Posted: Wed 10:24 AM, Jul 16, 2014
August 13, 1947 - July 13, 2014
On Sunday, July 13th, Gretchen Fahrenthold Novak left the arms of her loved ones here and was welcomed home. Visitation will be held from 5:00-7:00 pm on Thursday, July 17th at Hiller Funeral Home (2301 East 29th St., Bryan, TX); Rosary is at 5:30. Memorial Mass will be held at 11:00 am, Friday July 18th at St. Mary's Catholic Church (603 Church Ave., College Station, TX).
Gretchen made her grand entrance to the world on August 13, 1947 as the firstborn of six children to Hugo and Terry Fahrenthold in Houston. Both the first child and the first grandchild, she became the apple of her grandmother's eye; the little imp with a head full of dark curls, she immediately became her grandmother's “Little Missy.” As the oldest sibling, “Gretch” as she was known to family and friends, blazed the trail for fun and perhaps more than a little mischief. Her zest for life and affinity for music led to one of the most beloved family stories: as the family headed out one afternoon and “The Bristol Stomp” came on the radio Gretchen begged, pleaded, even insisted her dad pull the car over so she could get out and dance. A graduate of Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in 1965, she went on to attend the University of Southwestern Louisiana and the University of St. Thomas where she started dating James “Jim” Novak. Jim and Gretchen were married August 22, 1970 and for the next 44 years she was “Pooh” to his “Honey.” Gretchen worked various jobs until she realized her heart's desire and was given the title of Mom. She loved nothing more in this life than having her children. In addition to Timothy and Amanda, her own children, her maternal nature extended to her many nieces and nephews. Gretchen's compassionate spirit was perhaps most evident in her time spent working, and eventually managing, St. Vincent DePaul Society Thrift Store in Bryan, Texas. She exemplified the attributes of a Vincentian, striving to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to individuals in need.
A lover of plants, Gretchen filled her home inside and out with the beauty of God's bounty; we give thanks that His beauty, love, and grace is all that she now knows.
We are so thankful for her joyous reunion in glory with her father, Hugo Fahrenthold, and her four unborn children. She is survived by husband, Jim Novak; son, Tim Novak; daughter, Amanda Novak; granddaughter, Stella Novak; mother, Theresa C. Fahrenthold; brother, Chris and wife Peggy Fahrenthold of Houston; brother, Tim and wife Claudia Fahrenthold of Uvalde; sister, Lisa Fahrenthold of Austin; sister, Celeste and husband Rey Medina of Houston; brother, Steve Fahrenthold of Atlanta, GA; brother-in-law, Tom Novak and wife Sherlyn of Georgetown; sister-in-law, Luanne Novak and husband David Johnson of Houston; brother-in-law, Richard and wife Diane of Houston; and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the St. Vincent de Paul Society - Bryan/College Station Conference, 300 N. Main St, Bryan, TX 77803.
Please share memories and tributes to Gretchen at www.hillierfuneralhome.com.