March 31, 1944 - January 2, 2020

 

Robert (Bob) Eugene Nowak led a life that was essentially focused on what mattered most to him. He did not need to stay up to date on fads or trends. He did not need life to be complex with multiple concerns. But what mattered to him and interested him, shaped his life. He regimented his life to keep this focus.

Family mattered most to Bob. He loved family reunions. He kept up to date with his cousins, aunts and uncles, and nieces and nephews. Bob was supremely dedicated to family. As his dad and aunts / uncles aged, he got them to appointments, Sunday Mass, and kept their refrigerators full of food. His brothers, sisters-in-law, and nieces / nephews never went a birthday, wedding, or anniversary without a card and money order.

From his Catholic faith, to potato pancakes for Good Friday, polish sausage for Easter, and homemade perogies for Christmas, Bob loved tradition. The value of his Polish heritage and Catholic faith kept traditions alive in the Nowak family that may have otherwise faded with the times. He saw the value in remembering the past and paying homage to his roots and to those who came before him.

Robert was also a man who loved sports and games. He was fiercely dedicated to the Montreal Canadians and the San Antonio Spurs and loved to watch them play. He also treasured playing games with family. He was a constant challenger in Skip-Bo, Uno, Mexican Train, or cribbage. And we can never forget the little handheld Yahtzee game that remained faithful until the buttons wore out.

Robert was truly unforgettable. His line of thinking and Polish stubbornness would often leave people laughing, crying, or shaking their heads. He provided memories that will continue to make his friends and family laugh for years to come. His faithfulness to his faith, family, and loved ones was remarkable, and he will truly be missed.

He is survived by his brother, Joseph Nowak (Beaver Dam, WI) and his children, Joseph (Lisa) Nowak, Elizabeth (Matt) Schaefer, and Therese (Josh) Draeger; his sister-in-law, Barbara Nowak (Mayhew Lake, MN) and her children, Michelle (Donald) Peterson, Nicholas (Terra) Nowak, and Amy (Dean) Bemboom; as well as many great nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Magdalen Nowak; his brother, Jerome Nowak; and his sister-in-law, Alice Nowak.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Robert, age 75, on Monday, January 6, 2020, at 11:00 am at Christ Our Light Catholic Church in Princeton, MN, with a visitation at 10:00 am. Robert passed away on January 2, 2020, at the St. Cloud VA Hospital.