In loving memory of Elizabeth Chavez, who died October 9, 2021, after a brief battle with cancer. Liz was born Nov 2, 1968, in Lima Peru to Juila and Fransico Chavez. She was the youngest of four and attended elementary and high school in Lima where she graduated with honors. She excelled in gymnastics, swimming, and volleyball.
Her academic career began in The Private Catholic University in Lima where she attended 1st year science before immigrating to Canada with her parents. She continued her education, learning English at Douglas College before entering UBC and where she graduated with a degree in Biology in 1992. During this period, Liz had many jobs, establishing a solid grounding in laboratory techniques, processes and technology which was foundational for her career. Subsequently she entered BCIT in the Cytogenetics Program, another key piece of her future work. In 1995 she was hired by the Peter Lansdorp Lab at the BC Cancer Agency. It was during this period that she became particularly adept at reading and understanding cutting edge research papers, extracting salient details from multiple sources, and merging these concepts into laboratory protocols. In 2013 she joined the Christian Steidl Lab. Recently she had been working on a blood test for detecting multiple cancers. She was highly sought after and frequently consulted to troubleshoot cancer research projects.
In 1996 she married Greg Lakowski at Saint Anthony of Padua Parish in Vancouver. After living in Port Coquitlam and attending Our Lady of Assumption Parish, where their first son Daniel was baptised in 2002, they returned to Vancouver in 2004. They became parishioners at Immaculate Conception where Daniel attended the parish school, following in his father’s footsteps. In 2009 Patrick was born and baptised at ICP. Liz was a dedicated mother who often stressed the value of education and put in the work to help her children at every step. She was a long-time parishioner at Immaculate Conception Parish and very active in both Parish and School communities. She was a loving caring dedicated mother and beautiful joyful spirited wife who always tried to do it all, including looking after her 94-year-old mother and helping her brothers and sister whenever needed. She will be sorely missed.
Liz is survived by her husband Greg, her two sons Daniel and Patrick, her mother Julia, her sister Mary and her two brothers Miguel and Carlos. Evening prayers for Liz will be at Immaculate Conception on Thursday, Oct 21 at 7:30 PM. A Funeral Mass will be offered the next morning Friday Oct 22, at 9:30 with internment following at the Gardens of Gethsemane. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Liz’s name to the BC Cancer Foundation.