'Mr. Notre Dame' Chuck Lennon dies at 80 years old

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Notre Dame's very own Charles F. "Chuck” Lennon Jr. is being remembered after passing away Saturday.

“He really focused his leadership, his efforts on keeping people involved in a lifelong relationship with Notre Dame,” senior director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association Mike Sullivan said.

Lennon was associate vice president and executive director of the Notre Dame Alumni Association for more than three decades, and he did it with a smile.

"Whenever somebody encountered Chuck, what you were left was with feeling that this is one of the most positive people you've ever met, one of the most friendly people you have ever met," Sullivan said.

Before becoming one of Notre Dame's best innovators in educational programming, Lennon was a member of the South Bend Community School Corporation for 13 years. He also led the South Bend Redevelopment Department in the early 1970s.

"Chuck was not only a great Notre Dame man, he was a great South Bend man as well."

Lennon retired from leading the alumni association in 2011. His presence in that office was missed, but his ability to bring people together has never been forgotten.

"He was the rah-rah of Notre Dame. He encapsulated everything that was about Notre Dame. He lived it," Notre Dame staff chaplain Rev. Jim Bracke said.

“You couldn’t help but smile when you saw Chuck. He was Mr. Notre Dame,” Sullivan said.

Lennon is survived by his wife, five children and 16 grandchildren.

He was 80 years old at the time of his death.