April 18, 1956 - August 11, 2020
Nancy (Nan) Novara passed away in the early morning of August 11, 2020 with her children by her side. Nancy Ann Manderino was born on April 18, 1956 in Chicago, IL to Mildred and John Manderino. The youngest of five children, Nan was somehow both a beloved baby sister and a wise and trusted confidante to her siblings. At a young age, Nan discovered art. As she grew older, her creativity and talents knew no bounds. She became an aunt for the first time at the age of 10. She and her sisters Cheryl and Linda were truly the world’s greatest aunts. Every one of her nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews have always felt her endless love and support throughout their lives. Nan attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale where she studied special education and art. She didn’t actually earn her degree until many years later due to a math class she just couldn’t pass. Her math abilities live on in her children today. While at SIU she met her future husband, Al Novara. To Nan, he was always known as Bo. On April 18th, 1980 or 1981 (they can never remember which), Nan and Bo married in Annapolis, Maryland with only their dear friends Bonnie and Mike McManus at their sides. After leaving Maryland, Nan and Bo moved to Jamestown, North Dakota, where she gave birth to her children: Andy and Nell. From the moment they were born, Nan’s world revolved around them and she was the center of their universe. In 1991, the Novaras returned to Southern Illinois and have resided in Marion ever since. In 1993, she began working as an art teacher at Brehm Preparatory School in Carbondale. Her patience, mentorship, kindness, creativity, and talents were recognized and appreciated by every student, parent, and colleague she met. She was an outstanding teacher and her work didn’t stop when she left the classroom. Every prom, school play, parents’ weekend, and special event were full of Nan Novara originals. She could take dumpster cardboard and turn it into magical scenery in just a few hours. She became a member of Our Redeemer Lutheran Church in Marion in the early 90s. At church as at school, Nan was the go-to for every play backdrop, VBS set, and art lesson. She retired in 2018 yet, in true Nan fashion, continued to volunteer at Brehm, her church, and Boyton Street Community Center in Marion. In 2018, Nan learned that she was to be a grandmother. After learning the news, she called her daughter and said “oh we are going to have SO MUCH fun!” On December 30, 2018, John Michael Novara was born to Andy and Jayme Novara. He was the light of her world and he loved her immensely in return. Anyone who knew Nan knows that she hated goodbyes and always put everyone else’s needs before her own. We take comfort in knowing that she would have hated to say goodbye to us all and that she instead lived her life in such a way that we all knew how much she loved us and we have to believe she felt our love in return. She saw goodness in everyone and everything in this world. Nan is survived by her husband, children, daughter-in-law, grandson, sister Cheryl, brothers Mike and John, and many brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and her dear sister Linda. There will be a private ceremony for immediate family only and plans for a much larger memorial celebration when it is safe. The family requests that you share memories and photos at their memorial site: https://sites.google.com/view/nannovara/home. In lieu of flowers, please donate to Brehm at the following link: https://give.brehm.org/campaigns/in-memory-of-nan-novara.
Nancy (Nan) Novara passed away in the early morning of August 11, 2020 with her children by her side. Nancy Ann Manderino was born on April 18, 1956 in Chicago, IL to Mildred and John Manderino. The youngest of five children, Nan was somehow... View Obituary & Service Information
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