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LaVergne and George Novak

Memorial Service

12:00 PM Sun., Jul. 27, 2014
Location: Alpine Banquets, Darien

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Music by The Piano Brothers

https://scontent-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/t1.0-9/10151381_10202431924693335_6647211957172661436_n.jpgNovak, George Joseph and LaVergne Gwendolyn


LaVergne and George Novak, married for 71 years, departed this world within three weeks of each other:  LaVergne on April 8, and George on April 24.


Lavergne Novak was born on April 24, 1920, in Chicago, to Joseph Przybylski and Gussie nee Bubenik. 


By 1929, her mother had remarried, and Lavergne was adopted by John Bell. She lived through the Great Depression, helping her mother to sell items to help her family make ends meet.


She attended Hauser Middle School in Riverside, Illinois, and Riverside-Brookfield and Oak Park-River Forest high schools.  After school, she worked for the phone company. 


George was born on February 23, 1919, in the Post Office/grocery store where his mother worked, in Chicago.  His parents were Joseph F. Novak, a Czechoslovakian immigrant, and Millie nee Jilk.


George Novak and LaVergne Bell married on February 5, 1943. Not long after, George served in World War II, with the United States occupation forces in Italy.  He recently participated in the Honor Flight, in commemoration of his service.


George worked as an engineer for Western Electric for 42 years, retiring in 1983.


The couple had much in common, and yet they were distinctly individual.  They had two children, Donald and Janet (Tarek Husayni).  They shared the love of eight grand-children, Deanna, Lena, Jad, Maya, and Ramsey Husayni, and April, Helen and Hannah Novak. 


They both loved the outdoors.  In their younger years, they enjoyed backwoods canoeing and camping in the northern United States.  In later years, they spent their summers in a small cabin on Razorback Lake, in the north woods of Sayner, Wisconsin. 


LaVergne delighted in keeping journals of birds and animals she had seen.  She also enjoyed safaris she had taken to Africa, and decorated several walls in her Riverside, Illinois home with African memorabilia.


LaVergne loved the simple life, eschewing modern technology for the art of letter-writing.  She had long-time pen pals from different areas of the United States. She kept many scrapbooks, detailing her family history as well as the lives of her husband and children.


George loved to invent things.  His cabin at Razorback Lake, in Sayner, Wisconsin, was a testament to his creativity.  He created a solar outdoor shower, various contraptions for raising and lowering his boat anchor, and other ingenious tools.  He had a love for knowledge, and embraced technology, especially that which made it possible for him to stay in touch with his grand-children. 


George had four siblings, all of whom, along with their spouses, preceded him in death:  Ella (Edward Picha), Edwin (Ruth), Sylvia (James Kott), and Mildred (Harry Kopack). LaVergne leaves behind  one sister, Gloria (the late Ed McCabe). George and LaVergne were also the fond uncle and aunt of many.


Donations may be made in LaVergne and George's names, to the Plum Lake Library, Sayner, Wisconsin.  The library will be purchasing shelving, dedicated to LaVergne and George, for their audio book collection.

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