Charles "Chuck" Filip Vavra
Charles "Chuck" Filip Vavra, 100, of Ely, went to be with his Heavenly Father on Tuesday, June 25, 2019, at St. Luke's Hospital. Celebration of Life services will be
10:30 a.m. Monday, July 1, at First Presbyterian Church near Ely with burial to follow in First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, where full military rites will be conducted. Visitation will be from
2 to 5 p.m. Sunday, June 30,
at Brosh Chapel and The Avacentre in Cedar Rapids, located at 2121 Bowling St. SW.
Charles was born Dec. 18, 1918, in Cedar Rapids, at St. Luke's Hospital to Joseph and Beatrice (Filipi) Vavra. He attended Prairie Ridge Grade School and graduated from Ely High School in 1936, before he started farming the family farm with his father. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during World War II from 1944 to 1946 in France and Austria. Upon returning home to Iowa, he married his sweetheart, Irene Rigel, on Sept. 15, 1946, at First Presbyterian Church near Ely. Chuck and Irene continued to farm in the Ely area as they began to raise their family. For over 40 years, he did custom corn shelling for neighbors and proceeded to farm his entire life, never retiring. Chuck loved his family, farming, his Czech heritage and his country.
Over the years, Chuck and Irene enjoyed dancing and polka music, whether it was at local community dances or various Czech events in other states. He found joy in doing the daily crossword puzzle, family meals, translating letters written in Czech for friends, watching old Westerns and classic comedies, singing with his four brothers or in the church choir and "watching the world go by" while the sun sank over the fields each day. Intentional or not, his goal every day was to brighten yours with a joke, a kind word or a helping hand. He viewed friends and neighbors as family, and strangers as friends he just didn't know yet. He truly was one of "The Greatest Generation."
Chuck also was a member of the Linn County Farm Bureau, a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church near Ely, and a very proud and involved member of American Legion St. Quentin Post No. 555 in Ely for more than 70 years.
Chuck is survived by Irene, his bride of 72 years; children, Mary Rae (Gary) Haster of Cedar Rapids and Chuck Vavra of Ely; grandchildren, Mandy (Cal) Vaughn and Nathan Haster (Miranda Harris); two great-grandchildren, Audrey and Grant Vaughn; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his four brothers, Frank, Larry, Arnold and Edwin; and his father- and mother-in-law, Leo and Bess Rigel.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to First Presbyterian Church near Ely or American Legion St. Quentin Post No. 555 in Ely.
Chuck's family wishes to thank Higley Mansion staff and St. Luke's hospice unit staff for their loving care and kindness.
Online condolences may be expressed to the family at www.broshchapel.com.