Deanna Novotny


On Saturday, June 5, 2021, Deanna “Dee” (Drake) Novotny went to join her beloved Savior in heaven. She was born Jan. 7, 1941, in Clintonville to Oscar and June (Maas) Drake. All of her early life was spent on the north shore of Shawano Lake. Dee attended North Beach School, a one-room schoolhouse. She went on to attend Lincoln School and junior high in Shawano.

In 1959, Dee graduated from Shawano High School and went on to attend UW-Stevens Point. She also attended UW-Oshkosh and graduated from there in 1966 with a degree in elementary education. She spent her teaching career in Manitowoc. It was there that she met Joseph Novotny, and they were married on Aug. 10, 1968. In 1975, Dee gave birth to their first child, a daughter, who died shortly after birth. So, in 1976, Dee and Joseph decided to adopt a son, and Dee retired from teaching to raise him.

In her later years, Dee began teaching again at Trinity School and the elementary school in Mishicot. She also volunteered and was a substitute teacher in the Mishicot district. The year 2000 brought an addition to their family as they adopted their second son.

Dee was interested in crafting, computer work, pencil games and reading. She also spent many years maintaining a large garden and working with her husband making maple syrup. Her greatest joy was spending time with her grandchildren.

Survivors include her two sons, John (Lisa) Novotny, of Two Rivers, and Josiah Novotny, of Manitowoc; grandchildren, Gwen and John Joseph “J.J.” Novotny; brother, Darwin Drake; sister, Nancy Baker; sisters-in-law, Jeanne Brown and Christine (Louie) Colombrin; special cousins, Gary (Walene) Maas and Alan (Sue) Drake; nephew, Mark (Julie) Novotny; and other family and treasured friends.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 50-plus years, Joseph; daughter, Wendy Novotny; parents, Oscar and June Drake; father- and mother-in-law, Joseph and Marion (Duchon) Novotny; brother-in-law, LeRoy Novotny; and special aunt, Emma Maas.

Cremation has taken place at the Harrigan Parkside Crematory and Chapel. Private graveside services will be at Evergreen Cemetery, Manitowoc, at a later date.

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The Harrigan Parkside Funeral Home and Crematory, Manitowoc, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements.