Donna Jean Novak, 73, of Fontana, WI passed away March 29, 2022, peacefully at home surrounded by her loving family after a brave and brief battle with cancer. Donna is survived by her devoted husband of 53 years, James L. Novak. She was forever grateful for and proud of her beautiful daughters, Michelle Flood (Bill) and Jill Novak, and relished her role as doting “Nana” to grandchildren Jack, Alec and Kate. Donna is also survived by her brothers Mike Schwebke (Jean), Scott Schwebke (Debbie) and Ken Schwebke.
Born on December 8th, 1948, in Belvidere, IL to Ronald and Jean Schwebke, Donna was the much-loved older sister to her three younger brothers. She attended Belvidere High School, where she established cherished, lifelong friendships that remain to this day. She went on to attend Concordia University, where she met her loving husband, Jim. Shortly after graduation, Donna and Jim moved to New Berlin, WI, where their two daughters were born. Two years later, they moved to Youngstown, OH – and eventually settled in Dublin, OH, building a wonderful family life in the local community. After raising their children, Donna embarked on her career with Dublin Coffman High School. She was very proud of her 21 years of service to the school and deeply treasured the friendships she cultivated there. After Donna retired in 2014, she and Jim spent the winters in Naples, FL. They took great pleasure in hosting friends and family at their home, enjoying sunny days at the beach and boat cruises on the Naples Bay. After 40 years in Dublin, Donna and Jim decided to relocate and spend summers in Fontana, WI, where they would be closer to their children, extended family and friends. No matter what the season, they never missed the chance to go back to Wisconsin to see family and friends – or to attend their grandchildren’s baseball games, soccer games and other special occasions.
Donna was the ultimate hostess, always welcoming people onto the porch for a chat or inviting friends and family over for dinner. She brought beauty to everything around her, from decorating her home and caring for her garden to enhancing the communities where they lived. Above all, Donna loved being a mom to her two daughters and grandmother to her three grandchildren. She loved her family with all her heart. With her bright, upbeat personality and cheerful willingness to lend a hand, Donna was always a joy to be around. Her warm, friendly smile made everyone feel welcome. She brought so much happiness to her family and friends, who will always be thankful to have been graced with her as wife, mother, sister, grandmother and friend. Donna truly made this world a better, kinder place – and she will live on forever in our hearts.
Donna’s Visitation will be held at Anderson Funeral Home, 218 W Hurlbut Ave, Belvidere, IL 61008 on May 6 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. Her memorial service will be held immediately afterward at 7 pm for all those who wish to attend. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial donation in Donna’s honor to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (www.St.Jude.org) or the American Lung Association (www.Lung.org). To share a memory, please visit www.AndersonFCS.com.