Thursday April 05, 2018
Beloved Mother, Wife and Grandmother, Patricia A. (Kiely) Nowak, 72, of South Burlington, died Saturday, March 31, 2018 at McClure Miller VNA Respite House in Colchester, VT after a long illness. She was the wife of Robert C. Nowak. Born in Lynn, MA, she was the daughter of the late John and Rose Flynn and her birth parents Richard and Gertrude Kiely. Pat was a graduate of Bishop Fenwick High School, Peabody, MA and Salem State College, Salem, MA. She was a longtime resident of South Burlington having moved from Colchester in 1980.
She started her insurance career with New York Life in 1979 and soon thereafter, along with her husband Bob opened Nowak & Nowak Financial Services, an insurance and financial consulting firm located in Williston, VT. During the tenure of her esteemed professional career, when women were not yet fully recognized for their leadership, Pat was recognized within the industry with multiple sales and service awards including the Buddy Zais Award and for 38 consecutive years, she attained council achievements; having also earned the privilege of being elected to the Agent’s Advisory Council in which she also was appointed to the executive committee. She was also a life member of the Million Dollar Round Table, an international sales honor bestowed on the top 1% of insurance agents. As a longtime member of the Business and Professional Women’s association (BPW) having held numerous local, state and national positions; she won the prestigious Nike Award, a national speaking competition in 1979. Not many women preceded her, but many followed.
Pat was a teacher at heart; having founded Stepping Stones Kindergarten located in Colchester, VT, and enjoyed sharing her industry knowledge with others. Through LUTC she received the Zalinski Distinguished Service Award for dedicated training service. She and her husband Bob had a long history with the St. Michael’s College Internship Program having offered internships to over 80 students over the past 20 years. As a result of the internship program at St. Michaels’, she and her husband became huge hockey fans and were ardent supporters of the team. You could often find her in the stands, at home and away games cheering on the Purple Knights.
Pat was a tireless worker for the state. She was appointed by Governor Douglas to the State of Vermont Natural Resources Board and served from 2003-2007. And for many years, ran the Vermont Job Expo in an effort to bring business and individuals together in the job market. Her commitment to her home of South Burlington was no less steadfast, having served on the Board of Civil Authority, the Airport Commission, Pension Review Board and was also a sitting member of the South Burlington City Council. She dedicated herself to improving the city of South Burlington by supporting the work of the Fire Department, Police Department, the Department of Public Works and the Air National Guard. Always one to take on the task that couldn’t be done, she constantly sought to improve the relationships between the city, the airport and the Air National Guard.
She gave of herself generously to many causes and initiatives, but none were more important than her family. Her beliefs in her children were strong. She believed they were the brightest, most talented people on earth and that they had the ability to knock the top off any project they started. She was the wind beneath their wings and helped them soar to heights they never imagined. She gave them flight and in return they showed her they could fly solo...but loved her lavish praise.
To her grandchildren she was their MUM, someone who was never too old to play games, laser tag or ride most rides at Disney World. Disney was her place. Every other November the family would gather to share happy times together in Orlando. Pat loved that place and their times together so much.
To know Pat was to love her and no one can ever take her place. She will always be the sunshine on a spring day, the breeze when you are sitting still near a brook, the first snowflake of winter and the fireworks on the 4th of July. When you see the first star of evening know that it will be Pat looking down on you, for she could be no place else other than in heaven.
She is survived by her husband Robert C. Nowak, her sons Robert F. McCarthy and his wife Liz of Ridgewood NJ, Richard T. Nowak of South Burlington, Peter A. Nowak of Walpole, MA and her two daughters Christine E. Winters and her husband Peter of Marion, MA and Alison K. Cossette and her husband Trygve of Williston, VT. She is also survived by her sister Anne Michalski of Danvers, MA and her brother John P. Flynn II of South Portland ME and her thirteen grandchildren; Emily and Dan McCarthy, Thomas and Julia Winters, Thor and Lachlan Cossette, Alexander, Alyssa and Katrina Nowak and Katie, Brian, Molly and Erin Nowak.
Her funeral service will be held on Thursday, April 5, at 10 a.m. at St. Francis Xavier Church, 3 St. Peter Street, Winooski, VT. Arrangements by Ready Funeral & Cremation Service. To send online condolences to her family please visit www.readyfuneral.com.
The family would like to thank the Visiting Nurses Association of Vermont and all at the McClure Miller Respite House in Colchester for their compassionate care of Pat in her final days.