Robert James LaCava

March 16, 1948 - November 4, 2021

Our beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, brother, friend, leader, healer, hero, and supporter; our rock, Robert J. LaCava, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. (also known as Bob to family and Dr. Bob to patients) passed away on November 4, 2021 in the loving and tearful embrace of his family at 1:39 PM, after a short and arduous illness. An otherwise healthy man, to say that his loss is great is an understatement.

Born in Everett, MA on March 16th, 1948, Bob is preceded in death by his father, Alfred N. LaCava, Sr., his mother, Margaret LaCava (née Leuci), and recently by his brother Alfred N. LaCava, Jr. Surviving family members include his wife, Suzanne J. LaCava, R.N. (née Jaquest) to whom he was utterly devoted for over 47 years; children Natalie E. LaCava, Nicole D. LaCava, R.N./M.S.N., Margot A. Wacks, D.O., F.A.C.O.G. (married to Patrick Wacks), and Michael F. LaCava, Esq. (married to Melanie M. LaCava) (née Beach); grandchildren Sasha R. LaCava, Gabriel A. LaCava, Eliana A. Wacks, Natalie S.M. LaCava, and Giovanna M. Wacks; his sister Elaine Tufo, niece Linda Fortenberry, nephews Michael G. LaCava (married to Derek Corriveau) and Kenneth Tufo (married to Tara Torricelli), grand-nieces Kristen LaCava and Livia LaCava, grand-nephew Massimo Tufo, brother-in-law Eugene Jaquest, and adored cousin Thomas N. LaCava, M.D.

Bob was an extraordinary man. At the age of 9, Bob looked at all the things he could do with his life and made the decision to be a doctor and healer, so he could help make a real difference in people’s lives. He fulfilled that dream when he graduated from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in 1974. As a surgeon and physician for over 47 years, Dr. Bob, with almost a singularity of purpose at times, pursued medicine and helping others with a passion right up until the very end of his life. A brilliant and gifted doctor, Dr. Bob delivered over 10,000 babies throughout his career and was especially proud of a personal commendation from the Governor of South Carolina for his efforts in helping to significantly reduce the infant mortality rate in Marlboro County. Later, as an early pioneer and innovator in the alternative and integrative medicine field, Dr. Bob prided himself on helping people that other doctors could not figure out how to help. Towards this pursuit, he founded The LaCava Center for Integrative Medicine in 2005, helping many sick with cancer, Lyme Disease, and other ailments. During this time, Dr. Bob was credited by many patients with saving their lives and being the first doctor that really listened to them. In doing so, Dr. Bob answered a question he once posed in a sermon he gave, entitled “Can one man make a difference?”. The reverberating answer from family, friends, past and present patients, and from many others around the world who called, prayed, and messaged their support to Bob in his last weeks of life, is a resounding YES!!!!

A man of few vices, Bob loved good food, nice suits, the opera, Dr. Zhivago, Willy Nelson, laughter, cigars, and good company. Some of Bob’s (affectionately called E-Pa by his grandchildren) favorite moments were time spent with his kids and grandkids at their sporting events, and other events with family and friends where he often offered gentle guidance, insightfulness, heartfelt and often comical opinions to friends, family, and stranger alike.

A faithful and loving servant of Jesus, Bob’s faith sustained him throughout the many trials of his life. He was the living example of Psalm 34:19: “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all”, and often quoted this scripture as he remembered God’s faithfulness in always delivering him and guiding his steps through the many ups and downs of his life. Never idle, Bob took his life experience and showed his love for others as a steadfast provider, empathetic and sympathetic confidant, comic, food critic, and healer. One of Bob’s most powerful experiences with God was around Thanksgiving of 2011 on a mission trip to Mozambique, Africa with Iris Ministries. There, while serving a long line of around 1100 children, the food began to run out, while seventy unfed children remained. Realizing their predicament, Bob looked at Suzanne and they just kept scooping food onto plates, believing that with Jesus there is always enough. To their astonishment, every child was fed, and leftovers still miraculously remained. It remained one of his most cherished memories and sustained his faith in the goodness of God for the remainder of his life.

A fan of history, when things got tough in life Bob always remembered the wise words of Winston Churchill and encouraged others to never give up. “Just keep going and I’ll do whatever I can to help you”, Bob would say, and he stayed true to his word.

A fan of Frank Sinatra, up to the very end, Bob did things his way and blazed his own trail through life, leaving behind many who will mourn him and miss him dearly.

While devastated by his loss, his family join Bob’s deceased loved ones and the chorus of angels who welcome Bob into heaven with a shout of “Well done, good and faithful servant. You fought the good fight, you have finished the race, you have kept the faith.”

Family and friends are invited to a celebration of his life, funeral and burial. The celebration of life will be held on Friday, November 12th, 2021 at Moss Family Funeral Home in Batavia, IL. The viewing will be from 4:00 PM-8:00 PM, and the celebration of life service will start at 7:00 PM. The funeral will follow on Saturday, November 13th, 2021 at 10:30 AM at St. Patrick Catholic Church, 400 Cedar Street St. Charles, IL. Thereafter, burial services will immediately follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Geneva, IL where Bob will be laid to rest in the shade with a view of the water.

In lieu of flowers, Bob’s family asks that you donate in his memory to Doctors Without Borders, Life Stream Ministries in St. Charles, IL, or Global Lyme Alliance.

Guest Book

  • Kristen LaCava Uncle Bob, I will forever miss listening to your stories over Thanksgiving dinners. Your abundance of knowledge and Insightfulness ensured there was never a lack of conversation when we were all sitting around the table. My favorites personally were the ones about Great Gram & Gramps…the good and some not so good ole days. I wish there was more time, as I know you had more stories to tell. You will be greatly missed. To my Cousins & Aunt Suzanne, I wish I could be there to hug you all. You are in my thoughts and Prayers. I love you
  • Alysia Brooke Barnett Sass I was so sorry to hear about your loss. My heart goes out to all of you during this time. Praying for peace and sending my love.
  • Fr Michael D Rasicci Dear Suzanne and Family, I am so sorry for your loss. I hurt for you, since I know how death unexpected can oppress us. Be assured of my prayers and ongoing remembrance of Bob in our Eucharists here. May he rest in Christ's peace and rise in his glory.