Funeral Mass will be held for Paul Novak age 95 of Deer Creek, Minnesota on Saturday, July 15, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at St. John's the Baptist Catholic Church in Bluffton, Minnesota with Father Aaron Kuhn officiating. The pallbearers and military honors were provided by Elmer Goche V.F.W. Post #3922 of Wadena, Minnesota. Paul was laid to rest in St. John's Catholic Cemetery, Bluffton, Minnesota. Paul Raymond Novak was born on April 15, 1922 in rural Benton, Iowa. His parents were the late Augustine Ray and Myrtle Del Roudybush. Paul grew up on the family farm in Benton, Iowa. He honorably served in the United States Coast Guard from October 14, 1942 to March 2, 1946. Paul and Lupe both served during World War II and met at the USO in Paris, France. Paul was a Seaman First Class on the Destroyer USS Joyce DE 317 from 1942 to 1946. He served on eleven trips to Europe, England, Ireland, Africa, Scotland, and France. Their sister ship Leopold USS 319 was hit with a German torpedo and sunk near Ireland. They picked up the only 28 survivors of a crew of 200, the others froze in the water. It was a night of tough seas and 10-foot waves. The Germans were trying to torpedo Paul's ship when they were picking up the frozen sailors in the water. On another mission, they captured a German Submarine that had torpedoed a huge tanker. They didn't find it at first, it was hiding under the tanker it had hit. They only knew it was there among the debris because it moved. Dropping 12 depth charges that brought it up to the surface. They fired on the German's with armor piercing rounds, as the German's came out to use their deck gun and Paul's crew changed to anti-personnel rounds. The German's surrendered, and they took 15 prisoners. Paul's crew saved the crew from the torpedoed tanker. On their 11 missions, they had 30 possible.
On June 21, 1949 Paul was united in marriage with Lupe Helena Torres at St. Clair's Catholic Church in Clarinda, Iowa. Together Paul and Lupe raised their family, farmed and resided near Shambaugh, Iowa for 20 years. They moved to California for a short time and returned to Minnesota. For years Paul was employed with York Industries and Community Action in New York Mills. Paul was employed as a machinist with Glenwood Manufacturing in Glenwood, MN and enjoyed carpentry. Paul and Lupe made their home in Oak Valley Township, rural Deer Creek where they farmed for over 30 years and enjoyed deer hunting and fishing. Paul also was employed at Lund Boats, retiring in 1987.
Paul is a Life Member of the Elmer Goche Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #3922, Wadena, Minnesota. Survived by daughters: Linda Walker of Andover; Sandra Truax of Deer Creek; Anita (Bob Werner) Rehm of Long Prairie; 12 grandchildren; 18 great-grandchildren; many other relatives and a host of friends. Preceded in death by his parents; wife Lupe and son-in-law Steve Truax. Please visit www.karvonenfuneralhome.com to send Paul's family a message of comfort and support. Arrangements were provided by Karvonen Funeral and Cremation Services of New York Mills, Minnesota.