COVID-19 takes the life of community leader Roy Chavez

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Roy Chavez (2012)

  The COVID-19 Pandemic has not discriminated, and it has taken its toll on the entire Copper Corridor and as Arizona continues to be a hotspot, Superior has realized its fifth death due to COVID-19.  

  While the death of the beloved and longtime Hayden-Winkelman teacher, Kimberly Chavez-Lopez-Byrd made national headlines, her brother Roy Chavez was fighting COVID-19 in a Valley hospital. On the afternoon of Friday, July 17, 2020 Roy “Potts” Chavez lost his battle with this raging, savage, virus.  

  Roy devoted his life to community service.  The lists of boards and commissions he served on throughout his life were numerous, not to mention times he pitched in to help coach parks and recreation programs.  He was elected as a Town Councilmember, Mayor and was hired as the Town Manager in Superior.  He was the first Mayor to be directly elected by the voters of Superior.  During his career as an elected and staff person, he helped to lead a variety of new ideas for community improvements such as the Queen Creek Riparian Restoration plan and downtown amphitheater, plans that are being brought into fruition today.  He was a founding member of the Superior Optimist Club, served as President of the Superior Chamber of Commerce and Superior Rotary Club.  He helped to breath life into Superior during the 1980s and 1990s when things were much more dire for the community.

  Later in his career, he became an advocate for Saving Oak Flats, serving with the “Concerned Citizens and Retired Miners” group.  His oftentimes controversial position against Resolution Copper brought to light some of the inequities of the 1872 Mining Law and the potential for environmental destruction of the project.  His voice was heard at the local and state levels but his voice and advocacy were also heard in the national and international news.  

  His voice carried with a booming, jovial tone and he was often the community Master of Ceremonies for parades, an announcer for hundreds of sporting events and the prompter of the oohs and ahh’s of fireworks shows for decades.  While he was a fighter for what he believed in, he brought joy to people’s lives through his work as a DJ and bar owner.  He was a friend many could call on and, in his time of need, his friends rallied for him.  His ability to assist with golf tournaments raised hundreds of thousands of dollars throughout his life.

  He was also a teacher; he served as substitute teacher in San Carlos prior to his death and over the years also worked for the Superior and Hayden-Winkelman school districts.  He was the father to Josh and Andrea Cruz, a brother, a friend and community leader who truly never stopped caring for his community of Superior.  He also taught the value of community service to others, and many will tell stories of the times Roy called on them to “help” with community projects or how he inspired them to “get involved”

  This is just a glimpse into the life of Roy Chavez, taken from our archives and our memories at the Copper Area News.  He will be missed by everyone who knew him.  Our communities are better  because of him, even if we all did not agree with every position he took.  Our team at Copper Area News mourns with his friends and family.

Staff (5578 Posts)

There are news or informational items frequently written by staff or submitted to the Copper Basin News, San Manuel Miner, Superior Sun, Pinal Nugget or Oracle Towne Crier for inclusion in our print or digital products. These items are not credited with an author.


Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather
Facebooktwitterby feather

Comments are closed.

  • Additional Stories

    Information sought in illegal killing of mule deer doe near Dudleyville

    October 22nd, 2020
    by

    TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Game and Fish Department is seeking information about the recent poaching of a mule deer doe […]


    Mammoth welcomes interim town manager

    October 21st, 2020
    by

     The Town of Mammoth has a new interim Town Manager.   John Schempf began the job on Aug. 31, 2020. […]


    Oracle Firewise presents annual awards

    October 21st, 2020
    by

    By John Hernandez   On Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, the Oracle Firewise Board presented its Annual FIREWISE Property of the […]


    Gila County CASA Receives Award through Victims of Crime Act Funding

    October 21st, 2020
    by

      CASA of Southern Gila County has once again been awarded a three-year grant through the federal Victims of Crime […]


  • Additional Stories

    Kearny Town Council appoints Martina Burnam Interim Manager

    October 21st, 2020
    by

      The Town of Kearny held its monthly meeting last week and confirmed Martina Burnam as the Interim Town Manager.  […]


    Hispanic Heritage Month: Politics

    October 21st, 2020
    by

    The Hispanic/Latino population of Arizona makes up 24 percent of registered voters. They are a rising political force in the […]


    A Superior spruce up

    October 17th, 2020
    by

    Rebuild Superior and the Chamber of Commerce are embarking on a fun painting project on Pinal Ave. and the adjacent […]


    SUSD Hybrid Learning 10/19/2020

    October 17th, 2020
    by

    Superior kids to return to the classroom   COVID-19 has changed so much for Americans. It’s most apparent in our […]


  • Copperarea

  • Southeast Valley Ledger