Edward A. Novak, Jr. M.D.
Passed away on December 6, 2021, Edward Andrew Novak, Jr. of Sterling, Va., retired physician, naval officer and Kiwanian, devoted father of Edward A. Novak III, of Greenbelt, Md.; and cherished grandfather of Anna H. Novak of Lower Allen Township, Pa., and Katharine N.N. Allgood of Susquehanna Township, Pa.
Born on August 20, 1931, in Scranton, Pa., as the only child of Edward A. Novak, Sr. and Mary (Dempsey) Novak, Ed, as he was known to all, was raised in the heart of the Great Depression. His father, a pharmacist, urged a medical career on his son. Following his graduation from Scranton Prep in 1949, Ed traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend Georgetown University and the Georgetown University School of Medicine, from which he graduated in 1953 and 1957, respectively. During his studies, he met his future wife, Natalie Boland, who was a student at the Georgetown University School of Nursing.
Following their marriage in 1957, the young couple got into their station wagon and headed west to southern California to begin their life’s journey together and his three careers: as an ophthalmologist in private practice, an officer in the U.S. Navy and U.S. Naval Reserve, and as a Kiwanian.
Following an internship at the U.S. Veterans Affairs Hospital (USVAH) in Long Beach, Ca., Ed served on active duty in the Western Pacific, taking him to many ports of call in the South Pacific and Asia and providing much adventure on the high seas. Returning to land and his family, he served as Assistant Medical Officer at the Naval Training Center in San Diego, Ca., and Treasure Island, located in the San Francisco Bay.
In 1964, Ed, Natalie, and their son moved to northern California, where Ed joined a medical practice in Redwood City, Ca., and continued service in the U.S. Naval Reserve and as a member of Kiwanis International. He took up golf, at which he was terrible, and taught his son how to play poker and build things, including model airplanes and redwood decks. He loved traveling to Hawaii and listening to the song stylings of Hawaiian artists like Don Ho and Ed Kenney.
While in private practice, Ed also conducted corporate research on contact lenses, served as an investigator for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and as Clinical Assistant Professor at Stanford University School of Medicine. He served on the staffs of several northern California hospitals, including Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City, Mills Memorial Hospital in San Mateo, and Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame. He was a member of several professional associations, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the Under Seas Medical Society, the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States, and the Shogun Medical Society (Japan).
He was a lifelong member of Kiwanis International, a service club devoted to “serving the children of the world.” He served as President of the Sequoia Kiwanis Club of Redwood City, then as Lt. Governor of Division 34, and Governor of the California-Nevada-Hawaii District of Kiwanis. He loved traveling to annual conventions around the United States and served as member or chair of four international committees of Kiwanis. He was a member of Kiwanis clubs in Redwood City, Ca., Pensacola, Fla., Aiea, Hi., and Arlington, Va.
Following the retirement of his medical partner and his son’s emigration from California, Ed re-enlisted as an active-duty naval officer. He served in several leadership positions at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan, and the U.S. Naval Hospital in Pensacola, Fla.
When Ed returned to reserve duty in 1986, he fulfilled a lifelong fantasy and joined a medical clinic in Hawaii. He served with the Hawaiian Eye Center outside of Honolulu and in several leadership positions at the naval base in Pearl Harbor. During his stay on the island of Oahu, he and Natalie lovingly cared for his father during the last years of his life. Having foresworn golf, Ed took up bodysurfing.
Ed retired from the U.S. Navy in 1991 with the rank of captain, and when he retired from practicing medicine in 1996, he and Natalie moved to northern Virginia to be closer to family. In retirement, Ed was a popular member of the community at Lowes Island, in Sterling, Va., serving in a variety of roles in the social life of the community, and continuing his service with Kiwanis. He wrote a political thriller, “Deadly Affairs of State,” which was published in 2006 by Trafford Publishing
Following his wife Natalie’s death in 2014 and a stroke in 2018, Ed moved to Arbor Terrace Senior Living in Lanham, Md., to be close to his son and daughter-in-law, Amy J. Odegaard.
A funeral mass will be celebrated on December 18, 2021, at 11:00 a.m. at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church, 46639 Algonkian Parkway, Potomac Falls, Va. Family members will greet guests prior to the funeral service at the church beginning at 10:00 a.m. Interment will be at Arlington National Cemetery at a later date.
Memorial video tribute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vHaq9zmja-8
Memorial donations may be made to the Kiwanis Children’s Fund at: www.kiwanis.org/childrens-fund/give or the Georgetown University School of Medicine at: http://giving.georgetown.edu.