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Joseph “Van Earl” Charvat (1933-2020)

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Joseph “Van Earl” Charvat, age 87 of Ellsworth, passed away on Friday, March 13, 2020, at the Good Samaritan Village in Ellsworth. 

Van was born Jan. 5, 1933 to Joseph and Josephine (Lilak) Charvat in Dorrance, Kan. He grew up in the Russell County area but attended Dorrance High School, graduating with the class of 1951. Following high school he attended Fort Hays State where he earned his bachelor’s degree. He then went to serve our nation faithfully in the United States Naval Air Force for 20 years. After Van retired from the Navy he moved to Derby, Kan. where he worked as an engineer at Boeing Aircraft Company until his retirement in 1994. Van moved back to Wilson where he spent the majority of his remaining years.

Van was a spiritual man, his passion was leading others to find our Lord and Savior. He was a devout christian and proud of his faith. Van was a successful organic farmer for five years. He enjoyed his lunches at Made From Scratch daily, loved his family and the times he was able to spend with them.

The Psalmist David said, “The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him.” Van was a man of strong faith who trusted every aspect of his life to the hands of his Lord.  Although we love and miss him greatly, we rejoice that the strength and protection Jesus gave him is no longer needed, for now his trust has found fulfillment in the same loving hands that have now carried him home.

Van is survived by his daughter, Theresa (Joe) Powell of Augusta, Ga.; sister, Mary Jo Babcock of Denton, Texas; daughter-in-law, Melanie Charvat of St. Louis, Mo.; and six grandchildren, Olivia, Julia, and Broughton Powell, and Melissa, Caleb, and Jon Thomas Charvat.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Josephine Charvat; son, Robert Charvat; and a brother-in-law, Warren Babcock.

Private family graveside service has been decided upon due to the current COVID-19 outbreak. A Memorial Mass will be held at a later date and open to the public.

Memorials have been suggested to the KPRD Radio, the St. Wenceslaus Catholic Cemetery or the Good Samaritan Society–Ellsworth Village and may be sent in care of Plumer Overlease Funeral Home, PO Box 533, Wilson, Kan. 67490. 

Online condolences can be left for the family at