Obituary: Gertraud Nowak (March 29, 1931 – Aug. 15, 2012)

By Submitted October 17, 2012 04:41 pm

Gertraud Nowak
Gertraud Nowak
 Gertraud Nowak was born Gertraud A. Sholz in the Moravian Region/Sudetenland of Czechoslovakia. She was raised by her mother Maria and her grandparents. She endured the ravages of World War II as first the Germans and then the Russians passed through her small town. At the end of the war she and her family were exiled, and emigrated to Neustift, a small village near Innsbruck, Austria. 

At the age of 14, it was expected that Gertraud would work outside the home. She found herself working with the nuns at a hospital in Innsbruck. This would prove to be the start of her nursing career. In 1952 she immigrated to the U.S. and lived in St. Paul, Minn. It was there that she met her husband, Jurgen. They were married in 1955 and moved to Crescent City. 


Soon after their arrival, Gertraud had her first son Peter. Three years later came Steven and 10 years after that, Michael. During this time Gertraud worked at Seaside Hospital as a nurse. For the first part of her career she worked in OB assisting with mothers in labor. The later part of her career was spent working in the ER. She loved her work and would always comment on how rewarding she found her career. 

In retirement Gertraud continued to serve her community. She volunteered as a child advocate and also helped with the harbor beautification. In her free time Gertraud enjoyed her garden and the wonders of nature unique to Del Norte County. 

She also loved to bake and was well known in her circle of friends and family for being a wonderful hostess. Visitors could always count on a plate of homemade cookies and coffee. Gertraud ensured that her sons were raised with a stern and loving hand. She spent much of her time helping others either directly as a nurse or an advocate when they were unable to speak for themselves. 

She is survived by her husband, Jurgen; her three sons, Peter, Steven and Michael; and her granchildren, Larissa, Mallory, Austin and Connor. 

Please join her family in a celebration of her life at The Oceanfront Lodge in Crescent City on October 27 from 1–5 p.m. No flowers please, only stories. If you have questions please e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spam bots, you need JavaScript enabled to view it or call Steven Nowak at 916-804-9526.

— Submitted by Family