It is with great sadness the family announces the passing of Elizabeth Jane (Shannon) Novak, "Betty Jane" age 86, on May 22, 2021.
Elizabeth is survived by her eight children: John (Charlene), Jean, Charles (Deborah), Mary (Michael) Baylie, Joseph (Kristen), Kathleen (Leroy) Gerry, Margaret, and Theresa (James) Jimerson; 26 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren; sister Mary Christensen along with three step sisters, three step brothers, and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband of 65 years, Samuel Gene, her parents William J. and Florence E. (Reid) Shannon, her uncle and aunt who raised her (John and Marie Shannon); brothers John (Dola), William (Ardella), James (Marilyn), sisters Dorothy Ann (Sister M. Floria BVM) Shannon, Lucy Donnelly; brother-in-law Paul Christensen and 2 step brothers.
Elizabeth was born on May 14, 1935, in Manly, IA. She attended St. Joseph's Nursing School in Omaha, NE. where she met her husband, Samuel (Sam). They were married on August 25th, 1955. After Sam finished dental school they moved to Colorado in 1957.
In addition to raising eight children, Elizabeth was extremely active in her church and the community. She was a member of the American Cancer Society, Alter and Rosary Society, and was a member of Broomfield's first Garden Club, as well as an active member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
In 1963, she helped organize the first Pro-Life Organization in Colorado and was one of the founding members of FISH (Friends in Serving Humanity).
Elizabeth and Sam were founding members of Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church where Elizabeth taught CCD classes, and chaired and organized many events and initiatives. She was also a founding member of the Nativity of our Lord blood bank.
They devoted many years to international humanitarian aid efforts. She collected and organized materials including medical, dental and school supplies, and clothing to the Otomí people of central Mexico, Rwanda, Africa, Dakota Ridge Indian Reservation, and the Airman's Attic. Multiple trips were made during the war to the former Yugoslavia for humanitarian work and relief. Religious articles were included in all the supplies.
Elizabeth and Sam received many awards for their community service, including the "Best of Broomfield" Gene Frank Award in 1998 and the 2002 Philanthropy Heart of Broomfield Award. Elizabeth received the1987 J.C. Penney Golden Rule Award for Volunteer of the Year for the state of Colorado. She was Broomfield's 1987 Mother of the Year and received Broomfield Chamber of Commerce's 1988 Volunteer of the Year Award.
Elizabeth was a caring friend, wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and will be remembered for her generosity and selfless service to others.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Abbey of St. Walburga, 1029 Benedictine Way, Virginia Dale, CO 80536, Broomfield FISH, or to the American Cancer Society.
A Rosary will be said at 10:30am on Friday, May 28, 2021 at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial. A reception will follow the Mass, then services will conclude with interment in Broomfield County Commons Cemetery.
Heritage Funeral & Cremation Services of Lafayette is handling arrangements.
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