Basil (Bill) Novak

Basil (Bill) Novak

William Basil (Bill) Novak of Nanaimo, was born in Arran, Saskatchewan on August 15, 1927, and died peacefully on September 28, 2016 at the age of 89 years. He was predeceased by his loving parents, Helen in 1956 and Joseph in 1969, and by his older brothers Theo in 1988, Joe in 2007, and sister Norma (Musgrove) in 2011. Bill is survived by his beloved wife of 66 years Norma, daughters Pamela Sprawson, Patricia Novak, Susan Butt (Mobashar), and Helen “Joey” Novak Lauscher (John), ten grandchildren, six great grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews, cousins, and friends. Bill spent his childhood in Rhein, Saskatchewan, where his father was a grain buyer. After finishing high school at Yorkton Collegiate in 1944, Bill went to Saskatoon Service Flying Training School for two weeks and also took six weeks at Normal School in Regina. He began his career teaching grades 1-9 in Northern Saskatchewan. When he was 17 years old, he volunteered for service in wartime in the Canadian Army. He enrolled in the University of Manitoba in September 1945, served in the University Naval Training Division aboard HMCS Charlottetown, and completed his Normal School course in August of 1946. Bill met Norma Halstead – also a teacher – in 1948 and they were married in 1950. They both taught and Bill was a school administrator in various communities in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The family settled in Cold Lake Alberta in 1960, where Bill first was a school principal, and then Superintendent of Schools for the Department of National Defense at Canadian Forces Base Cold Lake. Bill graduated from the University of Alberta in 1954, earned a Master of Education degree from the University of Montana in 1965, and a postgraduate diploma in Educational Administration from the University of Saskatchewan in 1983. In retirement, Bill and Norma moved back to Saskatchewan to be near family. Bill was an avid hockey player and played with the Ponoka Stampeders in the 1950s. He coached football, and played in various hockey leagues including old timer’s hockey over the years. Bill and Norma spent winters in the Parksville Qualicum area until they made Qualicum Beach their full-time home in 1999. They enjoyed wonderful friendships in Qualicum, and were active in the Parksville Golden Oldies Sports Association, St. Marks Anglican Church, and the Legion. In 2013, Bill and Norma moved to Origin at Longwood in Nanaimo. The family thanks the staff of Astoria Suites for their loving and patient care during the last months of Bill’s life. Bill was known for his kindness, his generosity of spirit, and his sense of humour. A private family service will take place at a later date. Flowers gratefully declined. For those so desiring, you may remember Bill by donating to the Alzheimer Society of BC, BC Cancer Foundation, or a charity of your choice.


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