Betty Vivian Novak

Betty Novak of Abilene, 72, after a long illness, passed away at her home on May 6, 2017 .  The family will receive friends on May 11, 2017 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene; with a prayer service to follow at 7:00 PM. Funeral service will take place 9:00 AM, May 12, 2017, at Holy Family Catholic Church, with Father Frederick Nawarskas officiating. 

Betty V. Novak was born on September 19, 1944, in La Grange, Texas, to Chalmers and Nan Hooe.  Her father was career Air Force Noncommissioned Officer and her childhood was spent in numerous locations like Texas, Kansas, Panama, and Spain.  While in Spain her father was a frequent extra in low-budget cowboy movies being filmed there.  As a result, at the age of about 10, Betty also became an extra in one of those movies where she was so proud to meet the Hollywood actress Jane Mansfield.  When her father retired from the Air Force, the family settled in Abilene, Texas, and Betty graduated from Cooper High School in 1963.  Upon graduation as a military wife she traveled to Kadena Okinawa where she met and maintain relationships long after that assignment.  Upon return to the States, she settled in Boston and worked for Honeywell for over 10 years. 

When her father unexpectedly died, she returned to Abilene to live near her relatives and worked in administrative positions in manufacturing, retail, banking, and automobile dealerships.  Her longest full time employment in Abilene was with General Dynamics/Lockheed where she worked as an executive secretary and then as a work in progress specialist.  After Lockheed closed the Abilene Facility, Betty continued to work in administration in Home Health and Assisted Living Facilities both in Abilene and Weatherford Texas.  She was highly proficient with medical codes used in medical records and insurance forms, and she had a great fondness for helping residents in assisted living and nursing homes.

Betty loved to cook and share her meals with friends.  She was professionally trained but used it only as a hobby.  It was often said that if someone did not know what was served or how to pronounce it, Betty knew both and also how to cook it.  She also loved to dance, complete crossword puzzles, and travel on Cruise Ships.  Because of her time in the Okinawa she became very fond of C-130 aircraft and whenever one flew over her house in Abilene she would salute it.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Chalmers and Nan Hooe, and nephew Robby Oliveira.  She is survived by her husband Frederick Novak, sister Brenda Miller and husband Paul of Abilene, brother Charles Hooe and wife Sandra, and nephew David Hooe of Brenham TX.

The family would like to thank the medical, administrative staff, and volunteers at Wisteria Place and Hendrick Hospice for their outstanding support in helping through her final days.  In particular, we would like to thank our neighbor Cari Phillips for spending long, selfless hours attending to Betty’s personal needs and providing comforting support.  In lieu of flowers please consider donations to Hendrick Hospice Care, 1651 Pine St, Abilene, TX 79601, Meals on Wheels, 707 North 10th St, Abilene, TX 79601, Food Bank of West Central Texas, 5501 N 1st St, Abilene, TX, 79603, or your favorite charity.