Thomas Ray Chaves, 66 years of age, passed away on Saturday, May 16, 2020 at his home in Navarre, Florida. He is survived by his wife of 42 years Maria Chaves and daughter, Carina Chaves. He was preceded in death by his sister Mary Lee Chaves.
Tom was born August 3, 1953 in Oakland, California to the late Ernest and Edith Chaves. He attended Hayward High School and Chabot College in Hayward. After college, he worked for the California State Forestry as a forest firefighter. He also did seasonal work at Chaves Tax Service.
In 1976, he started his military career joining the United States Coast Guard. Tom served at New York Harbor, Port Angeles Air Station and Cape Disappointment in Washington State. After 4 years in the Coast Guard, he enlisted in the Air Force. Throughout his 17 year career, he served in California, Spain and supported combat operations in Desert Storm. He was proud of his service as an aircraft electrical and environmental systems craftsman on various aircraft including the C-5 Galaxy and MH-53 Pave Low helicopter. He retired at Hurlburt Field in Florida.
Tom enjoyed sharing his love for his Portuguese heritage, history and different cultures. He liked to play music from the sixties for visitors. He delighted in studying the Word of God. His favorite verse was John 14:6, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."
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