Katharine "Kay" (Dolinski) NOVAK
1926 - 2020
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Kay was the strong, determined, loving, generous, attentive pillar of our family, and a faithful prayer-warrior until July 29, 2020, when the Lord escorted her through Heaven's entrance, just days following the celebration of her 94th birthday. She frequently reminded us that she was born (July 25, 1926) the same year as Her Majesty Elizabeth II, so Kay was our Queen, or as we often referred to her... "The Matriarch." Kay's life began in Ukraine. As an infant, her family immigrated to Canada, settling in Saskatchewan. In 1942, the family came east, to St. Catharines. After completing high school, she worked at English Electric, where she met William (Bill) Novak (d. 2013), and they married on September 25, 1948. Their living legacy includes children - Karen (George) Thorpe, Jodie (Paul) Candler, Ayton Daryl (BC); grandchildren/great grandchildren - Jeremy (Tracy) Thorpe - Jayden, Jonathon (Janette) Thorpe - Trent and Chad, Geoffrey (Lauma Rozite-Thorpe) Thorpe - Edvard and Oliver (Riga, Latvia). Kay shared her quick wit and sometimes sarcastic nature with her grandsons and great-grandsons. They will do their best to carry on these family traits. Kay is also survived by her youngest sibling Walter Dolinski (Las Vegas) and numerous nieces and nephews. With memories of dirt floors through to developing skills in digital global communications, Kay's zest for life took her on many adventures. Her charm and outgoing personality, together with some bold craftiness, made her the ideal sales rep for several companies over the years. Together, Bill and Kay owned and operated The Great Canadian Pizza Company, in Niagara Falls, until their retirement. Through the years, their shop served tourists from around the world. Kay still treasured numerous guest books, with greetings and compliments from many customers. The shop was a gathering place for family enjoyment, but also provided work experience for young and other not-so-young family members. Former staff remember the early morning trips 'across the river' to Denny's, at the end of a long, busy night. 'Lucky' Kay's long time winning streak included jewelry, enough cash for a big smile, and a custom-designed, 'equipped-for-baby' trailer from Gerber Baby Foods. That led to numerous family camping excursions throughout Ontario and New York State, as well as EXPO 67. In the passenger seat, Kay was a great co-pilot who always knew the 'right' route to take. When at the controls, she made it to her destination as quickly as possible. She might have never played the stock market, but any business dealings or purchases were based on the 'buy low, sell high' principle. The asking price was only a suggestion for Kay. Family was encouraged to come together and Kay hosted many gatherings in her apartment or one of the special meeting rooms at Tabor Manor. Soups, cabbage rolls, and apple pie were favourites she often prepared. In her twilight years, Kay enjoyed rooting for the Leafs and Blue Jays. It was mandatory that her cable package include all the sports channels. We chose a trip to Rogers Centre to celebrate her 90th with the 'boys of summer.' She even rode the elevator with Roberto Alomar! Kay was a long-time member at Redeemer Bible Church. She was happy to serve as a greeter and then take her place at the end of her pew to enjoy the fellowship, worship, and learning from God's Word. During the Covid shutdown, she also appreciated weekly visits with Tabor Manor Champlain, Pastor Stephen, as they would "do church" each Sunday morning. Over the past 25 years, we were very grateful for the attentive care our Dad received in long term care and our Mother received while in independent living at Radiant Care Tabor Manor. In the last few days, many people have shared their admiration of Kay. She was a real gem and now shines even brighter. We are so grateful for all the memories! She will be lovingly missed. Anyone wishing to share Kay's generous spirit and warm kindness might consider a donation to her favourite charities... 'Come as you are' Redeemer Bible Church in Niagara Falls https://www.redeemerbible.ca/ or the residential drug and alcohol rehabilitation program at Teen Challenge https://www.teenchallenge.ca/. A family gathering has taken place at Butlers Funeral Home. Remembrances can be posted at www.butlerniagara.ca A Celebration of Kay's life will occur at a future date, when international travel is unrestricted.

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Published in St. Catharines Standard on Aug. 1, 2020.
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