Obit: Novak, Walter N. (1918 - 1956)

Contact: Dolores (Mohr) Kenyon

Surnames: Novak, Hayden, Larkin, Prusa, Jensen, Matthews, Pasek

----Source: Banner Journal (Black River Falls, Jackson Co, WI) 3/14/1956

Novak, Walter N. (25 February 1918 - 10 March 1956) World War II Veteran

The death of Walter Novak, 38, Merrillan area bachelor farmer is the only death so far reported in Jackson County attributed to the severe snow storm Saturday night, March 10.

A call came in to the the sheriff’s office here at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday afternoon from Louis Hayden, Merrillan Merchant, telling that a searching party had discovered the body of Novak at the side of Bruce Mound a half-mile from the Novak farm which is two miles east of Merrillan very near the Clark County line. Sheriff Julian Larkin, Undersheriff Ed Prusa and County Coroner Sidney Jensen went at once to the scene.

According to Jensen, Novak had come in to Merrillan Saturday afternoon and at about 8:30 p.m. left the Hayden Grocery enroute to his home by tractor. The tractor became stalled near the Lee Matthews place and it was learned that Mathews tried to help him start it but the attempt was unsuccessful whereupon Novak, against Mathews wish, started walking toward his home.

Tuesday, Novak’s mother who meanwhile had been snowbound was able to get out and she walked to the neighbors to report that her son was missing. A searching party composed of Lee Mathews, Floyd Mathews, Harlan Mathews, Joe Pasek and the Johnson twins started looking for Novak by foot as the road had not been plowed. They found the body in the road about the same time that a snowplow came along. The tractor was also found where it had been buried in the snow.

According to Coroner Jensen, Novak died Saturday night of “over exertion and heart” and the body was taken to the Jensen Funeral Home at Hixton which will have charge of the funeral arrangements.

Novak is a World War II veteran. Pasek is credited with finding the body. The mother had no phone so was unable to report her son missing. Coroner Jensen says there will be no inquest.

The area is the base of Bruce Mound and is very seldom traveled. Snow was over a foot deep and drifted.



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