William James Novak

October 15, 1945 - June 14, 2024

Visitation: Tuesday, June 18, 2024, 4-8 pm; Devlin Funeral Home of Cranberry Township

Service: Wednesday, June 19, 2024, 10 am; Devlin Funeral Home of Cranberry Township

William James Novak (78) passed away peacefully on June 14, 2024 with his ever-devoted wife Helene by his side. He tenaciously fought as long as he could to hold onto his time with her and the many family members that sat by his side in his last days.
Bill was a true gentleman and a gentle man. He lived his life with integrity, humility, and a gracious spirit, with the love of his life by his side for more than fifty years.
Born on October 15, 1945 to the late Stella and Stanley Novak on Pittsburgh’s North Side, Bill learned many early lessons in responsibility and resourcefulness as the third oldest of nine. He attended Mount Oliver High School where he was an accomplished swimmer and diver. After high school, he attended the Columbia School of Broadcasting and deejayed at two local radio stations. His deep voice resonated over the airwaves. He went on to receive his bachelor’s degree at Robert Morris University and his master’s degree at the University of Southern California. Bill served his country with fervor in the US Army from1965-67. Once his service was complete, he pursued professional excellence, culminating in 27 years at Boeing where he was respected for his work ethic and business acumen, as well as his courteous nature.
If you knew Bill, you knew he took great pride in his service to Boeing, and even moreso in his military service. A true patriot that loved his country, Bill always started his rounds of golf with the Pledge of Allegiance, and many a round of golf he played! During the years he and Helene lived in Mission Viejo, California he racked up countless rounds and stories on his favorite greens at Pebble Beach and Carmel.
Music and movies were Bill’s other favorite hobbies. Doo-wop being his absolute favorite, he listened to tracks on everything from vinyl albums and cassette tapes to concerts on blu-ray. When the mood moved him, he would softly sing favorite lyrics to some of the youngest members of his family. Undoubtedly, he most enjoyed hearing music live while holding Helene’s hand with one hand and tapping the beat with his other. In recent years, he made a tradition of Tuesday Movie Nights at home with his “golden girls,” his sister Nancy and sister-in-law Angie.
Bill always did his best to treat people with the utmost care and respect whether he knew them for a lifetime or for minutes. There are many amazing stories that shape his legacy that would never be known for his humble nature–stories of Bill saving the lives of a drowning swimmer, a soldier on the edge of suicide, and a choking co-worker. There was also the time he stepped in to help a colleague who was having a seizure. Never one to brag, when asked about any of these acts of true heroism, he would reply, “It’s just what you do.”
Bill’s was truly a life well-lived. To capture its breadth and richness in mere paragraphs is impossible, but to say the sum of his life was defined by his unwavering devotion to his wife is genuine. Their life together was made beautiful by the profound love and respect they shared. They simply made the best of partners. Bill beamed at Helene, and she at him, leaving no doubt that their love will last as long as the stars above. They were married in Pittsburgh 50 years ago this past February, just a day before moving to the West Coast. In California, among awe-inspiring scenery, every day felt like a vacation with how much fun they had together. When they returned to the Pittsburgh Area, they settled in Cranberry Township and later Liberty Hills in Freedom. They brought sunshine with them, hosting many warm family get-togethers filled with great food, conversation, and laughter. Bill loved these times with his family. He took comfort in time spent with his brothers, sisters, and in-laws, and was proud to be a cherished part of the lives of his many nieces and nephews and their children. Always dapper and ready to help however he could, Bill was always there for his family and he will be sorely missed by them.

Bill will be remembered as a loving husband to his devoted Helene, son of the late Stella and Stanley Novak, beloved brother to the late Stanley, Jr. (Becky), the late Joann Prohoniak-Gercken, Nancy Attanucci (late James), David (Angie), Cathy (Tim) Kernan, Debbie (Mark) Salamanca, Robert (Kathy), and Barb (Tony) DiLulio, as well as uncle to many wonderful nieces, nephews, and great nieces and nephews. Bill was also blessed with a long-lasting, special friendship with Jay and Denise Rupp of Indio, California and treasured camaraderie with his Cranberry Highland golfing buddies and the Monday Group, in particular, Jim Duncan and John DiPlacido.

Many thanks to the Rose E. Schneider YMCA Parkinson’s Exercise Program led by Kathy, the Cranberry VA Clinic and the at-home physical and occupational therapists who helped Bill rally over numerous setbacks, especially Kirsten and Jessica. And finally the Good Samaritan in Wexford has his family’s endless gratitude for their compassionate care of Bill in his final days.

Family and friends are welcome on Tuesday from 4-8 pm at Devlin Funeral Home of Cranberry Township, 2678 Rochester Road, Cranberry Township. A Blessing Service will be held Wednesday at 10 am at the funeral home. Private interment will be held at The National Cemetery of The Alleghenies.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Tunnel to Towers Foundation or Wounded Warrior Project.

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Guest Book Signatures

  • Lenny and Patty Altavilla

    Lena…words can’t express our sadness regarding your loss of Bill. He was always so interesting to sit and talk with. We will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Lenny and Patty

  • Chery Falcettoni

    Thank you for sharing yours and Bill’s journey.
    He was a true and caring gentleman. You are in our thoughts and prayers. May he rest in peace.

  • Jay & Paula Attanucci

    Dear Aunt Helene,
    We are so sorry for your loss, Uncle Bill was truly an amazing person. You are in our prayers.
    With much love,
    Jay and Paula

  • Amy Molter

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the entire Novak family. I’m sorry I never met Bill because he must have been an awesome man. Rest in peace, Bill.

  • Cyndi White

    Lena, I am so sorry for your loss. Bill was a wonderful man and I am honored to have known him. You are in my thoughts and prayers. 💔


    Dear Helene and ALL the Family,
    I share your loss and hope my thoughts and prayers will comfort you. What a wonderful life you two shared together! I had no idea of his full life before Boeing. Thank you for sharing all of that wonderful history. Now, I know his “golf buddies” are sharing good memories with him in Heaven.
    With loving thoughts,

  • Jim Anthony

    I loved Billy..He was one of the best persons I have ever known…Golfing with him on Mondays was always a pleasure and a lot of fun especially when he started singing those oldies..He and Helene had the Monday golf group to their home for breakfast a couple of times and they were the best hosts we could have had…..Rest in peace buddy, we will all miss you!!!

  • Drew Potoski

    A true gentlemen and a prime example of what a person should be. Truly will be missed. May God welcome him into the true Kingdom. Peace be with you.


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