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July 24, 2021

7/19/2021 9:50:00 AM
Novak, Evelyn Anna

Evelyn Anna Novak, age 99, formerly of Montfort, Wisconsin passed away Saturday evening June 13, 2020, at the Decatur County Hospital in Leon, Iowa. Evelyn was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 29, 1921. She was the daughter of William and Marie (Formanek) Rabinak.

During the Depression, her family moved from Oak Park, Illinois to North Judson, Indiana. In 1935, she completed elementary school in San Pierre, Indiana. Her family moved back to Illinois where she graduated from Downers Grove High School in 1939. During World War II, she was an executive secretary in the engineering department of Western Electric Company of Chicago. While corresponding with friends serving in the Army, she received a letter from a soldier who later became her future husband.

On August 10, 1946, she married Donald Edward Novak of Montfort, Wisconsin in the Euclid Avenue Methodist Church in Oak Park, Illinois. They moved to Platteville, Wisconsin where Donald completed his degree in Agricultural Education at the college in 1947. They purchased the family farm in Montfort in 1948 and raised registered Aberdeen Angus cattle for 57 years. They were married sixty-six years and blessed with three daughters - Bonnie, Betty, and Cynthia Ann.

Evelyn was a member of the Montfort Methodist Church, Women's Society of Christian Women, Montfort Woman's Club, and Oak Grove Homemakers Club. She enjoyed gardening, sewing, needlework, cake decorating, flower arranging, playing the piano, collecting and restoring antiques. It gave her great joy to have her family gather around the large dining room table or a campfire to enjoy her delicious food and share family stories. She was an avid Wisconsin sports fan cheering on the Badgers football and basketball teams as well as her beloved Green Bay Packers.

Evelyn was preceded in death by her parents, William and Marie Rabinak; husband Donald on November 7, 2012, sister, Mildred Das; brother-in-law, John Das; and niece, Susan Das. Survivors include her three daughters, Bonnie (Richard) Ballantyne of Lamoni, Iowa, Betty (Mark) Engen of Rowlett, Texas, and Cynthia Ann (Gregory) Smith of Grand Rapids, Michigan; grandchildren, Chadley (Laura) Ballantyne of DeLand, Florida, Jennifer (Curtis) Bartles of Ankeny, Iowa, Nathanial (Sarah) Ballantyne of Kansas City, Missouri, Phillip (Krista) Engen of Woodridge, Illinois, Brittany (Jeffrey) Benson of Dallas, Texas, and Kimberly Engen of Addison, Texas; and great grandchildren, Walter Ballantyne, Marcus and Joshua Bartles, Gianna Rose Engen, and Charles and Thomas Benson. Survivors also include step-grandchildren, Brent Smith of Fort Wayne, Indiana, Heather (Matthew) Erb of Fort Wayne, and Bryan Smith of North Hollywood, California; and step-great grandchildren, Chance Smith and Jacob Erb of Fort Wayne, Indiana. She also has nieces and nephews, Bruce (Amy) Das, Charles (Linda) Novak, Lynn Ann (Brent) Hulick, Kathy Novak Aldrich, and other relatives and friends.

A Memorial service will be held at 2:00 P.M. on Saturday July 24, 2021 at the Montfort United Methodist Church in Montfort, WI with burial to follow in the Hillcrest Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 1:00 P.M. until the time of service at the church on Saturday. The Soman-Larson Funeral Home in Montfort is assisting the family and online condolences may be made at

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