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LTC Eugene D. "Spark" Nowak, 60

July 08, 2009

JULY 29, 1948-JULY 6, 2009

SAXEVILLE, Wis. -- Saxeville resident Spark Nowak, 60, died after a long-fought battle with lung cancer on July 6, 2009, in Bowling Green, Ky., while visiting his daughters and grandchildren over the Fourth of July weekend.

LTC Nowak was born July 29, 1948, in Oshkosh, Wis., to John and Lorraine Nowak.

He grew up in Oshkosh and attended Oaklawn Elementary, Merrill Middle and Oshkosh High School.

Spark was awarded the honor of Eagle Scout at Twin Lakes Boy Scout Camp, where he spent many happy years developing the skills that would serve him for the rest of his life.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cameron University in Lawton, Okla. He obtained his Master of Arts degree from the University of Illinois.

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LTC Nowak retired as a master aviator after serving 25 years in the U.S. Army. After enlisting in the Army in 1966, he quickly distinguished himself as a leader by becoming a warrant officer. Spark served two tours in Vietnam as an aviator with the 101st Airborne Division, where he was awarded a battlefield promotion to first lieutenant. During his career, he was awarded 13 medals and ribbons, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Bronze Star Medal, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, the Meritorious Service Medal and the Air Medal.

Spark also was an accomplished businessman. He proudly worked for the American Red Cross, as well as for Citicorp in Hagerstown, Md., and Delta Airlines in Newnan, Ga., as a member of their executive teams. He felt fortunate enough to travel the world many times over, both for the military and for pleasure. One of his most memorable trips was to the homeland of his ancestors in Poland.

Spark could accomplish anything he set his mind to do. He adored his family. Every bit the optimist, he made the most of every minute of his life and always looked to give a helping hand. He had a giving heart and made himself available to anyone that asked. His close friends called him "Saint Sparky."

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sandra; mother, Lorraine Gust; daughters, Kim Prenter and husband, Josh Prenter, and Kandice Pohlmann and husband, Bill Pohlmann; brother, Mike Nowak, and sister-in-law, Cindy; brother-in-law, Dan Fritz, and sister-in-law, Jean; mother-in-law, Lucille Fritz; and his six beloved grandchildren, Celeste, Juliet, Gwenyth, Cameron, MacKenna and David.

A private family memorial will be held at the Twin Lakes Boy Scout Camp.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been established in his name at the Twin Lakes Boy Scout Camp. Memorial donations may be sent to Bay Lakes Counsel at Camp Twin Lakes, P.O. Box 267, Appleton, WI 54912-0257.

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