Virginia Beach - Charles A. "Chuck" McFadden Jr., 79, died surrounded by family on April 23, 2012, after a courageous battle with prostate cancer. Son of the late Charles A. and Alicia McFadden, Sr., of Denver, CO, he is survived by his wife of 57 years Mary Patricia (Pat) Blevens McFadden and two sisters, Mary Therese Elliott of Denver, CO, and Margaret Anne Linscott of Canon City, CO.
Together Chuck and Pat have six children including a daughter who died at birth: Martin McFadden and his wife, Cindi, of San Diego, CA; Patrick McFadden and his wife, Sheila, of Paoli, PA.; Kim Guadagno and her husband, Michael, of Monmouth Beach, NJ; Tracy Butterhof of Willow Grove, PA; and Michael McFadden and his wife, Amanda, of Holly Springs, NC. He has eleven grandchildren: John, Michael, Charles, Taryn, Kevin, Michael, Anderson, Kimberly, Laura, Hailey and Brodie as well as two great grandchildren Calli and Caydence. Other survivors include Maxx and Passion, Chuck and Pat's beloved English golden retrievers.
In the recent past, Chuck and Pat gratefully welcomed caregivers Karen Sylvester and Elita Lane into their household.
Chuck was born and raised in Denver, CO, where he graduated from Regis Jesuit High School. He earned a BA in Philosophy from Creighton U. in Omaha, NE, after which he served 4 ½ years in the US Army as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 82nd Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corp. at Ft. Bragg, NC. He completed Airborne School, Ranger School, Chemical and Biological Warfare School and Small Arms School at Ft. Benning, GA, and was a member of the Army Special Forces.
Chuck was considered a "broadcaster's broadcaster." He began his career in television in 1952, while still in college, as a floor director for WOW-TV in Omaha. Between 1958, when he was honorably discharged from the military, and 1966, he held various television sales and management jobs including working on early syndication of the "Phil Donahue Show" from Dayton, OH. From 1971 to 1981, he became increasingly successful in the television management arena. In January 1981, Chuck joined what later became the TVX Corp. (the largest group of independent TV stations in the country at the time) in NC, was promoted to Executive Vice President in 1987 and became General Manager of WTVZ-TV in Norfolk, VA. He formed his own company; purchased WTVZ-TV in 1989; and bought WSYT-TV in Syracuse, NY in 1991. After selling to Sinclair Broadcasting in 1997, Chuck then became a Senior Partner and Consultant at Max Media II in Virginia Beach, VA, a position he maintained until his death. Chuck was respected for taking principled and honorable positions in his administration of the public trust that was television.
Since his childhood in Denver, Chuck was an avid skier and skied well into his seventies. Many came to love his bright ski suit known as the "big banana" and his smooth handsome skiing style was the envy of all who had a chance to join him. His happiest moments were skiing "Tomahawk" at Steamboat with his sons, daughters and grandchildren. Aside from his love of skiing, Chuck enjoyed traveling the world with his wife, friends and family. He stepped foot on all seven continents, visited over 100 countries including an around the world cruise and went on Safari five times! His last trip celebrated his 55th wedding anniversary with family and friends traveling through the Panama Canal.
Chuck had a long history of philanthropy. Aside from helping dozens of friends and family with needs, he made significant contributions or trust designations to: Regis High School, Creighton University, Wesleyan Medical College, Holy Family Church, Doctors Without Borders, and the Eastern Virginia Medical School among others. He believed there was no greater contribution one could make than to educate. As an aside, Chuck was also a huge supporter of the Christie-Guadagno winning ticket in New Jersey 2009.
During his career Chuck was a member of the Broadcast Pioneers Association. He served as a National Delegate of the Urban League; Sales Advisor to the Independent Television Association; board member of the Genesee County Chamber of Commerce; of the Philadelphia Advertising Club; of the Dayton Symphony and of the Board of Trustees of Virginia Wesleyan College. He was a long-time Bread and Cup Minister at the Church of the Holy Family in Virginia Beach, served on the church's Finance Council and was appointed its Chairperson in 2010.
Family will receive friends at the H. D. Oliver Funeral Apts., Laskin Rd. Chapel on Wednesday from 7 to 9 p.m. A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated in the Church of the Holy Family at 10 a.m. on Thursday, April 26. Contributions in Chuck's name can be made to Union Mission Ministries of Virginia Beach, 3000 North Landing Rd, Virginia Beach, VA 23456 (757) 427-1500. Online condolences may be sent to hdoliver.com
Published by The Virginian-Pilot on Apr. 24, 2012.