Camillus Chavez Obituary, Death, Funeral Details

Jay B Obituary, Death, Funeral Details

Camillus Chavez Obituary, Death – At St. Mary’s College of California, students have been able to count on two traditions for almost half a century: the church bells ringing on the hour and Brother Camillus Chavez greeting students with a smile wider than the Spanish-style arches that envelop the campus into the hills of Moraga. Both of these traditions have been in place for nearly half a century.

Brother Chavez, a Mexican American of first generation, is credited with increasing the number of Hispanic and Latino students enrolled as well as their integration on the suburban Contra Costa County campus. He is also recognized with introducing the practice of meditation into the academic study of psychology. But more than anything else, he was famous for his cheery greetings.

In the 1970s, one of his favorite ways to meet students was to “zap” them by placing his palm on the student’s spine and transferring some of his own extra energy to the student. After some time, he started using the double fist bump because it was a more effective way to greet two pupils at the same time. Nance Tovar, a member of the Class of 1976, said about Brother Chavez, “He just made you believe in yourself and to know that everything was going to be OK.

” She believed in herself enough to create her own school in Oakland, with Brother Chavez as her first board member. “He just made you believe in yourself and to know that everything was going to be OK,” Tovar added. “He showed us that serving others was the most important thing to do after we left St. Mary’s,” she recalled, referring to how he had led by example and taught the class at St. Mary’s. Brother Chavez first arrived on campus in the autumn of 1975, and he remained there until the conclusion of the highly successful meditation course he taught there in the winter term of this year. He did not want to leave his home, but he was 93 years old, so he moved into the Christian Brothers retirement home in Napa. On May 31, he passed away while he was receiving hospice care there.