Louise Wolf-Novak, 57, Iowa City
Obituaries · February 23, 2017

Louise Wolf-Novak, 57, of Iowa City slipped away from us on Sunday morning, Feb. 12, 2017.

Despite her physical struggle with ovarian cancer for the past two years, she continued to be an example of living out her values and guided us to be our best selves.

Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Feb. 17, 2017, in Iowa City. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the Crisis Center of Johnson County.

Louise was born June 6, 1959, in Belleville, Ill., the daughter of Hugo and Agnes Wolf. She received her bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Benedict and her master’s degree from the University of Iowa. On Oct. 8, 1983 Louise married Dr. Thomas Novak in Fridley, MN.

Louise was passionate about her family and friends and about making the world a better place. She cared deeply about those who struggled against injustices. She was a voice for peace and the end to war and violence.  She wanted to repair the damages to our environment and help sustain the world we all depend on.

Louise was constantly driven to learn more; about theology, social justice, history, the environment, new quilting techniques, new yoga poses. She was a “do-er”: she always focused on what could be done to effect positive change. She was a lead singer, and outside singer and sang at naturalization ceremonies for those becoming citizens.  She created habitat to support Monarch butterflies and pollinators threatened by pesticides. She encouraged all ages to be playful, spontaneous, and silly.

Louise’s fierce spirit and joyful soul will be missed, but continue to lead us all to a greater appreciation for our relationships with each other, caring for the world around us and nourishing the spirit and love that connects all of creation.

She is loved by and remembered by her husband Tom and their children, Nicole (Ethan Forsgren) of Ann Arbor, Mich., Daniel, Sheila Novak (Kurt Hager) and Bridget, all of Minneapolis; her parents of Fridley, Minn.; her brothers, Brian (Valerie) of Irvine, Calif., Michael of Little Canada, Minn., and Steven (DeAnne) of Apple Valley, Minn.; many nieces and nephews; extended family; and friends.

Louise was preceded in death by her brother, Gregory.

Online condolences may be directed to

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