Zachary Joseph Daniel Novak
Sept. 17, 1980 - April 20, 2006
Zachary Joseph Daniel Novak, 25, of Anderson, died April 20, 2006, when a plane he was in went down in Bloomington. He left this world to be with the Lord who called him home much too soon.
He was born Sept. 17, 1980, in Anderson and attended Highland High School graduating in 1999. He went on to Anderson University and received a bachelor’s degree in 2004, graduating Summa Cum Laude with honors in music. Zach received Anderson University music department Voice Performance Award and won the Senior Men category and State National Association of Teachers of Singing Awards. He was due to graduate in early May with a master of music degree in choral conducting with a minor in voice from Indiana University in Bloomington.
Zachary had a passion for music that warmed the souls of all who heard him sing or perform. Zach shared that passion with everyone, and we were all blessed to receive his gift. He began his passion at the age of three when he asked for a piano and started playing at the age of five with Mona Jackson as his instructor.
In high school Zach joined the Highland Singers under the direction of Deborah Andis and performed for three years. His outgoing personality was enriched at Highland that set the stage for his performance career. From Highland he attended Anderson University where he could be seen performing at Byrum Hall in musicals. Zach was also a member of the Anderson University Chorale and traveled to Europe twice to perform with the group. He studied under Dr. Richard Sowers who was his mentor. Fritz Robertson also fostered Zachary’s vocal talents.
During his years at Indiana University he studied under the direction of Dr. William Gray, professor of chorale conducting and was instrumental in Zach’s participation in the Lafayette & Carmel Bach Chorale. The Jacobs School of Music at IU continued to foster and enrich his gift of music. Numerous teachers, professors, and ministers had a positive influence on Zach throughout his life.
While in Bloomington Zach was the worship coordinator at First United Methodist Church where he directed the Wesley choir and children’s choir. During his time in Anderson he was the choir director at Bethel United Methodist and choir director and organist at St. Ambrose Catholic Church where he was a member. He touched so many with his musical talents.
Zach received numerous awards during his life including the American Legion Award twice, the Arion Music Award, Best Male Vocalist 1999 and Who’s Who Among American High School & College Students. Scholarships include: The Theodore Presser Music Award, The Lilly Foundation, Anderson University Academic Honors, AU Music Award, AU Trustee Award, Tri Kappa Award, Student Exploratory Teaching, AFT Teacher’s Award, and the Herman and Anne Leaf Award.
Among other venues, he performed with the Anderson Symphony Orchestra, Lafayette Bach Chorale, and the Carmel Bach Festival in Carmel California. Zach was a member of Phi Kappa Lambda, & National Honors Society.
Zach is survived by a loving family, his parents, Dan and Misty; brother, Joel (wife Hillary), sister Brytni (fiancé Jason Hessler); grandparents Raymond and Rosemarie Novak, Robert and Ellen Ward, of Anderson; uncles, Mike (wife Diane) of Greensburg, Bob (wife LeDonna) of Valparaiso, Ray (wife Natalie) of Pendleton; aunts, Jodi VanWinkle (husband Pat) of Anderson, Susie Traitz (husband Jim) of Fort Lauderdale; Debra Berry (husband Ervin) of Anderson; cousins, Craig and Matt Novak, Kati, Lauren, and Amy VanWinkle, Jessica, Heather, and Alexis Novak, Jeanie and Patrick Traitz, David Sturgeon and Stephen Berry. He is also survived by his girl friend Jillian Shaw whom he loved so much, as well as many great uncles and aunts and numerous friends.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at noon Thursday in Reardon Auditorium on the campus of Anderson University, 1100 E. Fifth St., Anderson. The Revs. Edward Dhondt, Robert Williams and Paul Cochran will be conducting the ceremony. Visitation will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Brown-Butz-Diedring Funeral Home, 515 E. 53rd St., Anderson. Burial will be in East Maplewood Cemetery.
The family is requesting that in lieu of flowers that donations be made to establish memorial scholarships for future musicians. Please send contributions to: Zachary J. Novak Memorial Scholarship fund, C/O Anderson University School of Music, 1100 E. Fifth St., Anderson, IN 46012, for college music students.
Another scholarship fund is being established through the Anderson Community School Foundation for aspiring high school music students wanting to attend college, 1229 Lincoln St., Anderson, IN 46016.