Joseph A. Nowak (1928-2016)



Larry Nowak
Rick Nelson
Brent Smith
Don Quinn


Minneapolis Star Tribune
Pine Journal October 28, 2017
Pine Journal November 7, 2017

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Joseph A. Nowak, age 88 of Cloquet, passed away Thursday, October 27, 2016 at Barnes Care in Esko. He was born July 16, 1928 in Duluth to Louis and Nellie (Peloquin) Nowak. Joe graduated from Duluth Cathedral High School in 1946 and attended Duluth Jr. College from 1946-1948. He also attended the University of MN-Duluth in 1950, 1956-1958 graduating with a B.S. degree. Joe then attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior from 1967-1969 graduating with a Master’s degree in Physical Science.

Joe served his country as a Corporal in the U.S. Army, 28th Infantry Division during the Korean War from 1951-1953. He worked numerous places including Arco Coffee Co. from 1945-1950; Bell Telephone from 1953-1954; IBM as a customer engineer from 1954-1956; and the Cloquet Schools, IDS #94 from 1958-1983 when he retired.

Joe was a member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church, Hebert-Kennedy VFW Post 3979, Cloquet Ski Club, Arrowhead Fly Fishers, and AARP. He served as president of the Duluth Ski Club in 1959, president of the Cloquet Archery Club in 1965. Joe was a three time Duluth City Ski Jumping Champion, retiring the Guy R. Olson trophy. He personally broke 11 hill records in the U.S., Canada, and Europe. In 1978, Joe was inducted into the MN State Ski Coaches Hall of Fame; inducted into Duluth Cathedral Athletic Hall of Fame; and the U.S. Ski Jumping Hall of Fame in 2008. In 1984, he was awarded the 25 Year Coaches Assoc. Award. Joe was one of the top 10 U.S. Ski Jumpers from 1951-1959. He was founder of the Pine Valley Ski Area in Cloquet, founder of the Cloquet Ski Club; coached 13 State High School Ski Titles; and was a founder of the Cloquet Educational Foundation.

Joe was preceded in death by his parents; and 5 brothers. He is survived by his brothers, Gerald, John and Lawrence (Terri) Nowak; numerous nieces and nephews; and a special friend, Barb Nelson.

Visitation will be 5:00-7:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 2, 1016 at Nelson Funeral Care in Cloquet with a Rosary Service at 6:30 p.m. The visitation will resume on Thursday, November 3, 2016 from 10:00 a.m. until the 11:00 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Cloquet. Military Honors will be presented by the Cloquet Combined Honor Guard, followed with a luncheon in the church social hall. Interment services will be at Sunrise Memorial Park in Duluth. Condolences may be sent to the online guestbook at

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