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Barbara Novak

January 28, 1922 ~ September 18, 2018 (age 96)

Barbara Margaret, daughter of Earnest and Margaret Bowers, younger sister to Jack, was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1922. At an early age, her family moved to Aberdeen, Washington. The years she spent there had a lasting, endearing impact on her life. Barbara was a good student and friend, excelled on the swim team and enthusiastically cheered for her school on the rally squad as a Song Queen. Fond memories of those years stuck with her to the very end, being ever kind-hearted, a dedicated swimmer and always ready to sing, "Rah, Rah for Aberdeen!"
Barbara went on to college at the University of Washington, as did her high school sweetheart, Walter M. Novak, whom she married after freshman year with blessings and support from both of their parents and siblings. Walter graduated as an ensign in the U.S. Navy and joined the WW II battle in the South Pacific while Barbara remained home with their two babies, Sandra and Walter. Those were tense and lonely years, writing every day and traveling to reunite with 'Daddy' whenever they could.
After the war, the family first lived in Seattle, then relocated to Portland in 1950, where Barbara kept busy taking care of her immediate family, widowed mother and the community. She was PTA president, a Cub Scout leader and church volunteer. Barbara's children will always remember how active their parents were in wonderful projects throughout their exceptional marriage. There was a Washington copper mine, blueberry farm on the Clackamas River and homestead on the Lewis River. They even ventured out to the Big Island of Hawaii in the company of friendships they had formed during the War. In all places, Barbara and Walter lived a lifestyle that took care of their community and welcomed friends and family to gather and enjoy the good in life.
As her children grew older, Barbara had more time to develop her artistic interests, which included garden design, gardening, metal enameling, photography, knitting and crochet, giving expression to her appreciation of the natural world and the beauty in small wonders. Her pockets would always hold a few treasures of leaves and pine cones found while venturing for a walk and she could often be found basking in the sun, remarking on the beautiful day. Barbara shared her creations with friends and family and was an early member of the arts and crafts group Local 14, which still holds an annual exhibit and sale. She was an avid reader and had a special love of poetry cultivated in her youth by her own devoted mother. Barbara, known as 'Gramma' to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, was always ready to foster the love of reading, needing little prompting to delight in reciting children's verse for the little ones.
Barbara will ever be remembered for her gentle soul and intuitive, compassionate heart. She was highly competent and a hard worker, making any task seem effortless. Her warm and happy disposition was contagious, always a gracious hostess, who made everyone feel welcome and comfortable. Devotion to her family motivated her every action and all those who knew her well were certainly grateful beneficiaries of this enduring love.
After more than 60 years of marriage, Walter passed away in 2002. Barbara moved to Mary's Woods where she spent the last 15 years of her life. She enjoyed the company of family in town, often expressing how lucky she felt in the times they shared. In her final years as her health failed, devoted caregivers gave her a beautiful quality of life for which her family will always be grateful. Barbara died peacefully at home, surrounded by love.

She is survived by her children, Sandra Parsons (Jerry) and Walter B. Novak (Karen); grandchildren, Andrew Ragen (Kirsten) and Margaret Ragen; great-grandchildren, Peter, Katherine, Tesia, John Paul and Tenzin; and nieces and nephews, Nancy Dunn, Kathy Kirkland, Bruce Bowers (Lorene), Steve Bowers (Kristi), Ann Davidson (Larry) and Robin Bowers (Wayne).
A Memorial Mass celebrating her life will be held at 10 a.m., Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at Our Lady of the Lake, Lake Oswego. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, any remembrance may be sent to: Providence Hospice or Catholic Charities.


Memorial Mass

10:00 AM ,Tuesday, October 9, 2018
Our Lady of the Lake Lake Oswego, OR
Notes: Reception to follow
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