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Home arrow News arrow Obituaries arrow Obituary: Jurgen Nowak (June 20, 1927 – Dec. 20, 2013)


Obituary: Jurgen Nowak (June 20, 1927 – Dec. 20, 2013)

 Jurgen Nowak was born in pre-World War II Germany in the city of Stettin. Fearing the direction that Germany was headed, in 1937 his parents made the decision to immigrate to the United States. After a quick tour of the U.S. he ended up with his parents and sister, Irene, in the small town of Little Fork, Minn., where they had a farm.

Although generally opposed to war, Jurgen served his country in the first half of the Korean conflict. After the war he returned to Minnesota and attended the University in St. Paul. It was there that he met his future wife Gertraud.


He and Gertraud were married in 1955 and almost immediately made the voyage to Crescent City. Here, with the help of his sister and brother-in-law they built the family home and started their family. They had three sons: Peter, then three years later Steven and finally ten years later 
Michael. Initially Jurgen spent some time working in the lumber mills, but eventually returned to school and obtained his master’s degree in education. Soon he was working for the Del Norte County Unified School District. He spent the majority of his career teaching at Crescent Elk Middle School.

After he retired Jurgen remained active in the local community. He and Gertraud volunteered as child advocates and in the harbor beautification.

In his free time Jurgen enjoyed the outdoors. He spent his summers salmon fishing and enjoying the rewards of his garden, which included a variety of berries and fruit trees. His smoked salmon was well known and appreciated by family and friends. When not working in his garden he enjoyed going for walks in the forest or along the beach and coastline.

He had a wonderful sense of humor and delighted in playing small pranks on family and friends. He will be remembered as being a very kind and gentle man, unless engaged in a game of Monopoly, and then he was joyfully ruthless.

Jurgen was preceded in death by his sister, Irene Borath, and his wife, Gertraud. He is survived by his children Peter, Steven, and Michael, and his grandchildren, Larissa, Mallory, Austin, and Connor.

An open house celebration of life will be held at The Good Harvest Cafe in Crescent City on March 29, 2014, from 1-4 p.m. All friends are encouraged to drop in and join the family. We look forward to hearing and sharing stories about this special man.

Please feel free to send an e-mail to  This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it  if you wish to share stories and are unable to attend. If more immediate information is needed, please call Michael Nowak at 916-501-1421.

— Submitted by Family


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