Michael Novak Jr., 83
Fri, 03/03/2017 - 3:36pm admin
Sept. 9, 1933—Feb. 17, 2017
Washington, D.C. - Michael Novak Jr., age 83, of Washington, D.C., died on Feb. 17, 2017 of colon cancer.
A funeral Mass was held Feb. 25, 2017 in the Crypt Church of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception at Washington, D.C. The Mass was concelebrated with several priests in attendance. Burial was Feb. 27, 2017 at Rock Creek Cemetery. Funeral arrangements by Devol Funeral Home. Please sign the guestbook at www.legacy.com/ washingtontimes.
Several hundred attended the funeral from Czechoslovakia, Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Iowa and Massachusetts.
Michael Francis John Novak Jr. was born Sept. 9, 1933 in Johnstown, Pa., the son of Michael and Irene (Sakmar) Novak.
He graduated from Stonehill College in Easton, Mass. in 1956 and from Gregorian University in Rome in 1958.
He married Karen Laub, an artist, sculptor and writer June 29, 1963. She designed the Borlaug Statue in her hometown of Cresco’s Beadle Park.
Michael was a Catholic philosopher, theologian and author. He wrote over 50 books, as well as numerous articles. His 1982 book “The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism” allowed him to be awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion in 1994.
In September 2016, he was bestowed the Lincoln Literary Award, sharing the honor with Henry Kissinger, Tom Clancy, Alistair Cooke, Neil Simon and James Michener.
He also served as ambassador to the U.N. Commission (now Commissioner) on Human Rights in 1981 and 1982.
He taught at the University of Notre Dame as well as at Harvard, Stanford, Syracuse and Ave Maria Universities and was awarded 27 honorary degrees, including one from Catholic University in 2015.
Since last August, Novak had been a faculty member of The Catholic University of America’s Tim and Steph Busch School of Business and Economics in Washington.
He considered his greatest honor to be that St. John Paul II called him a friend, as did Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and President Ronald Reagan.
Michael is survived by his children, Tanya Holton of Dedham, Mass.; Richard Novak of San Antonio, Texas and Jana Novak of Oklahoma City, Okla.; four grandchildren, Wiley Holton, Julia Holton, Emily Novak and Stephen Novak; a sister, Mary Ann Novak of Washington, D.C.; a brother, Ben Novak of Ava Maria, Fla.; a sister-in-law, Gretchen Laub of Cresco; and nieces and nephews, Josh and Joe Novak, Pei Novak Lazar, Lucy Gehling, Tanya Munkel and George Laub.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Karen on Aug. 12, 2009; brothers, Fr. Richard Novak and James Novak; a niece, Sarah Laub; and his parents.