Joseph Jerome ‘Joe’ Novak, son of LaVerne and Mary (Swett) Novak, was born May 11, 1953 in Mount Ayr, Iowa. Joe graduated from Diagonal high school in 1971. He went to Northwest Missouri State College in Maryville, Missouri for one year. Joe married Peggy Hughes on August 21, 1976 in Lamoni, Iowa. To this marriage were born three children, Jeremy, Amy and Tracy. Joe and Peggy later divorced.
Joe managed the truck stop in Decatur City for several years. In 1987 Joe moved to Oklahoma and worked for Phillips 66 for two years. In 1989 Joe began his career with WalMart. His present position was field services coordinator for club marketing. Joe traveled extensively. He loved his job and working with the people. Joe had a great respect for the people he worked for and he was respected and admired by his peers. Joe may have loved his job but his greatest love was for his family and in particular, his three grandsons, known to them as ‘Papa Joe.’ Joe truly loved all of his family; calling often to his mother and siblings. Joe’s conversations always centered around his concerns for other people. Although Joe lived in southern Missouri, his heart was for his pride and joy south of Diagonal; the ’20’ as he called it. Joe passed away suddenly on September 20, 2009 at his home in Jane, Missouri.
He was preceded in death by his father, LaVerne Novak, and his grandparents, Cyril and Maud Novak and Orville Swett.
Those left to cherish his memory include his wife, Margaret Novak of Jane, Missouri; his three children, Jeremy Novak and wife Amy of Diagonal, Iowa, Amy Finney and husband Jeff of Ramona, Oklahoma and Tracy Freeman and husband Chad of Owasso, Oklahoma; grandsons, Jacob Novak and Drew and Jett Finney; his mother, Mary Novak of Mount Ayr, Iowa; one sister, Sherri Sheil of Clarinda, Iowa; three brothers, Tim Novak and wife Connie of Bedford, Iowa and Tom Novak and Rob Novak, both of Diagonal, Iowa; uncles, Bob Novak and wife Barbara of Sterling, Virginia and Loren Swett and wife Alice of Temple, Texas; special family, Paul Novak and wife Lupe of Deer Creek, Minnesota; nephew and nieces; other relatives, and many friends.
Services were held at the Saint Mary Catholic Cemetery in Maloy, Iowa on Thursday, September 24, 2009 with Father Glen Wilwerding officiating. Watson-Armstrong Funeral Home handled the arrangements.
Honorary pallbearers were Bill Senn, Dan Pickering, Bob Mann, Kevin Lyles, Bryon Mayhall, Dalton Lott, Mike Hemmerich and Stan Lay.
A memorial fund has been established in memory of the late Joe Novak, a beloved friend and employee of Club Marketing Services. Proceeds from the fund will be used to defray college expenses for Joe’s grandchildren. Contributions to the ‘Joe Novak Family Contribution Fund’ may be made at any Arvest Bank location. The Bentonville address is as follows: Arvest Bank, P.O.Box 1229, Bentonville, AR 72712.