Charles William Laabs joined his Lord in Heaven on May 2, 2022 at the age of 93. He was preceded in death by Jewel Lorraine (Barg) on July 24, 2018 after 66 years of joy-filled marriage. Charles is the loving father of Jonathan (June) Laabs, David (Karen) Laabs, Timothy (Jennifer) Laabs, and Christopher (Anita) Laabs. Chuck’s love and dedication to family extended to his grandchildren Joshua (Heidi) Laabs, Kaleena (Travis) Tolsma, Cameron Laabs, Daniel (Allison) Laabs, Jeffrey Laabs, Thomas (Kristin) Laabs, Veronica Laabs, Charles C. Laabs, and Noah Laabs. Another great joy in his life was to spend time with his great-grandchildren Macie and Vivienne Laabs and Harper, Tucker, and Wyatt Tolsma.

Born and married in Milwaukee, WI, Chuck and Jewel lived in Iowa, Louisiana, and New York before settling in Maywood, IL. They lived in the same house for 46 years before becoming part of a senior community in Northlake, IL. Chuck was a strong Christian whose family upbringing and education at Zion Lutheran in Milwaukee, Milwaukee Lutheran High School, and Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, IL prepared him for faithful full-time ministry in Lutheran education for 43 years. During that time, he served as principal at Trinity Lutheran in Cedar Rapids, IA and St. Paul-First English Lutheran in New Orleans, LA, and professor of education at Concordia University Chicago for 26 years. Chuck also served for ten years as adjunct professor at Dominican University in River Forest, IL.

Chuck’s many professional accomplishments during his education career and into his retirement included earning his Doctor of Education degree from Columbia University, NY; serving in a joint appointment as associate director of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges in Illinois; chairing, coordinating, and consulting with private and public schools for North Central accreditation in a 19-state area; and making accreditation visits and attending education conferences in Germany, Japan, Korea, and Australia. During his adult life, Chuck was always an active member of his home church, often serving as organist and choir director, and in many additional leadership capacities. Since 1968, when he and Jewel joined St. Paul Lutheran Church in Melrose Park, IL, Chuck sang in the choir, served on the Care Core, and enjoyed his capacity as minister of visitation.

Chuck was active in a variety of community, professional, and civic organizations. He was a frequent presenter and leader in Lutheran education and public education conferences at the local, state, and national levels and often served as an education consultant. Chuck was particularly active in his Maywood chapter of Rotary International, serving in many capacities including three times as president, and accumulating 37 years of perfect attendance, including having attended meetings in Scotland, Israel, and Australia.

Charles Laabs lived his life as a redeemed child of God, confident of his return to his Savior’s arms upon his death and leaving a legacy of love, service, and ministry taught to so many and shared by countless individuals whose lives he has touched for more than 93 years. Please send any cards or other U.S. Mail items to 116 Cambrian Ct., Roselle, IL 60172. Memorials may be directed to: Charles W. and Jewel L. Laabs Lutheran Education Scholarship Endowment, Concordia University Chicago, 7400 Augusta St., River Forest, IL 60305 – St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1025 West Lake St., Melrose Park, IL 60160 – Lutheran Education Association, 7400 Augusta St., River Forest, IL 60305.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Saturday, July 30, 2022 at St. Paul Lutheran Church – 1025 West Lake St., Melrose Park, IL 60160.

Called to Glory – Dr. Charles William Laabs