Erin Noel Novak passed away outside of Bryan, Texas on October 9, 2020. She was born in Houston, Texas on June 8, 1995. She attended St. Thomas More Catholic school for elementary and Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart for high school, where she graduated salutatorian. She graduated Summa cum Laude from the University of St. Thomas with a B.S. in Biology and a B.A. in Theology and had just completed a Masters in Ecosystem Science and Management from Texas A&M. She loved learning for learning’s sake.
It is hard to capture the fullness of Erin’s 25 years in a few short words, as they were so incredibly filled with love, purpose, and passion for so many things. She loved music; many hold memories of the songs she wrote and sang on guitar and the harmonies she easily invented. She had a great passion for God’s creation; not only did she study it scientifically, she also immersed herself in it by spending countless days traipsing through the wilderness in pursuit of peace, clarity, and a closer communion with God and friends. She could identify all the native Texas plants and even the birds by their calls. She felt called, in her career, to protecting and preserving Texas’ unique ecosystems.
Erin never wavered in her Catholic faith; her first and foremost goal was undeniably to live an earthly life that brought her and others to eternal life with God in heaven. Many people who talked with her about their faith were profoundly impacted by her wisdom and insight.
She loved country western dancing, craft beer, fermenting her own mead; she claimed washing dishes was therapeutic, and was at times overtaken by uncontrollable fits of laughter. People would always wonder what she was laughing at, just as people would always wonder how a girl could exist who was so kind, pure, and faithful.
She is survived by her parents, Noel Suhor Novak and Mark Novak, as well as siblings Audrey and Ian Novak and countless friends and family. We will all miss her terribly.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the following organizations: the University of St. Thomas, please write "in honor of Erin Novak" in order to direct funds to ecological scholarship, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the Katy Prairie Conservancy, or the Houston Arboretum.