Charles Vavrus

April 25, 1930June 29, 2014
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Charles (Charlie) Vavrus, Sr., age 84, entered eternal life on Sunday, June 29, 2014 with his loving family by his side.

Charlie was born in South Chicago Heights, IL, and graduated from Bloom Township High School. He attended the University of Illinois and graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics. Charlie served in the Korean War before starting his career in the Joliet area managing farms. He became a land developer of single-family homes and apartments forming the Barr-Vavrus partnership before venturing on his own as Vavrus and Associates. He developed, built, and managed over 8,000 apartment units in five states. With a strong commitment and passion for exercise and fitness, Charlie opened the first Charlie Club in Joliet in 1978. A pioneer in the practice and business of fitness, he ultimately opened and operated five more health clubs in Illinois and Texas. In the late 1970s Charlie branched into cattle ranching with the purchase of two large ranches in south Florida. He retired on Singer Island in Palm Beach County where he enjoyed walking the Blue Heron Bridge and swimming in his pool.

Charlie is survived by his beloved wife of 17 years, Judith Freund Vavruss (nee Freund); loving children Charles (Maureen) Vavrus, Jr. and Michele Krohn; cherished grandchildren, Charles, William, Elise, David, and Nathaniel Krohn, and Cullan, Colette, and Cayley Vavrus; dear brother, Gus (Hallie) Vavrus, dear sister, Emily (John) Zaber; and numerous loving nieces, nephews, and in-laws. He is preceded in death by his parents, Stefan and Katerina (nee Butora) Vavrus; brothers Joseph, Anthony, and Sylvester; sisters Katy, Mary, Agnes, and Patsy; and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins.


  • Memorial Service Monday, July 7, 2014

Charles Vavrus

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Mark Alkire

September 16, 2014

I am saddened to hear of Charlie's passing. I was fortunate to have known him as 10 year old boy. I remember with fondness working on his farm and fishing in his ponds, cleaning up at his apartment properties in the mid 1970s. I learned many life long lessons from him that I carry to this day. Thank you for the memories Charlie and rest in peace.

Mark Meyer

July 25, 2014

Chuck and Miss Judy,

So sorry to hear about your loss. My heart goes out to you. I will always remember Charlie. I really admired his independence and enjoyed working with him. I still tell stories about Charlie and the fun we all had back in the Charlie Club days. We had a great group of people back then.

You can be proud of the way he positively affected so many people's lives over the years. Take care.

Mary Ann Egger

July 20, 2014

Judy, My sincere thoughts and prayers are with you on the loss of your sweetheart Charlie. Your Zonta sister, Mary Ann

Rapalda Zichella

July 18, 2014

God Bless Mr. V

Rapalda Zichella

July 18, 2014

I am sorry for your loss Judy; I will miss Mr. V very much;

Patricia Hall

July 16, 2014

So very sorry for this news. I worked for (and with) Charlie and Judy during the late 70's and 80's...a very interesting time for the Vavrus much energy! Charlie and Judy were pioneers in good health! I would like to say that Charlie's vision and Judy's commitment to "all things run well" have had a lasting impact on me. I will never forget that time in my life and wish the family all the best. From the photo montage, it appears that Charlie's life was very full, and both Charlie and Judy celebrated the Joi de Voivre!

Warm regards,

Patricia Wrona (formerly Wysocki) Hall, Plainfield, IL

Patricia Willis

July 14, 2014

God Bless the Charlie Vavrus family, Judy so sorry for your loss. Pat and Rick Willis

Pat Willis

July 14, 2014

May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow.


July 12, 2014

Dear Judy and family,
I am so-o sorry to hear of Charlie's passing. I wish I could have made contact with him at least (1) more time to tell him how much he meant to me. He was an awesome person and an even more awesome boss. He was a great friend to me during a hard time and managed to "allow" me to learn so much from him during my years of employ. My sincerest sympathy to all of you. Judy -- find me on Facebook. Marlene Welker Zobel


July 12, 2014