For countless Dundee-Crown sporting events over more than two decades, fans were greeted with the booming voice: “Welcome to Charrrger Country!” and an entertaining night usually ensued from the man behind the microphone.
D-C sporting events will never be the same.
Chuck Feldmann, better known as “Charger Chuck,” was found dead at his home Monday morning. He was 62.
Feldmann, a 1980 Jacobs graduate, taught safety education and driver education at D-C. He coached the Chargers football team from 2000 to ‘03 and coached at Dixon for the 1999 season.
Feldmann’s wife, Stacey, died in 2016. They have a daughter, Annie, and a son, Charlie. The family is still working on visitation and funeral arrangements.
Julie Edwards, Feldmann’s sister, described her older brother as bigger than life.
“He lit up every room he entered. He was an amazing speaker, an amazing human being, the most loving and caring person I’ve ever known,” she said. “He has never had a cross word about anyone. He was always about love and caring. He would start every day with a text to me and probably several others, that said, ‘I love you, and I hope you have a fantastic day.’
“That was the last text I got from him yesterday morning. He was ever positive, and everybody loved him. He was far and wide beloved.”
Feldmann was inducted in 2020 into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame as a Friend of Basketball for his work as the voice of the Chargers.
“Parents and students from schools all over the state would leave our gym and would say, ‘Your announcer is amazing,’” D-C athletic director Steve Gertz said. “His selection of music and his voice created a great atmosphere for our basketball and baseball games, which separated him from the rest. Chuck was also the master of ceremonies for the Booster Club 2500 Dinner Dance for several years.
“He has had a huge impact on many people and will be greatly missed.”
Feldmann, who had struggled with heart problems for several months, announced D-C’s boys and girls basketball games Saturday, which were both wins. The cause of death is not yet known, but Edwards speculated it had to do with his heart problems.
Edwards said her brother had atrial fibrillation, which produces irregular heartbeats, and had undergone a couple of procedures since Labor Day. Feldmann had an ablation, a procedure which scars inside the heart to break up the electrical signals that force the irregular heartbeats, in January.
“He had shortness of breath sometimes to check it out,” Edwards said. “He did what the doctors said and took his medication. It must have been not enough.”
Feldmann graduated from Jacobs in 1980 and played on the Golden Eagles’ first playoff football team in 1979. He went on to play baseball at Western Illinois University.
Feldmann struck up a friendship with former Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly decades ago and worked Kelly’s football camp every year. Feldmann can be seen in his Facebook pictures with Kelly and many NFL Hall of Fame players and other celebrities.
Edwards said Kelly and his friends dubbed Feldmann “The Creature” because of the way he attacked things that he did.
He would start every day with a text to me and probably several others, that said, ‘I love you, and I hope you have a fantastic day.’ That was the last text I got from him yesterday morning. He was ever positive and everybody loved him. He was far and wide was beloved.”— Julie Edwards, Chuck Feldmann's sister
Former Chargers AD Al Zinke needed a person one night to do P.A. and told Feldmann, “You’re the perfect guy.” He did it, and the legend was born.
Feldmann’s big voice and boisterous nature made him a natural. Before every game, he would think up fictitious hometowns for the referees and right before tipoffs, he would call out such places as Roswell, New Mexico; Poughkeepsie, New York; or Middlesex, Pennsylvania, as their homes.
The officials, knowing something interesting is coming, usually smiled.
One of his best was when he said a pair of officiating brothers were “on work release from Joliet State Correctional Facility.”
Edwards felt like her brother was still a big kid in many ways, which was a reason everyone liked being around him.
“He was an amazing person in every way,” she said. “He remained childlike. He did his adult responsibilities, but he remained so childlike because he touched everybody’s heart.”