Joan Mildred McKelley Novak Saturday, November 8, 1941 - Monday, July 3, 2017

Joan Mildred McKelley Novak (23 percent Irish – DNA Certified) died in her North Canton home on Monday surrounded by her loving family. Her death followed a two year courageous battle with oral cancer. She loved God and His entire creation. She loved! She loved people, nature and she loved to have fun. Until the time of her death she gave of herself in so many different ways. She will be dearly missed by all her knew her. Joan was a 1959 graduate of Timken Vocational High School, 1962 graduate of the Aultman Hospital School of Nursing and retired as a Registered Nurse from Saint Luke Lutheran Home. She was a member of Saint Paul Catholic Church (North Canton), St. Paul’s Women’s Guild, North Canton Garden Club, Beech Creek Botanical Garden, Friends of Stark Parks, Hoover Dinner Club, Lunch Ladies North Canton YMCA and card club. Survived by her husband of 51 years, Edward P. Novak, five children, Steve (Kelly) Novak of Villa Hills, Kentucky, Diane (John Yapelli) Novak of Evanston, Illinois, Dave (Becky) Novak of Newport, Kentucky, Kevin (Mandy) Novak of Evanston, Illinois and Julie (Gil) Gillespie of Ashville, North Carolina, five grandchildren, Maria, Joe, Ben and Jessie Novak and Grayson Gillespie, sister-in-law, Alice Perl of Massillon and five nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by a grandson, Spencer Novak and parents, Knute and Mildred McKelley. To our friends and neighbors thank you for your prayers, cards, flowers, company you have provided during Joan’s journey. Thank you also to the clergy, ministry and members of Saint Paul Catholic Church for providing spiritual support and direction. A special thank you to the Aultman Home Hospice team for your care and compassion. You were there for us each step of the way. Family and friends will meet on Saturday at 10 a.m. at Saint Paul Catholic Church (North Canton) for a Mass of Christian Burial with Monsignor James Clarke as celebrant. Burial will be in Calvary Cemetery. Friends may call Friday from 4-7 p.m. at the Lamiell Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Saint Paul Catholic Church. In memory of Joan share your love.

I worked with Joan at St. Lukes years ago.  She was a wonderful person and nurse.  So sorry to learn of her recent passing.  My sympathy to her family.  

I remember one time, when I was really little I woke up in the middle of the night and was hungry. Instead of waking mom and dad, for some reason, I went next door and saw Mrs. Novak through the kitchen window so I knocked on the door. When she opened the door and asked what on earth I was doing there I told her I was hungry and I remember she made me a sandwich and then sent me home. She was so caring and considerate and will be missed.

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you.

Dear Ed, So sorry to hear about Joan. Our prayers and thoughts are with you! Love, Norm and Bob 


To Mr. Novak, Steve, Diane and the whole family,

Your mom was a wonderful person. Even facing such a difficult illness, she always demonstrated concern and compassion for other people. From the first time I met her in the 70s, she was nothing but kind and friendly ... and she was at her most inspiring to others when life was the hardest for her. She's made a lasting impact on everyone who knew her. Love to all.


Joan you are at peace now and with your Maker. God welcomes you with open arms. May he continue to comfort your family in the days, weeks, months and years ahead.