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Obituary: Shirley A. Novak

December 17, 1935 – January 28, 2022

information provided by Smits Funeral Home

Shirley A. NovakShirley A. Novak, nee Birge, age 86, of Harvey, IL, passed away peacefully Friday, January 28, 2022. Beloved wife of the late Frank D. Novak Jr. Loving mother of Jeff (Jan) Novak, Kim (Ken) Karrson and the late Denise Novak. Cherished grandmother of Joe, Jerilyn and John Novak, Kenny and Katie Karrson. Aunt of several nieces and nephews. Preceded in death by two brothers, Morgan D. Birge Sr. and Ellery B. Birge Jr., one sister, JoEllen (late Edward) Bell, and by her parents Ellery Sr. and Helen Birge.

Shirley was a 64-year resident of Harvey, IL and graduated from Fenger High School in Chicago. Shirley and her husband were longtime attendees of Village Church in South Holland, IL. In later years, Shirley volunteered her time at the church by assisting with Awana youth groups. She and Frank were married for nearly 40 years and spent many happy days at their summer home in Bass Lake, Indiana. Shirley loved to travel with friends after Frank’s passing in 1993. Shirley was their daughter Denise’s devoted caregiver for nearly 19 years. Denise’s condition required special care, and everyone was always amazed at how well Denise fared due to the tireless efforts of her mother. A devout Christian, Shirley will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved her, but they are comforted by the eventual reunion with her when we meet our Lord Jesus Christ in Heavenly glory.

Private services will be held. Memorial contributions may be given to Easter Seals (

Arrangements entrusted to Smits, DeYoung-Vroegh Funeral Home – South Holland, IL. For further information, please contact 708-333-7000 or visit our online obituary and guest book at

Smits Funeral Homes
Smits Funeral Homes
We are a family-owned business providing compassionate, professional end-of-life care. We handle all the details during a difficult time, so you can focus on the things that matter. We understand that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions. Call our main office at 219-322-7300 to find out more about the customized services we can offer your family when the time comes.