Cover photo for Roger Joseph Nowak's Obituary
Roger Joseph Nowak Profile Photo
1930 Roger 2024

Roger Joseph Nowak

September 19, 1930 — March 17, 2024

St. Paul


Roger J. Nowak, 93, of St. Paul, entered God’s kingdom on Sunday, March 17, 2024, at Brookefield Park in St. Paul.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 a.m. Monday, March 25, 2024, at Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in St. Paul. The Rev. Vince Parsons will celebrate the Mass. Inurnment will be in St. Wenceslaus Catholic Cemetery west of St. Paul.

Visitation will be Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. at Peters Funeral Home in St. Paul. A parish rosary will be recited at 4 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Howard County Medical Center or the American Diabetes Association.

Roger or “Captain Hook” as he would joke, was born on Sept. 19, 1930, on the family farm in the Midway area west of St. Paul to Peter and Victoria (Curtis) Nowak.

He grew up on the family farm. It was there that Roger developed his work ethic that would carry him through the rest of his life.

He attended country school at District 8 and finished his education graduating from St. Paul High School in 1948. He was involved in various clubs and sports during his high school years, back when they wore leather football helmets, like real men.

His father, Peter, farmed and managed the Midway Grain Elevator for many years, where Roger spent many hours chasing tom cats and rats. In 1950 his father passed away, so Roger and his brother Dale formed the Nowak Brother’s partnership and took over the farming operations.

They continued to add more land and rent land from neighbors and had a very sizable operation, which is still farmed by family members.

Roger and Lillian (Wulf) Papst were united in marriage on Feb. 18, 1964, at Grand Island. They raised their five children on the family farm known as Canadian Hill. They operated a dairy and raised registered Limousine cattle. Aside from farming he was involved in helping with their 4-H and FFA projects and being a chauffer for all the various activities they were involved with.

Roger had farming in his DNA. He had his work bib overalls, or “farmers” as his children would call them, and his going to town “farmers”.

Roger retired from farming at the age of 75. The next Spring he started his retirement job. Mowing weeds around the fields and driving the backroads watching the neighbors’ crops grow. He said it was the best job he ever had.

Roger was an active member of the community and church. He was a longtime member of Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus Council 1918 of St. Paul.

He served on the Farmer’s Union Board of Directors for 6 years. He also served as a board member of the Howard County ASCS for 10 years. 

Roger was a John Deere tractor aficionado and enjoyed attending tractor shows and farming events throughout the area. He also enjoyed attending fairs, church bazaars, pancake feeds and other community functions. In his later years he would look forward to his weekly high stakes (25 cents a hand) knock poker game at the Office Bar and Matelyn Retirement Community. He was an encyclopedia of knowledge of the history and events of the area. There was always a PBR in the fridge and a story to tell to whoever would stop by.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Peter and Victoria Nowak; former wife, Lillian Nowak; sister, Maxine (Miller) Meyer; brother, Dale Nowak; brothers-in-law, George Miller and Harold Meyer. 

He is survived by his children, Jackie Urbanski and Alden Stein of Desert Hills, AZ, Tony and Val Papst of Farwell, Shane Nowak of St. Paul, Shawn and Karen Nowak of Gillette, WY and Travis and Tanya Nowak of Auburn, WA; 21 Grandchildren, James and Jamie Urbanski, Jessie and Heather Urbanski, Amber and Jon Kuck, Jennifer and Jim Bangert, Rebecca and Travis Sydzyik, Ashley and Tom Usasz, Tyler and Brittany Scheer, Josh Scheer, Devin and Aubrey Scheer, Seth Nowak, Ethan Nowak, Trey Nowak and Colton Nowak; 23 great-grandchildren, Austin and Toby Urbanski, Ashlyn, Aniston and Aveyn Urbanski, Kody and Kali Kuck, Jameson and Jackson Bangert, Aria, Ian and Bryce Sydzyik, William, Logan, Jay and Sydney Usasz, Sophia and Autumn Nowak, Mackenzee, Paisley and Reagen Scheer, Emerson and Lucy Scheer; two great-great-grandsons, Rowdy and Ryatt Dibbern; sister-in-law, Elaine Nowak of St. Paul; and one brother-in-law, LaVern Wulf of St. Paul.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Roger Joseph Nowak, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Sunday, March 24, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Central time)

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Sunday, March 24, 2024

Starts at 4:00 pm (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Monday, March 25, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Central time)

Sts. Peter & Paul Catholic Church

713 Elm St, Saint Paul, NE 68873

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Monday, March 25, 2024

Starts at 11:15 am (Central time)

St. Wenceslaus Cemetery

, Saint Paul, NE 68873

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