Charles was born Nov. 18, 1932 in Sedalia, Mo, to Cecil W. and Florence (LaRue) Lay. He graduated from Hutchinson High School and Washburn University.
Chuck served in the United States Navy where he started his law career working for the legal office aboard the USS Wisconsin battleship. After the Navy, he went to law school, graduating from Washburn University Law School in 1958.
Chuck practiced law in Gardner for nearly 50 years and served as Gardner city prosecutor for 45 years. He served three years as chairman of the Kansas Bar Insurance Committee. Chuck also served on a four-member committee assigned to study the possibility of forming a malpractice protection insurance company owned by lawyers. Attorney Liability Protection Society was launched with about $2.5 million in collateral and has grown to serving 28 states, Guam and Puerto Rico and is valued at $100 million. He considered ALPS one of the greatest accomplishments of his life.
In addition to his legal work, he was an active member of the Gardner community in numerous capacities. Chuck was commander of the Gardner American Legion, and president of most of the local service organizations. He served on the First Presbyterian Church Board of Directors.
Chuck formed Gardner Medical Center, Inc., a for-profit hospital that was eventually sold to Research Medical Center. Lay and four other citizens donated their stock from the project to form Memorial Foundation, Inc., a non-profit corporation that provides low-interest student loans for needy college students. He was also instrumental in the formation of the Gardner Historical Museum and Veteran’s Park.
Chuck enjoyed hunting, fishing and traveling. He will be dearly missed by family, friends and the Gardner community.
He was preceded in death by his children: Elizabeth and Todd Lay.
Chuck is survived by son, Douglas Lay, of Prairie Village, Kan.; siblings: Judith Phipps, of Olathe, Kan., Jean and husband Dave Ruppert, of Butte, Mont., Becky and husband Larry White, of Colby, Kan., and Berta and husband Jim Luehrs, of Hickory, N.C. and numerous nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Feb. 18, 2014 at Bruce Funeral Home, Gardner, KS (913)856-7111. Private family burial will be held at Green Lawn Cemetery, Kansas City, Mo. Visitation will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., Feb. 17, 2014 at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to the “Sons of the American Legion” in care of Bruce Funeral Home, P.O. Box 192, Gardner, KS 66030. Condolences may be left at www.brucefuneralhome.com.