Dr. Juan Carlos Chaves, 77 passed away at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire, WI with family by his side.

Juan was born in Resistencia-Chaco, Argentina and came to the United States in 1974 he then became a United States citizen in 1979. Juan first worked as a CNA at Mount Washington. This is where he met the love of his life Karol Lynn Lanphere. They were United in marriage in February 1979. Juan then pursued his teaching degree and went on to receive his doctorate and became a professor of Spanish and business at UW Eau Claire and then UW River falls, until retirement. He then took on caring for his wife until her passing in January 2019. Juan, then started teaching Spanish again at Regis High School until his health kept him from doing what he loved.

Juan was a man that didn’t let any dirt settle under his feet. He was always manicuring the yard or growing beautiful flowers. He enjoyed time with his family and friends.

Juan is survived by his two sons Richard (Rick) LaRock, Anthony (Tony) LaRock (Michelle Brassfield), sister Romonita Olga Chaves, two brother in laws Jim Lanphere (Vicki) John Lanphere (Deb) niece Christina Chavez, nephew Kenny Lanphere, son in law Andrew Hewitt (Cindy). Grand children; Jocelyn (Tony) Stanton, Heather (Stephen) Allen, Elizabeth, Jenna, Carlee, Matthew, Derek, Blake, Noah and Cameron, Samantha and Tessa. Great Grand children; Kayleigh, Shawn and Colton.

Juan is preceded in death by his wife Karol Chaves, parents, Maria Esther Quiroz and Marcelino Chaves, brother Abel Chaves and Omar Chaves daughter Lori Hewitt, BIL Dale Lanphere, BIL Daryl Lanphere as well as others who have gone before.

The family would like to thank Sacred Heart Hospital and staff for the exceptional care they gave Juan.

A memorial service will be Saturday, December 10, 2022, at 3:00 pm at Concordia Lutheran Church with Pastor Aaron Hamilton officiating. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church on Saturday.


  1. I am very sorry for your loss. Juan Carlos was a wonderful colleague at UW-River Falls. As a fellow Argentinean and Spanish professor, we shared many stories and laughs. He was always willing to help and give advice. Everyone was very fond of him.
    Que descanses en paz, Juan Carlos. Un abrazo bien fuerte,

  2. Juan Carlos was one of my Spanish professors at UWRF. He was a great teacher but an even better person. He truly cared about his students and led his classroom with kindness. I am grateful to have had him as a professor.

  3. Juan Carlos was a wonderful colleague to me at UWRF! Our offices in English (me) and Spanish (Juan Carlos) were just down the hall from one another, and we exchanged news and greetings almost every workday. He enjoyed decorating his office for the holidays and often pressed decorations on his colleagues to use in their offices too! His strong work ethic and kindness were visible every day. Although he retired a few years ago to care for his wife, his memory lives in our hearts and our hallway! He will be remembered at UWRF.

  4. My wife Susan and I had the privilege and pleasure of studying Spanish under Juan Carlos at River Falls Community Education. He was a really caring instructor who worked hard to help us senior citizens learn a foreign language. He left a lasting impression on us and I’m sure on the very many other students whose lives he touched.

    Vaya con Dios, mi amigo.

  5. So grief stricken to read of Juan Carlos’s death. I so enjoyed talking to him. He was the first person I met in San Antonio, Texas at the College Board AP examination readings. We communicated often via text or by phone, he in Eau Claire and I in State College, PA and now in Winston Salem, North Carolina. Since he hadn’t responded since December, I was worried about him, only to find out he was deceased. My most sincere condolences. Alex Borys

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