Gwen (Knox) Novak Lickteig, 74

Published 10:34 am Friday, May 16, 2014

Gwen Lickteig, 74, of Faribault, passed away, Thursday, May 15, 2014, at her home following an extended illness.



Gwen Arlene Knox was born April 3, 1940, in Winneshiek County, Iowa, at her maternal grandparents’ home. She was the first-born grandchild on both paternal and maternal sides of the family.

She moved to Austin, Minn., at one year of age and spent her growing up years there. She graduated from Pacelli High School in 1958, and loved the years of many extracurricular activities; cheerleading, school musicals, homecoming attendant, choir clubs and singing for weddings. She was Miss Austin 1959 and enjoyed the year of various activities. She was a car hop at the Chandelle Drive-In and also babysat for several families from ages 12 to 21 before she married. In all, there were 23 children in her care at various times.

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Gwen began working at the Hormel corporate office in her senior year and met Allan Novak there. They married in 1961 and were parents of Michael, Shari and Bryan, the joys of their life. She worked as a switchboard operator, a secretary, a bank teller, a medical transcriptionist, and administrative assistant living in Minnesota, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. Gwen also worked and volunteered at several major medical facilities including Mayo Clinic, St. Luke’s Hospital Milwaukee, St. Cloud Hospital, Abbott NW Hospital, United Hospital, and St. Olaf Hospital of Austin. She also enjoyed her work in School of Social Sciences at St. Cloud State University.

Gwen married Stephen Lickteig in 1979, and co-parented his four daughters. She was a volunteer for 30 years and graduated from St. Cloud State after 15 years of study. Gwen and Stephen lived in Cold Spring, St. Cloud, St. Paul, Minneapolis, Austin, Faribault, and wintered in Green Valley, Ariz.

Gwen loved music. Singing, dancing and piano were her companions from an early age and she grew up in an extended musical family. She was a friend of all children and animals. Her interests as an adult were reading, listening to music, collecting antiques, college classes and travel. She often made the remark that in her lifetime she had lived at 29 different addresses. (And she really did not like to move!) Where she lived, Gwen always made lifelong friends, which is a testimony to her true lovable character.

She is survived by her husband, Stephen Lickteig; sons, Michael (Rhyannon) and Bryan (Laura) Novak; daughters, Lori (David), Debbie (Ken), Jenny (Greg), and Sarah (Justin); and her 12 grandchildren, Benjamin, Brooklyn, Sabrina and Kalyn Novak, Margot and Noa Grossman, Anthony and Ari Lickteig, Jack and Stephen Schneider, Hailey and Georgi Hayes; nephew, Breck Knox; niece, Karrie Knox Simmons; great nieces, Chelsea, Brianna, and Mallory Knox; and sister-in-law, Diane Knox.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Stanford and LaVonne Knox; brother, Jerry Knox; infant sister; teenage daughter, Shari Kaye Novak; her beloved animal companions, Pyewacket, Solomon, Maxwell, Candi, Cola, and Beau.

Survived by beloved pet, Lydia.

Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m on Tuesday, May 20, 2014, at the Divine Mercy Catholic Church, 139 Mercy Drive, Faribault. Interment will occur at a later date.

Memorial visitation will be held at the Parker Kohl Funeral Home & Crematory in Faribault on Monday, May 19, 2014, from 5 to 8 p.m. and on Tuesday for one hour prior to the services at the church.

Memorials preferred to St. Clare’s Monastery,, and the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance,

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