Robert Novotney Sr.

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    - Ann Holbrook
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Robert "Bob" R. Novotney Sr., 88, passed away at the Providence Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska on March 22, 2013.

A family celebration of his life will be announced at a later time.

Born August 14th, 1924 in the town of Cornell, WI to Rudolph and Mary (Fuchs) Novotney, Bob was the oldest of five children. Bob's "responsibilities" in life started at the young age of 12 when his father died of an accident. In addition to chores on the family farm he found time to pursue his interest and a natural "knack" for fixing and fabricating equipment during his high school years. His natural "knack" would not only become his career, but his ticket to a life full of adventures.

After graduating from high school, he met Betty (Churchill) and they married in 1946. They stayed on the farm for a short time before moving into town (Cadott) where Bob began his life-long interest in mechanics with a Ford dealership. It wasn't long and his entrepreneurial spirit led him to begin his first business venture, Menomonie Shell Station with Betty working at his side. In the late 50s, he was finally able to fulfill the lifelong desire to fly. Once he obtained his private pilot license in 1959, there was no stopping him. Over the years they would fly from one end of the US to the other, including Canada and Alaska.

In 1967, Bob and Betty took a road trip to Alaska, which would fulfill yet another dream: their love of the outdoors. They fell in love with the beauty and vastness of the state and began dreaming of the next chapter in their lives. While waiting for their youngest son to graduate from high school, they flew their small Piper PA28 to Alaska on several different trips before making the final move in 1971. Once they moved to Alaska, it wasn't long before the first of their four children moved also. Their youngest son, Butch followed with his new bride, Cathi Wuensch of LaCrosse, in 1973 to assist in starting the family business, B&B Automatic Transmission in Anchorage. This would be their last business before beginning their long earned retirement years in 1990.

In their 22+ years of retirement, along with their remote, fly-in only, cabin, they enjoyed taking road trips in their various RVs they owned over the years to the lower 48 states and throughout Alaska and Canada visiting family and friends. It seemed to always amaze people to hear of these "senior citizens" talking about all their adventures which also included four-wheeling around the state of Alaska on their own and also with family.

Bob was a humble man that didn't brag, except maybe about the "love of his life" and his children. He expected a lot from people, but not more than he expected from himself. Bob's high school graduating class motto was "Build for character, not for fame!" He succeeded in achieving that motto! He will be greatly missed not only by his family but by the many lives he touched, some more humorously than others!

Bob was preceded in death by his parents; and brother, Eugene C. Novotney. He is survived by his wife Betty (Churchill) Novotney of Anchorage, AK; daughter, Betty Springen of Anchorage, AK; sons, Robert Novotney, Jr. of Houston, TX and William Novotney of Eagle River, AK; son and daughter in-law, Butch and Cathi Novotney of Anchorage, AK; sister and brother in-law, Joyce and Don Sperber of Chippewa Falls, WI; sister, Nancy Marten of Dupere, WI; brother, John Novotney of Prague, Czech Republic; 11 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren throughout various states.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Apr. 5 to Apr. 6, 2013