Derek Chavez Tribute on 1923: How Did He Die?

Image Credit: Derek M. Chavez/Facebook

The fifth episode of Paramount+’s Western series ‘1923’ revolves around Spencer Dutton’s efforts to return to Montana from Africa upon learning about Banner Creighton’s attack on his family. He grieves the death of his brother John Dutton Sr. and the hurt endured by his uncle Jacob Dutton. In Montana, Donald Whitfield is considering ways to make the Yellowstone Ranch his own for building a mine at the place. Jacob starts to walk again and Elizabeth “Liz” Strafford informs Cara Dutton about the newest member of the Dutton family. The engrossing episode is dedicated to the memory of Derek Chavez. If you are wondering who Derek was and how he died, you are at the right place!

Who Was Derek Chavez?

Derek Chavez was one of the production supervisors of ‘1923.’ Derek was born on June 3, 1990, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He graduated from Eldorado High School in 2008 and eventually became a part of the New Mexico film industry, starting with his role as an uncredited production assistant in Starz’s drama series ‘Crash.’ Derek then worked in nearly forty films, television shows, and shorts combined. He served as a production assistant in CBS’ ‘Beyond the Blackboard,’ the Western series ‘Longmire,’ and Colin Firth-starrer ‘Gambit.’ He also served as the production secretary of the 2012 film ‘Jackie,’ ‘Code Name: Geronimo,’ and Saoirse Ronan-starrer ‘The Host.’

Derek was a commendably versatile production crew member. In addition to working as a PA and production secretary in a handful of productions, he also worked as an assistant production office coordinator in Mark Wahlberg-starrer ‘Lone Survivor’ and Michael Fassbender-starrer ‘Frank.’ He then worked as an assistant production coordinator in a number of productions such as ‘War on Everyone,’ ‘In a Valley of Violence,’ ‘Woman Walks Ahead,’ ‘Graves,’ ‘12 Strong,’ etc. His other recent credits include Tom Hanks-starrer ‘Finch,’ in which he worked as a production coordinator. In recent years, Derek mostly worked as a production supervisor for shows such as ‘Away,’ ‘Outer Range,’ and ‘Unbroken.’

Derek had been a part of the Yellowstone universe since the production of ‘1883,’ in which he worked as the production supervisor of all ten episodes. After the conclusion of ‘1883,’ he joined the production of ‘1923’ in the same role as well.

Derek Chavez’s Cause of Death

Derek Chavez died on January 12, 2023, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Although sources revealed that Derek apparently died due to a heart attack, neither the Chavez family nor the ‘1923’ production team publicized the cause of his death. “By now I think you all have heard of our tremendous loss. Derek was phenomenal with his words, when there was great loss, he often had an excerpt in his back pocket to comfort those who are dealing with it. He always had an answer and some wisdom beyond his years,” Derek’s wife Kristen Chavez shared after the death of her husband.

“I don’t have answers right now. I don’t think I can even wrap my head around what is going on. But what I do know, is he [Derek] is not coming back. And I am lost, and we are broken,” Kristen added. She also revealed that Derek died at his home, while surrounded by his daughters Emmy and Ava. “Know that he was home surrounded with his girls. He was not alone. We were with him. He will always be with us,” Kristen shared in the same Facebook post. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, parents Stacey Santos and David Chavez, paternal and maternal grandparents, and three aunts, along with a group of cousins and extended family.

Since Derek’s death, several of his former and current colleagues have been extending their support and sympathies to Kristen, whom he married in January 2022. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Kristen and the Chavez family in the wake of Derek’s untimely demise.

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