Rudy Joseph Novak, 87, of Elmira, N.Y., beloved husband, father and grandfather, died Thursday, March 24, 2022, at Carroll Hospital after an extended illness. His son and daughter-in-law, Steve and Wendy Novak, were with him as he took his last breath.
Rudy was born Jan. 28, 1935, in Elmira. He was a graduate of Thomas A. Edison High School and received his bachelor’s degree from Elmira College in math/physics. He served in the U.S. Air Force in Korea for four years and was proud of serving his country. He retired from Westinghouse, which became Northrup Grumman, after 40 years of service. He was a draftsman with Westinghouse and was proud to design shipping containers for radar systems on F-16 aircrafts. His father-in-law, Iver Tureson, always asked him if he designed one box then why couldn’t he just use those in the future. Iver always knew how to keep Rudy laughing. Rudy loved to laugh and to make others laugh. He kept his humor even while sick. He always wanted to be helpful and would drop everything if his family needed him. Rudy made friends wherever he went.
Rudy loved his family, which included two children and three grandchildren, his cats and bird, Loki. He played the accordion for pleasure, professional and for his grandchildren. He played for years in the group called the Florida Keys, which constantly had sold-out shows. He enjoyed teaching the accordion to a family friend, ensuring his gift will continue. Once he started playing the accordion, nothing could make him stop until the song was done.
He is survived by: his loving wife since their marriage on Aug. 8, 1959, Arleen Inez Novak, of Hallock, Minn.; his son, Steve (Wendy) Novak, of Eldersburg, Md.; brother, Robert (Bob) Novak; and sister, Caroline (Honey) Keetch; grandchildren Madeline Serio, Nathan Serio and Olivia Novak, of Maryland; sisters-in-law, Sharon Steien, Marlene Tureson, Jean Tureson and Tammy Tureson; brothers-in-law, Sander Tureson, Terry Tureson, Larry Steien and Jim Keetch; and several nieces and nephews (too many to count).
Rudy was preceded in death by: his son, David Joseph Novak; his parents, Rudolph Novak and Mary Novak; his beloved sisters, Mary (Mitzi) Novak Berggren and Marjorie Messick; his two brothers-in-law, Robert Tureson and Douglas Messick; sister-in-law, Joyce Novak.
Family will receive friends on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, from 4 to 6 p.m. at Haight Funeral Home and Chapel, 6416 Sykesville Road, Sykesville, Md. A memorial service will follow at 6 p.m., with Pastor Dean Shaw officiating. A celebration of life will be held at a later date in New York and Minnesota.
Flowers and online condolences may be offered at www.haightfuneralhome.com. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rudy’s name to the Rape Crisis Intervention Service of Carroll County in Maryland at https://www. rapecrisiscc.org/donate.