PRINCETON — Joseph “Joe” M. Nowak, 67, of Princeton passed away suddenly from a heart attack on Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at OSF HealthCare Saint Paul Medical Center in Mendota.
Joe was born Sept. 29, 1951, to the late Joseph and Alfreda (Ciempiel) Nowak in Chicago. He married Lorena “Lorey” Carnesciali in Chicago, at St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, on Aug. 19, 1972.
He was a graduate of Ridgewood High School in Norridge, Class of 1969. After high school, he attended Northern Illinois University for two years and finished his degree in communications at Trinity International University in Deerfield in 2008.
He worked for International Harvester in Melrose Park from 1974 until 1991 as a process engineer and then as a quality assurance supervisor at Abbott Laboratories in North Chicago, retiring in 2005. Joe liked to spend most of his time at his summer place, Woodhaven Lakes, near Sublette.
He was a worship leader at Christ Community Church in Princeton, where he also served as interim music director. In his younger years, you could find him on the tennis courts and coaching his children’s soccer teams. For many years, he was an avid jogger; his daughter learned to love running by his example. His favorite hobby was playing guitar, an activity he and his son bonded over. He enjoyed hiking, especially in the cool fall weather, at Starved Rock State Park. Joe always had something funny or goofy to say, and could relate any situation to an episode of Seinfeld. Even though he liked to joke that he was a homebody who didn’t like people, he seemed to know, talk to and have a big smile for everyone. He was an honest, hardworking man who loved God and his family, at times acting as a father figure to his nieces and nephews after the losses of their own fathers.
Joe is survived by his wife of nearly 47 years, Lorena Carnesciali Nowak of Princeton; two children, Erin (Steve) Vache of Island Lake and Mike (Becky) Nowak of Westmont; five grandchildren, Josie Nowak, Asher Vache, Amos Nowak, Rivers Vache and Daphne Nowak; two siblings, Denny Nowak and Marilyn Nowak; and several nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Alfreda Nowak.
Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, July 22, at the Christ Community Church in Princeton with the Rev. Joe Gerkin officiating.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, July 21, at the Norberg Memorial Home in Princeton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to Christ Community Church in Princeton.
Online condolences may be left at www.norbergfh.com.