James “Jim” Peter Novacek, age 84 of Edmore, ND, passed away January 21, 2023, surrounded by his loving family. He leaves his wife of 60 years, Carol (Margerum) Novacek, and three children: Jeffrey (Mary) Novacek, Phoenix, AZ; Lisa (Heath) Hertel, St Louis Park, MN; and Daniel (Pam) Novacek, Winnemucca, NV. He also leaves his beautiful grandchildren: Samantha, Anna, Jordan, Alexandra, Kyleigh, Elizabeth, Lillian and Lainey. In addition, James leaves a brother, Paul (Pat) Novacek, sister-in-law Alta Novacek, many nieces and nephews, as well as in-laws Marie (Margerum) and Ken Thompson, Margaret (Margerum) and John Kelley, Jim and Shirley Margerum, Kathy (Margerum) and Vic Wald, Chuck and Joanne Headley, Richard and Verlinda Margerum, and Bill and Bev Margerum. He is preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Anna (Karsky) Novacek, and siblings Robert, Evelyn (and Raymond) Gutterud, Leo, Edwin, Richard and Bernard, as well as in-laws Chuck and Charlene (Warner) Margerum and Linda (Margerum) Headley.
James was born September 12, 1938, in Devils Lake, ND. The son of Leo and Anna (Karsky) Novacek, he attended elementary school in Prospect Township until moving to Edmore Public School in fifth grade. After high school, James attended Mayville State for a short time, where he made the basketball team. He enjoyed playing basketball and singing in the choir. He was a strong, naturally gifted athlete who played several sports, but his first love was basketball. He excelled on his high school team. He also had an amazing singing voice and was invited to sing at many weddings, funerals and events through the years. He was a true talent.
James played league basketball well into his thirties and also worked and traveled throughout the area as a basketball referee. He served on several boards – St Edwards Catholic Church, Nekoma, ND; Prospect Township Board of Supervisors, north of Edmore, ND; Edmore Public School, Edmore Farmers Union Oil Company, and Edmore Farmers Shipping & Supply Elevator.
James was a loving husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, son, brother and uncle. He was devoted to the family farm, a true steward whose heart never left the land. There was no place he would rather be than at the century-plus Novacek farm in Prospect Township.
A memorial service for James will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, June 30, 2023, at St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Langdon, ND, with visitation starting one hour before service time.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Langdon, ND; St. Edward's Cemetery in Nekoma, ND; or your favorite charity.
The farm was tired and said, “I have tried to keep up with you all these years. You have loved me, all my acres, through good times and bad. You have been up well before dawn and well past the settling of the sun to nurture the soil and seed through all the seasons. You have become a watchful expert of my every strength and faithful servant of my many needs. You have stood by me, steadfast, through hailstorms that devastated an entire harvest bounty, high winds that demolished the proud, family-built barn, flooding water basin washouts of planted acres, pastures and roads, and drought years that extinguished life from my burgeoning crops.”
With great and gentle love, the farm added, “I cannot thank you enough for all of this, my brother, for 84 years of abiding love and devotion. You have blessed me with more gifts than I could imagine. Whatever can I do for you in return?”
The farmer smiled and lovingly gazed across the acreage, taking in all the sloping hills, shiny sloughs and wetlands, natural grasses and pasture lands, cherished views and vistas, and replied, “It is I who owe you. You have been by my side since birth, without abandon. You have given me much joy, great bounty, lifelong lessons and generations of gifts from your rich soil. We have grown older together and truly seen each other through the best and worst of times. Your landscape is etched in my mind along with the cherished memories of my full life here with my family. A beautiful life. What else could I possibly want? You have given your all, and I am eternally grateful.”
And with that, the brothers shared a gentle sigh, knowing smile and sweet embrace, both so very tired and in need of rest. “Then, let us rest together, just as we have lived throughout the seasons of these many years.”
“Rest, my brother, forever by my side. You are safe and you are loved.”