Laura Jane Novotny Prendergast
Born: May 20, 2021 in Tama, IA
Died: January 3, 2021 in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Laura Jane Novotny Prendergast, 99, formerly of Princeton and Arlington, Illinois, died January 3, 2021, in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.
Laura was born on May 20, 1921, in Tama, Iowa, the youngest of seven children of Bertha Anna Schultz (Sulc) and Edward Novotny. After graduating from the University of Iowa in 1944, she came to LaMoille in 1946 to teach high school English and history.
On August 21, 1948, she married James Drummer Prendergast, son of Margaret Drummer and William Henry Prendergast of rural LaMoille, at St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Arlington. Several years later, they began farming in Arlington, gradually restoring the Victorian house built by the town's founder.
Laura taught school in Malden and Van Orin, before earning a certificate in Library Science and becoming LaMoille's school librarian. Moving to Princeton in 1982, the couple enjoyed a thriving enterprise renovating more than a dozen distinguished older homes.
She especially loved books, music, gardening, and antiquing. She operated Village Antiques and Books for more than four decades, with shops in Dover and Princeton. She sang in the choir at St. Patrick's Church in Arlington, led the Lucky Clovers 4-H Club, and served on the board of the Owen Lovejoy Homestead.
Laura is survived by two daughters and their husbands, Dr. Susan P. Schoelwer and William Schoelwer of Washington, D.C., and Sheila A. Bloodgood and David Bloodgood of Rancho Palos Verdes, California; five grandchildren, Margaret Susan, William James and Jennifer Laura Schoelwer, and Ryan James and Patrick Thomas Bloodgood; and three great-grandchildren, Vivian Jane, William Joseph, and James Henry Schoelwer.
She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, five siblings, two nephews, and a niece.
The family is grateful to all who provided Laura with loving care and support, especially her faithful Princeton care team friends.
A visitation will be held on Friday, September 17, 2021 from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm at Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments, followed by a rosary at 6:30pm at Norbergs.
Mass will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 10:00 am at St. Louis Catholic Church, Princeton, IL followed by burial at the Calvery Cemetery in Arlington, IL.
Memorials may be made to St. John Fisher Catholic Church, Rancho Palos Verdes CA, St. Louis Catholic Church, Princeton IL; Catholic Relief Services; or Seedlings Braille Books for Children.
Online memorials and condolences may be left at www.norbergfh.com
Arrangements by Norberg Memorial Home, Inc. & Monuments.
Published by Bureau County Republican from Sep. 14 to Sep. 18, 2021.