Gardening 08

Richard A. Novitske

June 21, 1940 ~ December 23, 2020 (age 80)

Obituary Image


Richard A. Novitske, age 80, of Appleton, passed away on Wednesday, December 23, 2020 at Ascension NE Wisconsin (St. Elizabeth Hospital), Appleton.  He was born in Ripon, WI on June 21, 1940, the son of the late Aloysius and Elizabeth Novitske.   

Richard graduated from Ripon High School in 1958.  During his senior year, he had the honor of serving as Class President.  In the summer months, he worked for Green Giant Canning Company and The Ripon Pickle Factory.  He continued his education at UW-Oshkosh graduating in 1963 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education.  His teaching career began by student teaching at Edison Elementary School, Appleton.   Highlands Elementary School, Appleton became his 'teaching career school.'  He taught the upper elementary levels.  Ripon was home to the Tigers…Highlands was home to the Tigers as well. 

Richard was a member of St. Joseph Parish, Appleton.

During Richard's years in Appleton, he truly enjoyed being involved in community organizations as well as giving back to the community.  Over the years, he belonged to the Appleton Education Association, Jaycees and the Appleton Noon Lions Club.  During his membership in each of these groups, he held the offices of Vice President and President.  In 2015, Richard received the 'Lion of the Year' Award…he was truly proud of this honor.  He enjoyed the yearly Noon Lions Club 'Roses Sale'…both selling and delivering the flowers as well as the Senior Expos…where he was a parking lot 'greeter' and 'director' which included lots of conversation with the welcomed attendees.  As a Lion, Richard took great pride in being a 'Lions Eye Bank Transporter.' 

Words like volunteering, helping out, generous and donor equate with Richard's 'middle name.'  He was a willing giver of his time and talents serving in various capacities with Habitat for Humanity and The Warming Shelter.  As a Jaycee, Richard volunteered to assist young children with their Christmas shopping.  He spent time at the summer EEA Airshows in Oshkosh driving a cart with beverages for the aircraft visitors.  He and Sue went to Van Abel's of Hollandtown, sometimes as customers and sometimes as 'kitchen food prep helpers.'

Richard's life included a varied list of interests.  He did some traveling (Canada, Rome, Paris), enjoyed listening to classical music and Barbershop Quartets and attending programs at the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center.  Richard had a beautiful singing voice.  He made many woodworking originals as he had a unique eye for design and creativity.  Richard spent time on the water boating and fishing.  There were memorable yearly fishing trips to Canada as well as fishing outings around WI with relatives and friends.  His

kitchen was a place he put together meals with a 'dash of original'…not only did he like to cook, he liked to eat.  Rides in the car were relaxing and a time for exploring the sites.  Every now and then, a casino visit was in the cards.  On occasion, Richard attended Green Bay Packer games.  Nearing the top of Richard's most favorite things in life was to be a part of great conversation and share in laughter with others.  In his later years, Richard spent his summer days tending to his gardens while in the company of butterflies, chipmunks, rabbits, birds and squirrels. 

Hunting was a fun and special time with family and friends for Richard.  His take included geese, deer and pheasants.  He just really liked being out in the woods listening to the sounds of nature and watching whatever wildlife came into his view.  And he was quite a lucky guy when attending Duck's Unlimited Banquets…  The after-the-banquet family phone call almost always included the telling of an item he had won in a raffle.

He was known for wearing a clothespin as part of his daily attire.  During his years of teaching, he had one clipped to his shirt or tie along with a hand-written 'reminder' note.  The clothespin became a 'keepsake statement' for Richard's family.  Family gatherings included receiving a clothespin with the occasion and date written on it.   

Richard is survived by his siblings; David Novitske, Mary Elizabeth Tesser, and Judy (Jim) Schultz; special longtime friend Sue Tabbert; nieces Ann (Dan) Novitske, Susan (Keynon Sr.) Phillips and their 3 children Keynon Jr. (Samantha) and daughter Palmer, Justine and Rowen; nephews Tom (Jen) Novitske and their 2 children Zachary and Makayla, Andy (Barb) Novitske and their 2 children Brady and Gavin; step-nephew Garrett (Jody) Schultz and former sister-in-law Mary Novitske.

Richard was preceded in death by his parents, step-mother Margaret Novitske; aunts, uncles, cousins and his very special forever furry golden friend and companion Tillie Liz.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 A.M. on Wednesday, January 06, 2021, at St. Joseph Parish, Appleton.  Fr. Jim Leary will preside.  Visitation will take place on Wednesday morning from 10:00 to 11:00 A.M. at the church until the hour of Mass. Burial will take place in the spring of 2021 at St. Patrick's Catholic Cemetery in Ripon, Wisconsin.

To watch the Mass live, visit the funeral home website, and click on the link at the bottom of Dick’s obituary at 11AM on Wed. Jan. 6, 2021.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Richard A. Novitske, please visit our floral store.


January 6, 2021

10:00 AM to 11:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church
404 W Lawrence St
Appleton, WI 54911

Mass of Christian Burial
January 6, 2021

11:00 AM
St. Joseph Catholic Church
404 W Lawrence St
Appleton, WI 54911

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