Charles Frederick Lavaty

December 1, 1956 ~ December 19, 2020 (age 64)


Charles Frederick Lavaty, 64, of Madison, WI died Saturday, December 19, 2020 of Covid-19 at the University of Wisconsin Hospital. 

Chuck was born December 1, 1956 in Lincoln, Nebraska to Daniel W. and Evelyn J. Lavaty. He is survived by his wife, Faith Howe, of Madison, brother Dan (Barbara) of Freeland, WA, sisters Ann Lavaty (Sean Bergin) of Lawrence, KS and Carolyn Adkins (Elton) of Gregory, MI, and several beloved nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his niece, Michelle Lavaty. He was also predeceased by nearly 4400 Wisconsin victims of Covid-19 who, in spite of the heroic efforts of medical professionals, lost their lives because of the ineptitude and irresponsibility of politicians who blithely denied the impact of this virus. 

When Chuck was nine years old, his mother’s Christmas gift of a double bass set him on the path that would inform his life. He vividly recalled his high school trip to Czechoslovakia with the Lincoln Youth Symphony, followed by his years in the National Guard Band and the Bobby Layne Orchestra. After moving to Lawrence, Kansas in the early 1990s, he joined the Topeka Symphony and the Lawrence Symphony Orchestra, where he met Faith Howe. Chuck and Faith were married on May 24, 1997, and following their move to Madison, Wisconsin, they joined the Madison Community Orchestra. Chuck was soon recruited to participate in several local theater pit orchestras and most recently enjoyed being the bassist in the Waunakee Big Band.

Although he earned his engineering degree from the University of Nebraska, Chuck’s real calling was enjoying and caring for older and more fragile people. He worked for many years at Douglas County (KS) Senior Services, at Independent Living, Inc., and as a caregiver to various disabled gentlemen.

A memorial gathering for Chuck will be held at a later date, when it is once again safe to be around other people.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution in Chuck’s memory to the Waunakee Big Band, to Second Harvest Foodbank of Southern Wisconsin, or to an animal rescue organization of your choice. 

McClain Funeral Home, Denver, Indiana, has been entrusted with arrangements.  Condolences may be sent online at 


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