Leonard “Len” George Nowak was born in East Grand Rapids, Michigan on December 14, 1935 to George Frederick Nowak and Sylvia Lenore Nowak. When he was two years old his parents moved to a farm in Solon Township of Kent County Michigan. The move was done at the recommendation of a physician who had treated his father for a lung problem caused by contaminated air in the factory where he worked.
The farm life was demanding but it instilled a work ethic that prevailed throughout Leonard’s life. He attended a country school where one teacher taught fifteen to twenty children from kindergarten through 8th grade. By the time he reached 7th grade the county school system had shifted grades seven and eight to the public school in Cedar Springs. Leonard graduated from Cedar Springs High School in 1954 and went to college at Michigan State University.
Len graduated from MSU and an ROTC program in 1959 and immediately entered the US Army as a second lieutenant. He an Antoinette “Anne” Leslie Dickens were married on June 1, 1959 and began a 30 year Army career together. After two assignments to Germany, two combat tours in Viet Nam and various locations in the United States Len retired from the Army at the rank of Colonel and he and Anne adapted to a civilian life style.
Len was preceded in death by his son Michael and youngest daughter Lenore: they joined their Father in heaven after fighting lengthy illnesses. He is survived by his wife of sixty years Anne; daughter Jerla Schellentrager (Richard); granddaughters Jessica, Barbara, Patricia and Khristina. All of whom graduated college. They have been an inspiration to their grandfather for their academic, social, athletic skills and for all their love and respect.
A Memorial Service will be held at 4:00 PM, Sunday, October 20, 2019 at Sierra Lutheran Church 101 N. Lenzner Ave. Sierra Vista, AZ. Pastor Mark Perry will officiate. Graveside services with full military honors will be at 10:00 AM Monday, October 21, 2019 at Post Cemetery, Fort Huachuca, AZ. Those that wish to attend need to gather at the Buffalo Solider gate parking lot at 9:20 AM for the MP escort.
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