Charleen “Charlee” Marie Novak, 82, of Billings, who had started and operated several small businesses with her husband, died Monday, Jan. 30, 2012.
She was born Aug. 19, 1929, in Terry, the daughter of Varrel and Dorothy Conner. Her father became an appraiser for the U.S. Corps of Engineers, and the family moved often throughout the United States.
She graduated from high school in Miles City and started college in Missoula before transferring to Bozeman. She married Bill Novak, and they started several successful businesses and founded a publicly traded corporation, remaining close even after they divorced 23 years later.
She had played piano since age 6 and also painted. She was active in a book club and loved to watch tennis; her heart stopped on Jan. 29 while she was watching a match between Novak Djokovich and Rafael Nadal, the longest men’s final in grand slam tennis history.
Survivors include her family, Gary Conner; Sharon, John and Kathy Novak; Caitlin, John and Jack Saracco; Ricci Novak Cameron; Matthew Singer; and James Quincy.
At her request, no services will be held. She asked that her ashes be scattered into the wind in the mountains above Missoula. Michelotti-Sawyers Mortuary had charge of arrangements.
Contributions may be made to the Billings Food Bank, 2112 Fourth Ave. N., Billings, MT 59101; or the Kelker’s Kids Foundation for Pediatric Cancer, P.O. Box 31031, Billings, MT 59107.