DIXON – Kenneth J. Novak, 73, of Dixon, aka “Krazy Ken the Farmer’s Friend,” died fighting stage III esophageal cancer on Sunday, July 18, 2021 at KSB Hospital in Dixon.
He was born on Dec. 5, 1947 in Lorain, Ohio, the son of John and Margaret (Dugovich) Novak.
Everywhere he went, he made people laugh, often in yellow pants. From his days in Lorain, Ohio as part of the “Snakes,” to Dayton University where he was nicknamed, “Pigpen,” to Amboy, Illinois where he led the Lion’s Club and the Depot Days Parade, to the streets of Dixon, where he danced front and center in a Flash Mob, Ken was full of fun.
He lived life to its fullest, valuing education, hard work, and giving to the underdog. He graduated from the University of Dayton (Go Flyers!) with his Bachelor’s degree and from Northern Illinois University with his Master’s Degree.
In 1971, he moved from Ohio to work at Nachusa Lutheran Home. He then went to work at Allied Locke where he learned he could “sell like Hell!” In 1986, he decided to make a career change to be his own boss. Ken owned and operated C&N Supply in Dixon since 1986 and FarmChains.com since 2008. He would not have been so successful without the help of Jane Swinton, who put up with him at work for 21 years.
Ken was a dedicated husband and father. He and his wife, Carol, were married on April 20th, 1978. In their 39 years together, they were foster parents, raised five children, and traveled the world. He was preceded in death by Carol in 2017, and his parents.
Ken was generous with his time and money and enjoyed taking his family out for a meal, to a waterpark, or cooking out on his Big Green Egg. He is survived by his children Michele (Chris) Podkulski of Sterling, Christine (Bill) Wengelewski of Rochelle, Amanda (Doug) Hicks of Dixon, Carissa Novak of Dixon, and Clarence Novak of Aurora. Kenneth is also survived by 9 grandchildren, Nicole (Josh), Megan, Brian, Ben, Liam, Austin, Abby, Lily and Andrew; and one brother Rick (Elaine) Novak of Mansfield OH.
Ken was a faithful member of the Franklin Grove Church of the Brethren, where he served as Moderator and made delicious pancakes. He was president of the Amboy Lions Club and received the Lions Club Humanitarian International Award. Kenny will be dearly missed by his downtown Dixon friends including those from Shop Talk, Rosbrook Studios, and the Crystal Cork where he was always the life of the party.
Visitation will be held on Thursday July 22, 2021 from 4-7 p.m. at the Jones Funeral Home in Dixon. Funeral services will be on Friday July 23, 2021 at 10 a.m at the Franklin Grove Church of the Brethern. Burial will follow at Emmert Cemetery in Dixon.
A memorial will be established to Dixon Park District and Dixon Main Street. Arrangements by the Jones Funeral Home in Dixon.
Online condolences can be left at www.thejonesfh.com