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Memories & Candles

“Ed Nowak you old duffer! We had some good times, sad times, hard times, easy times; but through them all you stood tall and perservered with grit and...Read More »
1 of 3 | Posted by: Don Babb - GARDNERVILLE, NV

“Ed Nowak you old duffer! We had some good times, sad times, hard times, easy times; but through them all you stood tall and perservered with grit and...Read More »
2 of 3 | Posted by: Don Babb - GARDNERVILLE, NV

“Ed it was an honor to work and hang out with during the old VA days. We had some great times. Godspeed my friend. ”
3 of 3 | Posted by: John Loosen - Ponte Vedra Beach, FL


Edward Francis Nowak, age 73, of Wonder Lake, died peacefully in his home on October 18, 2018, after a hard fight with advanced prostate cancer.

Ed is survived by his daughters, Cynthia Smith and Carrie Grefe of Virginia, his grandsons, Kyle Smith and Max Grefe of Virginia; his great-grandson, Brayden Smith of Virginia; a nephew, Ronnie Bianchi and two nieces, Denise Bianchi of Illinois and Elise Bianchi of Florida; and many great-nieces and nephews.

Ed is preceded in death by his sister Frances Bianchi of Elk Grove, IL.

Ed was born on July 2nd, 1945 in Chicago, IL to Frank & Florence (Krol) Nowak. Ed enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps in 1963 and served in Vietnam. He earned a Purple Heart for a gunshot that resulted in the amputation of his left arm. He also received the Vietnam Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal and Good Conduct Medal from the U.S. Marine Corps.

In 1973, he graduated from Southwest College of Chicago. Ed worked for the Veterans Administration for 30 years, both in Chicago and in Washington D.C. He was the Deputy Director of Prosthetics and contributed to several pieces of legislation for wounded veterans and their benefits, including presenting before Congress. Ed retired from the Veterans Administration at 52 years old and moved to Wonder Lake to enjoy his retirement, especially fishing on the lake and continue his love for woodworking.

A private family service will be held. If you would like to remember Ed, please make a toast to him, preferably with Crown Royal or Coca-Cola.

Arrangements were entrusted to Justen's Wonder Lake Funeral Home. For information, please call 815-728-0233, or visit www.justenfh.com, where friends may leave an on-line condolence message for his family.