Tuesday, December 13, 2005

William J. Novick, 74

WORCESTER—  William J. Novick, 74, of 8 Benedict Road, died Sunday, December 11 at UMass Medical Center, after a brief illness.

 He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Vera G. (Pace) Novick; two sons, Steven V. Novick and his wife Liane Noddin of Somerville, and Michael W. Novick of Worcester; and two grandchildren, Benjamin H. and Peter S. Novick of Somerville.

 Mr. Novick was born and raised in Worcester, the son of John V. Novick and Nancy B. (Jarmala) Novick. He graduated from Commerce High School in 1949, received a Bachelor’s Degree in English from Clark University in 1953, and earned a Master’s Degree in Education from Clark in 1954. He served in the Army in Germany from 1955 – 1957.

 He began his career as a high-school English teacher in 1958. After four years at Grafton High School, Mr. Novick began teaching at Tahanto Regional High School in Boylston. He served as Chairman of the English Department for many years, and retired in 1991. He was known as an exacting teacher who loved repartee, and would lace his lessons with an acerbic wit. In a 1996 article in the (Clinton) Daily Item, a former student called Mr. Novick his “Mr. Holland,” writing, “William Novick, through his effort, endless energy, and, of course, tremendous expertise, awoke in me a passion for literature I never knew I had… When in college, I had many outstanding professors (who) could have learned a lot from him.”

 Mr. Novick received several noteworthy grants and awards related to his teaching and activities as a scholar, including Fulbright and National Council for the Humanities fellowships. He participated in numerous summer institutes, at such institutions as the University of Massachusetts Amherst, the University of Delaware/Stratford-Upon-Avon (England), Clark University, and the Higgins Armory. In summer 1976, he taught English at the Walburgis Gymnasium in Menden, Germany, and subsequently coordinated two student exchange programs with that school.

 He was an avid reader, a lover of Shakespeare and student of Indian culture. His personal library contained some 10,000 volumes, as well as over 1,000 films. His book reviews and articles appeared in the Worcester Telegram in the 1980s. During the 1970s, he was a film critic at public radio station WICN; his film criticism also appeared in local weekly publications during that time. In addition to these activities, he worked as a part-time relocation specialist for the Worcester Redevelopment Authority from 1965 – 1975.

 Mr. Novick was a member of Our Lady Of Loreto Church, and the Retired Education of Massachusetts Association.

 Mr. Novick’s funeral will be held Thursday, December 15, from the MERCADANTE FUNERAL HOME AND CHAPEL, 370 Plantation St., with a Mass at 11:00 AM in Our Lady Of Loreto Church, 33 Massasoit Rd. Calling hours at the funeral home are 5-8 PM on Wednesday. Burial will be in Worcester County Memorial Park at the family’s convenience. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to charity of ones choice.