Bonita “Bonnie” Louise Novack
May 5, 1945 – February 15, 2019
Bonita Louise (Holzer) Novack was born to Michael and Marianne Holzer in Gary, Indiana May 5, 1945. Her father, a WWII veteran was completing his naval career at the time of her birth. The young family then returned to Zeeland, North Dakota living in a trailer on her grandfather’s farm. As a young toddler Bonnie was deathly afraid of grass and sunflowers carrying that fear into her adulthood, she would say the sunflowers were always “following and looking at her”.
Eventually her dad took over his father-in-law’s farm where Bonnie grew up surrounded by grandparents Michael and Mary Holzer and Frank and Evelyn Mitzel along with other family relatives. Two sisters, Micheleen and Diane, and one brother, Tim joined the family. Bonnie began her school years at an elementary school in Zeeland and in August of 1956 the family left the farm moving to Minneapolis, where her youngest sister Mary Jo joined the Holzer clan. Bonnie completed her education attending the Basilica of St. Mary’s parochial grade school, Jefferson Jr. High School graduating from Marshall High School in 1962.
After high school Bonnie considered learning to fly and getting her pilots license, but in the summer of 1963, she met a young man, Phil Novack, who stole her heart. Good bye flying! He later proposed and they were married June 5, 1964. After the wedding they moved to Grand Junction, Colorado. They returned to Minneapolis shortly after the birth of their first son Philip Novack Jr. Two years later Michael joined the family. The family resided in South Minneapolis prior to their move to Coon Rapids where Bonnie remained for the duration of her life.
Bonnie loved raising her two boys and spending time with her granddaughter Jessie, who she considered her own little girl. Being a wife, mother, and grandmother happily filled her days. Although she did not have a driver license it did not stop Bonnie from taking the boys on outings. During the summer months she loved taking them to all the “lakes” in Minneapolis, visiting the Como Zoo, and she especially enjoyed going to her friend Margo’s house. An avid reader, Bonnie would take the boys to the library and spent time reading to them. She not only used mass transit for her commutes but would walk to her jobs and when necessary pulling the boys in the “little red wagon” to get to the store.
The years from 1976 to 1986 the family rented a cabin on Coon Lake where they spent the summer months and Phil did a daily commute to work. Her memories included the story of one summer a tornado passing through ruining the pontoon and a frantic search for Mike, but everyone was safe. Along with the cabin years Bonnie was Phil’s partner in crime in many adventures including the annual wagon train for “Camp Courage”, square dancing, and volunteering for safety camps. She and Phil enjoyed not only in-state travel but multiple overseas travel adventures. She followed in her mother’s footsteps doing crossword puzzles, jig saw puzzles, and reading in her leisure time.
Bonnie and Phil became members of the Saint John’s the Baptist Catholic Church in 1982 and have been active volunteers throughout their years of membership. She enjoyed working the festival and running the booths with her husband by her side. Bonnie’s faith was unwavering, and she drew strength from her catholic faith sharing the host at Christmas time with family of bread that had been blessed.
Bonnie passed away after a 2 ½ year battle with cancer on Friday, February 15, 2019. She was preceded in death by her parents and an infant son John. She is survived by her loving husband Philip, sons Philip III and Michael (Ruth), Grandchildren Jessica Novack, Candice (Aaron) Jessop, Katie (Robert) McDonald-Medina, Ryan (Molly) McDonald, and Patrick (Alyssa) McDonald Great Grandchildren Dawson and Sydney Jessop. Sisters Micheleen (John) Cleveland, Diane Badli, Mary Jo (William) Hammon and brother Tim Holzer. Sister-in-law Joann Chouinard and brother-in-law John (Marlene) Novack along with multiple nieces and nephews.
Special thanks to the staff at Park River Estates and Allina Hospice for their tender care of Bonnie, she along with the family appreciate all of you.
Mass of Christian Burial on Saturday, February 23 at 11AM with visitation one hour prior at Saint John the Baptist Catholic Church