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Rev. Walter C. Nowak

Sep. 11, 1927 - May 12, 1989

Rev. Walter C. Nowak, CSV died on Friday, May 12, 1989. Father Nowak suffered a massive heart attack while hospitalized in Las Vegas. He was 61 years old.

Walter Nowak was born in Chicago on September 11, 1927, the son of Peter and Helen (Leja) Nowak. He entered the Viatorian Novitiate in Bourbonnais on August 15, 1944 and pronounced his first vows on August 16, 1945. He attended St. Ambrose College in Davenport, Iowa, and received his B.A. degree in philosophy in 1948. He continued graduate studies and received his M.S. in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame and his Ph.D. in physical chemistry from Catholic University of America in 1965. After theological studies at St. Thomas Seminary in Denver, he was ordained to the priesthood on May 18, 1952.

His early assignments called Father Nowak to the high school classroom as a science and chemistry teacher. He served at Stepinac High School in New York from 1952 – 1953, Cathedral Boys High School in Springfield from 1953 – 1955 and Gorman High School in Las Vegas from 1955 – 1959. After graduate studies in Washington, D.C., he taught chemistry at Griffin High School in Springfield from 1963 – 1967 and was an Assistant Professor of chemistry at Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa from 1967 – 1968. In 1968 Wally returned to Las Vegas. For the next eighteen years he was involved in campus ministry at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. He was instrumental in founding the University Apostolate at UNLV and was largely responsible for its success and growth in its initial years. In 1986 Walter returned to Gorman High School to teach chemistry. For the past two years he had served as a full time teacher of chemistry at UNLV.
A visitation and wake service for Father Nowak was held on Monday, May 15, 1989 at Guardian Angel Cathedral in Las Vegas. The Funeral Mass was celebrated at the Guardian Angel Cathedral at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, May 16, 1989. A visitation and Eucharistic liturgy was held at the Province Center in Arlington Heights on Wednesday, May 17, 1989. Visitation was from 5:00 – 7:30 p.m. with Eucharist at 7:30 p.m. Burial was on Thursday, May 18, 1989 with the Community at Queen of Heaven Cemetery, Hillside, Illinois.

Please include Father Nowak in your prayers and gather together in local communities to remember him at Eucharist.

Taken from letter to the Viatorian Community on May 15, 1989 from the Assistant Provincial, Rev. Robert M. Egan, CSV.