Passed away on January 17, 2014, Natalie Boland Novak, retired nurse, devoted wife of the late Edward A. Novak, Jr., M.D., of Potomac Falls, Va.; devoted mother of Edward A. Novak III, of Greenbelt, Md.; and cherished grandmother of Anna Novak of Camp Hill, Pa., and Katharine Natalie Novak Allgood of Harrisburg, Pa.
Born in 1934 in the small coal-region town of Archbald, Pa., Natalie was raised in a family dedicated to service through the medical arts. Her sisters, Harriett Kiley and Suzanne Golden, both of whom survive her, went to New York to study nursing. However, Natalie blazed her own trail and, following graduation from Marywood Seminary, went to Washington, D.C. to attend the Georgetown University School of Nursing, where she met her future husband and from which she graduated. Her twin brother Stanley, who also survives her, completed the Boland family tradition by practicing medicine in northeast Pennsylvania.
In the late 1950’s, following her marriage to Dr. Novak, the young couple got in a station wagon and headed west to southern California to begin their life’s journey together. Though Natalie had left the coal region, she liked to say that the coal region never left her, pointing to the knee where a small chunk of coal had imbedded itself during a childhood fall and remained for decades.
While raising her young son, Natalie practiced nursing, which she loved, and tended to her household while her husband served as an active-duty officer in the U.S. Navy in the Far East. In the mid-1960’s, Natalie, her husband, and her son moved to northern California, where she continued the Boland tradition by teaching nursing at a community college and serving as a hospital administrator. During this period of time, after starts and fits, she successfully quit smoking cigarettes for good. Decades later, she is still remembered for her beef stroganoff and chipped beef on toast dinners.
When her son moved East to attend college, Natalie and Ed made plans for the next phase of their lives. Ed closed his medical practice and signed back on to active duty in the U.S. Navy in Japan. Natalie joined him in Japan, where she adjusted to the local cuisine, and then at his next station in Florida. Ed then retired from the Navy and joined a medical clinic in Hawaii. During this decade on the island of Oahu, Natalie lovingly cared for her father-in-law during the last years of his life. However, she never really got the hang for body-surfing.
When Ed retired from practicing medicine, he and Natalie moved to northern Virginia. Natalie enjoyed being closer to relatives in Pennsylvania and Virginia. She worked hard trying how to figure out the ways of her modern granddaughters and taught them and her son two important lessons: 1) “you learn something new every day; and 2) “better out than an eye.” In retirement, she became a popular member of her community and engaged in her favorite activities: reading voraciously, elegantly playing the piano, keeping up with current affairs, enjoying English drawing room comedies and dramas, and following the British royal family. Oh, how she loved Queen Elizabeth!
Friends and relatives called at the Adams-Green Funeral Home, 721 Eldon Street, Herndon, Va. A funeral mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church, 46639 Algonkian Parkway, Potomac Falls, Va. A reception followed the service in the church. Internment was at Arlington National Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Arlington Kiwanis Foundation, P.O. Box 100131, Arlington, Va. 22210-0131, or the Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies at: http://giving.georgetown.edu.