The world lost one of its most gentle souls on Dec. 27, with the passing of Constantino (Connie) Chairez. He was 99.
Connie was a modest, humble, and kind man who spent his 99 years on this earth serving others, never hesitating to do anything for anyone. He was a man of joyful routine. He enjoyed reading the paper with his morning coffee that he often shared with his son and daughter, talking about important news topics from around the world. And even in the days before his death, Connie spoke of one day building yet another house, something he spent his entire life doing -- his ultimate passion.
Born in Pueblo on March 11, 1917, Connie moved with his family to Delta as a child. He graduated with one of the first graduating classes of Delta High School in the spring of 1937. In 1941 he married his soulmate, Mary Abila, who passed away in 2003, and raised two children, Genevieve and Thomas.
During WWII, Connie worked on the construction of the Crystal Dam on the Gunnison River. In the 1970s, he started Connie Built Homes with his son, Thomas Chairez. For over 40 years, they built many different residential and commercial properties in Delta County. They even introduced Adobe Ram Earth houses to the area, building some of the first of its kind here. He built his last house in 2007 at the age of 89.
Connie enjoyed woodworking and would often build pieces of furniture for his family. He loved working on his backhoe or tractor, and even did so until the last year of his life. His son even added an extra step to the tractor and extended the gear shift so Connie could enjoy his final years doing what he loved, on a piece of property that has been passed down from generation to generation in the Chairez family.
Connie was independent, strong, resourceful and creative. He was a joy to be around and would make people feel at ease around him with his warm spirit and wonderful laugh.
Connie is survived by his sister, Anna Estrada of California; his two children, Genevieve Lobato and Thomas and Carolyn Chairez from Delta; four grandchildren, Thomas "Skelly" Chairez, Shelley Slavens, James DiAngelo and Lynne Smith; eight great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Friday, Jan. 6, at 10 a.m. at Taylor Funeral Home in Delta. Viewing is at 9 a.m. Anyone touched by Connie and would love to help us remember and honor his life is invited to attend.
Arrangements are under the care and direction of Taylor Funeral Service and Crematory.
View the internet obituary and sign the online guest registry at www.taylorfuneralservice.com.
At about 9:50 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, officers of the Delta Police Department were dispatched to a robbery reported at Arby's, located at 107 Gunnison River Drive. An extensive search of the area was conducted and the suspect was not located.
The suspect was reported to have walked into Arby's and after a brief conversation with an employee, was able to leave the store with a small amount of cash and coins.