June 25, 1927 – February 25, 2019
The family of John Novak invites you to attend a service and reception in Celebration of his Life. The service will be held for John at 11 am on March 16, 2019 at Christ the King Parish, 1599 Tunner Drive, Courtenay, BC and a reception will immediately follow in the church hall.
John Novak (Dad) was born June 25, 1927 in Whitechapel, London, England and passed away peacefully February 25, 2019 in Campbell River, BC. He is survived by his brother Stanley Novak, his six children Andrew Novak, Rosemary Skarbo, Karen Richards, Carl Novak (Barbie), Linda Wilton (Cyril), Dave Novak (Janita), as well as grandchildren Michael, Jennifer, Alex, David, Tracie, Jordan, Bryce, Taylor, Shawn, Jonathan and Cody, and eight great-grandchildren.
John was predeceased by parents Stanley and Annie Nowak, brother Constance Novak, and by his bride Jean Rose Novak (nee Copping) whom he married on June 25, 1949.
Dad started his air force career as a teenager during WW2 in the Air Training Corps flying in Wellington bombers. He did a stint with the RAF before working with civilian air transport companies delivering goods throughout Europe, and participated in the Berlin airlift. Dad enlisted in the RCAF in 1953 and was posted to RCAF Langar where he flew as aircrew with the 137 Transport Squadron. He flew on transport missions through out Europe and North Africa, and miraculously survived the tragic air crash of a Bristol Freighter in France in 1955.
Dad was then posted to RCAF Station Namao in Edmonton, Alberta and the family emigrated to Canada in 1957 aboard the Cunard Liner Carinthia, arriving in Montreal and then travelling by rail to Edmonton. He worked in search and rescue and also flew on supply missions to the DEW line in C-119 Flying Boxcars and later C-130 Hercules. Dad’s next posting was in 1963 to Portage la Prairie, Manitoba followed by a posting in 1966 to Val-d’Or, Que. He wrapped up his Air Force career with a 1968 posting to 409 Squadron in Comox BC, retiring from the armed forces in 1977. Dad then went on to work for the Comox Valley School District, and fully retired in the early eighties.
Dad was very well read, had a great singing voice, and was an unbeatable Scrabble player! His stories were captivating, his booming laughter infectious and his character endearing. He enjoyed fishing, gardening and loved spending time with his extended family. He was an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion in Comox, and a member of the Knights of Columbus for many years.
Following retirement, Mum and Dad were bitten by the RV bug and enjoyed many years travelling the Oregon Coast, camping at Rathtrevor Beach and as snowbirds in California and Arizona. Dad lost his loving companion and wife of 66 years in 2015, and moved to Ironwood Manor in Campbell River to be closer to his children in 2017. He very much enjoyed his stay there and would often tell stories and serenade the other residents with songs from the past. The family is most appreciative of the loving care John was given during his residency at Ironwood Place. We would also like to thank the first responders that helped Dad, as well as Dr. Fourie and the staff at the Campbell River Hospital.
There is an emptiness in our hearts with Dad’s passing, but we take great comfort in knowing he is back in the loving arms of his wife Jean Rose, and in the company of his four-legged buddies Chip and Chester.