“Those who are the happiest are those who do the most for others.”
Booker T. Washington
Charles “Charlie” Lavin was known to light up a room with his big smile, loud presence and positive personality. His life’s gift was guided and inspired by his values of service to the community and his strong Catholic faith. He was a 1972 graduate of Spaulding High School and alumnus of Bradley University. He worked at Prudential for 20 years until he opened his own business, Charles J. Lavin Insurance and Investments, retiring in January 2020. But his biggest accomplishment was his family. He married his beautiful wife Mary "Camille" Smarjesse on June 17, 1978 at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. Together they raised four amazing children, Danielle Ann Lavin, Natalie Camille Ray, Nicholas Charles (Alexandria) Lavin and Christopher John Lavin, all of Peoria. But nothing made him more proud than his five grandchildren: Vivienne C. Lavin, Charlotte A. Lavin, Declan C. Lavin, Camden M. Ray and Jaxon C. Ray.
He was a man who loved his family and friends greatly, especially his grandchildren whom he would support in any way possible. Whether attending sports games, dance competitions or school events, Charlie “Pappy” was their biggest fan. His commitment to the Yellow Bear Foundation and his strong Catholic faith taught many valuable lessons to those who knew him about giving of one’s self to serve others by volunteering and attending mass daily. He was always the first to volunteer at every Yellow Bear Foundation event. Through his involvement with various organizations in the community, including the Peoria Notre Dame Golf Outing Board and the Paul Rutherford and Jerry Brady Christmas Basket Drive, he showed his deep connection to his faith, family and friends. To honor his legacy, Alexandria and Nicholas Lavin have created The Yellow Bear Foundation – Charles Lavin Endowment.
The purpose of the endowment is to provide ongoing support for patients of all ages for IgG treatments and co-pays. It will also help fund other services at OSF HealthCare Saint Francis Medical Center and OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois, as well as to fund any related lgG research opportunities at OSF.
To establish this endowed scholarship, it is the Donors intent to begin with a donation of $50,000 to the OSF HealthCare Foundation (FEIN: 37-1259284). The gift will create The Yellow Bear Foundation – Charles Lavin Endowment to support children and adults with Primary Immunodeficiency (PI) through treatment, services and research at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center and OSF HealthCare Children’s Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, IL. The goal is to establish this endowment to help people like his granddaughter Charlotte to use for years and years to come.