Caregiver rose to fill need for emergency services
By Rick Wills
Published: Friday, Dec. 21, 2012, 9:34 p.m.
In the 1970s, emergency medical transportation in Trafford relied on the town's two funeral directors.
“One of them said, ‘I really don't know how to help these people. I can drive a car, but that's it,'” said Marty Novak, whose mother, Dorothy Novak, was a founding member of the Trafford Emergency Medical Service and became an EMT at the age of 50.
Dorothy J. Novak of Trafford died Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012, in the Golden Living Center in Murrysville. She was 83.
Mrs. Novak was born Sept. 5, 1929, in Rankin, the daughter of William and Anna Law Jarrett. She met her husband, John, when she was a teenager.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Mrs. Novak worked in Trafford Supermarket, mostly behind the bakery counter.
She also worked for many years as a caregiver to children and the elderly, some of whom lived in the Novak home at the end of their lives.
“She got along with people. People were just attracted to her like iron shavings to a magnet,” her son said.
In 1974, Mrs. Novak became the first woman elected to Trafford Council. Like many other women breaking into what had been mostly male occupations, her election was greeted with some sexism, Marty Novak said.
“They tried to make it difficult. They stuck her with the committee that dealt with streets and roads, figuring she couldn't handle it. To be the first woman in any occupation is difficult,” he said.
Mrs. Novak tried to persuade her fellow council members to set up an emergency medical service, but could not. She quit council after one term in 1978 and became a founding member of the Trafford Emergency Medical Service.
For about eight years, Mrs. Novak worked as an EMT. During that time, she completed the training to become a paramedic, her son said.
In addition to her son, Marty, and husband, John, Mrs. Novak is survived by two brothers, Charles Jarrett of Slippery Rock and Sherman Jarrett of Cleveland; and a sister, Gloria Jarrett of Phoenix.
She was preceded in death by her brother William Jarrett and sister Agnes Buyny.
Family and friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in John M. Dobrinick Funeral Home, 702 Seventh St., Trafford.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Monday in the funeral home. Entombment will follow in Penn-Lincoln Mausoleum, North Huntingdon.
Rick Wills is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.He can be reached at 412-320-7944or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Starkey: Penguins’ arrogance astounding
- Matt Calvert’s goal in double OT evens series for Blue Jackets
- Second-period short-handed goal gives Blue Jackets momentum
- Shaler track star Schwartz in class of her own
- Saturday essay: Resurrection
- Tax law proves its worth by bringing in lost revenue
- Draftees’ longevity key for NFL success
- Real estate notes: Work on expansion to Pediatric Specialty Hospital to begin
- Mail for IRS delivered to Squirrel Hill home
- Penguins’ Gibbons scores twice but leaves with apparent injury