Donald Luther Novak, 73 of Cedar Rapids, passed on Monday April 26, 2010, from a courageous battle with cancer. Services will be 11:00 a.m. Monday, May 3 at Hus Memorial Presbyterian Church, with burial to follow at First Presbyterian Church Cemetery, near Ely. Visitation will be from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Brosh Chapel in Cedar Rapids, located at 2121 Bowling Street SW. Brosh Chapel in Cedar Rapids is in charge of arrangements.
Don was born February 20, 1937 in Cedar Rapids, the son of David and Martha (Flender) Novak. He founded Novak Construction in 1958, and operated it for over 52 years. He married Norma Kriz and they were married for over 30 years, she died on March 14, 1991. He married Sharon Ristau McMeen on June 19, 1993 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Cedar Rapids.
Don is survived by his wife, Sharon; his daughters Lory (Thomas Towne) Novak-Towne of Fairfax, Beverly Novak (Keith Hemphill) of Cedar Rapids, Kelly McDonald of Austin, Texas; a son Tim (Lisa) McMeen of Williamsburg; seven grandchildren Daniel Mitchell II (Jesse Sanders), Benjamin (Amanda) Mitchell, Jordon Novak, Caitlyn Towne, Dylan McDonald and Evan McDonald, Mateo McMeen and Josie McMeen; and a great grandson Daniel Paul Mitchell III; a brother Dave (Jan) Novak of Beaverton, Oregon; a sister Linda Novak of Bradenton, Florida;
He was preceded in death by his parents, a wife Norma and a granddaughter Sierra C. Mitchell.
Don spent his entire career in the home building and remodeling business. He earned certifications as a Graduate Remodelor, Master Carpenter, Graduate Builder, Kitchen Designer, Pella Contractor as well as a Certified Aging in Place Specialist. He was selected as 2002 National Remodelor of the Year by the National Association of Home Builders Remodelors Council and was Vice Chairman 2004 and Chairman 2005. He earned a Lifetime Achievement Award on November 13, 2007 for dedication to the HBA of Greater Cedar Rapids Area, HBA of Greater Iowa City Area, and HBA of Iowa and National Association of Home Builders.
Don was involved in many professional organizations including: Greater Cedar Rapids Home Builders Association President 1970, 1975, 1988 – Vice President 1987, induction into the Greater Cedar Rapids Home Builders Association – Hall of Fame in 1990, Director of the National Association of Home Builders Remodelors Council 1987, 1999 – Present, The Iowa City Remodelors Council Board Member 2000 – 2004- Chairman 2003, Iowa State Home Builders of Directors since 2002, National Remodelors Council Board of Trustees 1995 – 2001 and 2004 – 2005, founding member of the National Home Builder Certified Aging in Place Specialist, C.A.P.S. Program 2002, F & M Bank Advisory Board 2006 – 2007, Novak Construction was chosen as one of the Top 500 Remodeling Companies in the Nation in 2000 by Remodeling Magazine and Remodelor of the Century which he received July 18, 2007 by the Greater Cedar Rapids NAHB. In addition, Remodeling Magazine recognized Novak Construction Company as one of The Big 50 Remodeling Companies in 2000.
Each new day was “finer than frog fuzz.” Don’s sense of humor was legendary. There were no strangers to Don; people he met were potential friends. He made everyone smile and had a kind word for them. Don was a dedicated member of First Presbyterian Church, near Ely. He was an avid golfer. Don’s finest golfing moment was November 1, 2009 when he made a hole in one at Airport National in Cedar Rapids. Don was a loving husband and a proud and caring father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He will be forever missed by his family and friends.
Memorials may be directed in Don’s name to the CRHBA Endowed Scholarship at Kirkwood Foundation, 6301 Kirkwood Blvd. SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404 or online at www.kirkwood.edu/foundation/givenow.