- Cleveland, Ohio
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1 of 1 | Posted by: Bob Beck
John Andrew Novak, age 73, of Cleveland, passed away Saturday at his sister's home in North Ridgeville following a long illness.
He was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio and had resided in North Ridgeville since April moving from Cleveland where he had lived since 1989. He previously had lived in Boerne, Texas.
Mr. Novak served in the Army and then the Air Force from 1948-1970. He served in Korea and three tours in Vietnam. He received the Korean Service Medal with one bronze star, and the National Defense Service Medal.
He was an internationally known magician and escape artist and magic innovator. He authored over 25 books on magic and performing and was considered one of the foremost experts on magic escapes in the United States. Because of his expertise he was consulted by famous magicians such as Doug Henning, Lance Burton, Siegfried and Roy, Mark Wilson and David Copperfield. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and the Society of American Magicians. He was past president of the San Antonio, Texas Magic Club and for the past 12 years he was an active member of the Cleveland chapter of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring #23. As a working Magician, John recently estimated that he had performed over 5000 magic shows during his career. He was also a teacher and mentor to hundreds of youngsters just starting out in magic. He won 2nd place in the Cleveland Magicians Club annual Stage Magic competition this past June.
He spoke Chinese, Japanese, Spanish, French and taught International Relations and Diplomacy at the University of Maryland.
He was an avid Cleveland Indians and Star Trek fan.
Survivors include his sisters Nancy Sepko of Raleigh, North Carolina, Martie Collins of North Ridgeville and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his brother David Novak and parents Anthony and Jane Novak.
Friends may call Wednesday from 2-4 and 7-9Pm at David Bogner Family Funeral Home, 36625 Center Ridge Road, North Ridgeville, where a Broken Wand service will take place at 8:00 PM. A prayer services will be held on Thursday at 9:30AM, in the funeral home followed by 10:00AM Mass at St. Julie Billiart Catholic Church, 5500 Lear Nagle Road, North Ridgeville. Rev. Dr. Richard A . Gonser, Pastor, will be the celebrant. Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9871, North Ridgeville will conduct military honors at the church. Burial will be 1:00 PM Friday in Evergreen Memorial Park in New Philadelphia, Ohio.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, PO Box 182039, Dept. 013, Columbus, Ohio 43218.