Dorothy Nowak

Dorothy Nowak (Murray) passed away peacefully on June 5th surrounded by her loving family at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, IL at the age of 71.

Dorothy is survived by her husband (Joe) of 47 years, her 3 sons (Tony 44, Steve 41, Joe 38), 3 daughters-in-Law (Annie, Colleen and Jessie), 7 grandchildren (Will 12, Evie 10, Jack 9, Nate 9, Elise 8, Millie 6, and Abbie 1) and her brother and sister (Tom and Kathy).  She is preceded in death by Tom and Eileen Murray and Mary Anne Hamilton.

Dorothy was born on May 3rd in Chicago, IL to Tom and Eileen.  She graduated from Chicago State Teachers College in 1972 with a degree in Education.  She married Joe Nowak, her Jewel Grocery stock boy sweetheart in 1973.  After moving to Midlothian, IL Dorothy took a sabbatical from teaching in order to raise her children and work part time at Oak Forest Hospital.  Even though she was a full-time mother, she substitute taught at the surrounding grade schools, garnering the love of the local children.  

She began teaching full time at St. Christopher Catholic Grade School in 1999.  She was beloved by her students for her commitment to the church and the school with hallmark activities like volcano days, yearly field trips to Chicago museums, memorization of the 50 states and capitals, and playing games like “Popcorn” to keep the class engaged during group reading sessions.  In addition to teaching, she volunteered her spare time at Bremen High School through the Athletic Booster clubs. 

As the mother of 3 boys one of Dorothy’s greatest joys was getting 3 daughter’s that she loved as her own.  She beamed with love and joy as each of the 7 grandchildren were born. One of her favorite activities was being a guest reader at the grandchildren’s schools.

Just before her retirement, her dream vacation became reality, as she shared a trip with Joe to Hawaii in celebration of their wedding anniversary. 

A wake will be held at McKenzie Funeral Home in Oak Forest on Tuesday June 8th from 3-9PM.  A funeral is scheduled for Wednesday June 9th at 10AM at St. Christopher Church in Midlothian.  Dorothy will be laid to rest at Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery with a reception to follow.  Fr. Mark Walter will officiate the ceremony.  In Lieu of flowers please consider making a donation to the Illinois Special Olympics or St. Christopher’s Catholic School.