Charles Israel, 48, died of a stroke early Wednesday. Israel, who had muscular dystrophy, was taken to the hospital Tuesday afternoon. Israel, who used a wheelchair, was the Senate’s Web master.
Israel was a familiar face around the Capitol and often played good-natured tricks on his co-workers. A memorial had been set up outside his office on the third floor of the Capitol.
Up until last year, Israel’s service dog Hobbes, a half Chesapeake By Retriever and half Golden Retriever, was a common sight around the Capitol. The dog retired last year. Hobbes has since died.
Last session, lawmakers authored a resolution honoring Hobbes, as a “devoted companion and consummate chic magnet”
The dog had worked with Israel for 10 1/2 years before his retirement.
Senate Majority Leader Todd Lamb remembered Israel’s cheerful disposition.
“If anybody had a reason to complain it was him,” Lamb said. “But he didn’t.”
Israel is survived by his mother and two sisters. His father and brother also died of muscular dystrophy, Lamb said.
The family is encouraging people to make donations to Paws with a Cause, a Michigan-based group that trained Hobbes to be a service dog.