Frank G. Novak
Industrial relations chief
Frank G. Novak, retired industrial relations manager for Bata Shoe Co., died May 25 of cancer at the Stella Maris Hospice. He was 83 and had lived in Aberdeen since 1977.
Mr. Novak was one of Bata's first employees when he started working for the Harford County company in 1940. In more than three decades with Bata, he oversaw expansion of the Belcamp-based company and the development of branch operations in Baltimore, Delaware, Indiana and West Virginia.
His other responsibilities included human resources management, personnel administration, public relations, housing, security, personnel recreation and sports activities.
A longtime advocate of physical fitness, Mr. Novak helped establish a unit at Belcamp of the American SOKOL Gymnastics Organization, which encouraged local youngsters to participate in regional and national gymnastic competitions. He also aided the development of employee soccer, bowling, softball and baseball leagues.
Born in Cleveland of Czechoslovakian parents, he moved to Czechoslovakia when was 8 years old and was educated there. In 1939, he earned his law degree from the University of Prague and returned to the United States, where he settled in Belcamp.
In his retirement, he translated into English "Life Is Not A Fairy Tale," a book written by his wife's mother, which is an account of life in Central Europe before and after World War I.
He was a member of Rotary International, the Personnel Association of Greater Baltimore and was vice president of Harford National Bank. He was a director of the Salvation Army's advisory board and a member of the Blood Bank of Maryland Inc., the Historical Society of Harford County and the Safety Council of Maryland.
Services were private.
He is survived by his wife of 53 years, the former Mildred Jicha; two sons, George F. Novak and M. Lee Novak, both of Manchester; three granddaughters; and two great-grandchildren.
Memorial donations may be made to Stella Maris Hospice Care Program, 2300 Dulaney Valley Road, Towson 21204; or the Salvation Army, 2602 Huntingdon Ave., Baltimore 21211.
Ellis T. Baker III
Newspaper Guild official
Ellis T. Baker III, a retired official of the Newspaper Guild who grew up in Baltimore and wrote about a wide range of subjects as a member of the staffs of The Sun and The Evening Sun for about 10 years, died Monday of cancer at the Washington Hospice. He was 77.
A resident of Washington since 1953, he retired 10 years ago as director of administrative operations of the union. He had joined its headquarters staff in New York in 1949. He was a Guild organizer in the South and for many years was the editor of the Guild Reporter.
Born in New Haven, Conn., he was raised in Baltimore and was a 1935 graduate of the McDonogh School. In 1939, he graduated from Duke University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and Omicron Delta Kappa.
Starting at The Sunday Sun in 1940, he moved to the daily morning paper the next year. In 1946, he worked for The Evening Sun. He was the first president of the Baltimore local of the Newspaper Guild.
Mr. Baker was known for his quick wit. As a jazz drummer, he played at clubs in the Baltimore-Washington area.
A memorial reception will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday at the River Road Unitarian Church in Bethesda.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 50 years, the former Margaret Bretz; three sons, Michael Baker of Kensington, Peter Baker of Annapolis, an outdoor writer for The Sun, and Ellis T. Baker IV of Vero Beach, Fla.; a daughter, Molly Arrington of Washington; and five grandchildren.