KINGSFORD - The April Resident of the Month at ManorCare Health Services in Kingsford is Joyce Nowak.
Nowak was born in Iron Mountain on July 7, 1924 to John Joseph and Violet (Thayer) Troyan.
Her father worked for Chicago Northwestern Railroad, as a fireman, an engineer, and also for the WPA in the 1930s. Her mother was a homemaker, although later at age 50 went back to school and became an licensed practical nurse (LPN). She worked at Pinecrest and also the Florence Villa.
She grew up with two sisters, Lenore and Lucille. Her favorite childhood memory is when the family would go on picnics. The family heritage is Slavic.
Nowak attended school at the Ludington School in Iron Mountain. She graduated in 1942. After graduation Joyce went to Green Bay for one year to work in a glove factory. She returned home and worked at the sewing factory on the Northside of Iron Mountain and also babysat.
During the Christmas holiday the sewing factory would close for two months, and during that time Joyce would work at Pine Mountain in the kitchen and also housekeeping.
She met her future husband, Paul Nowak, on a blind date. The date was set up by the wife of his brother, who also worked at the sewing factory. They dated for six months and were married during the summer of 1952 by Fr. Albert Pelissier at St. Mary's and Joseph's Catholic Church in Iron Mountain.
She remembers the wedding as quiet. The rehearsal dinner was at the Dickinson Inn for 25 people, and the reception was held at the American Legion hall in Norway.
Her wedding dress was a white tea dress and cost $14.98. Attendants were Bill Marchetti, best man, and her sister Lucille, maid of honor.
Paul worked at Lake Shore Engineering. Joyce became a homemaker and soon a mother. The couple had two children, Fredrick (Sue) Nowak, and Therese (Mike Pientkewic) Nowak, both of Norway. During this time Joyce was a 4-H leader and taught sewing.
Paul passed away in August of 1969. Joyce once again went out into the workforce and found employment at the Norway Laundromat and the Viking Motel. She also babysat.
She is the proud grandmother of two grandchildren, Joshua (Megan) Nowak of Virginia, and Jessica (Dan) Parker of Wausaukee, Wis.
Joyce's past enjoyments include bowling, gardening, and a love for animals. She has been a resident at ManorCare for almost a year. She enjoys attending a variety of activities and has made many friends.
"She is truly a wonderful lady and is thought of very fondly by other residents and staff," said a ManorCare spokesperson.