do good in school and get your grades up and you come home and then we can talk about what you did at school,'" said Manuel Chavez, 16.

Chavez's youngest son Alejandro Chavez said his father was a motivator for him to do better when he didn't believe in himself.

The oldest son at 18 is also Carlos’ namesake, who shares how he’s committed to fulfilling his father’s wishes and has taken on the responsibility of caring for his brothers.

"I always talk to him about wanting to go to medical school and become a nurse or a doctor, pediatrician, and so when I do get there I'll have a sense of I did that, I did it dad," said Carlos Chavez II.

In continuing Carlos’ legacy, Escondido’s youth Pop Warner football league announced the creation of two scholarships in his name.

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