Charles Keith LaPinta, M.D. passed away with the sunrise on October 10, 2015 at the age of 81. The eldest child of Charles T. and Vivian LaPinta, he was born September 12, 1934 and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He was a talented and dedicated student throughout his life and was offered scholarships to a number of prestigious colleges. He received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Case Western Reserve University. He trained at Walter Reed Army Medical Center and was a U.S. Army veteran. Dr. LaPinta then pursued a career in Aerospace Medicine. He spent his long career at NASA, as Crew Surgeon and Chief of Physiologic Training during the heyday of the U.S. space program. His many interesting duties included being Crew Surgeon on numerous Apollo, Skylab and Shuttle missions; traveling internationally with astronaut teams on working and goodwill trips; facilitating astronaut training and medical care; participating as a test subject for space program training exercises; and serving as the family physician to astronauts and their families, many other NASA personnel, and friends and neighbors who called or knocked on the door.
Chuck was an avid reader of all kinds of literature, a lifelong scholar and teacher, an excellent bowler, a worthy chess opponent, and a fine addition to a number of softball teams. He was known and will be remembered for his sense of humor and his humility. His favorite toast, which we will continue to raise in his memory, was "here's to our side!"
He married Barbara Jean Jaeger in 1959, after declaring love at first sight. He and Barbara had four children, of whom he was extremely proud. He was devoted to his wife, children and grandchildren, and was a loyal friend to many. He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Barbara; daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and David Savage and granddaughter Emily; daughter Suzanne LaPinta; daughter MaryBeth LaPinta and Randy Massey; son and daughter-in-law Keith and Julie LaPinta and grandson Sam.
A beautiful Memorial Mass was celebrated in Chuck's honor on October 14, 2015 thanks to the clergy and staff of Emmaus Catholic Parish in Lakeway, Texas. A gathering of family and friends will be held at a later date in the family's hometown of Nassau Bay, Texas.
The LaPinta family wishes to express their gratitude to the compassionate staff of the Silverado Memory Care community in Bee Cave, Texas and to the Silverado Hospice team. Chuck was a generous donor to many charities and always asked for charitable donations in lieu of gifts, no matter the occasion. He would be honored by contributions to the Salvation Army or
Obituary and memorial guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Arrangements by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, Lakeway, Texas - (512) 263-1511