Robert D. Novak, aka “Bob the Builder”, went on to his next big adventure on March 17, 2018.
Born in Poughkeepsie on January 12, 1954, Bob was a lifelong resident of Dutchess County. He was the son of Teddy (Darrow) Novak and the late William Novak.
Bob was a graduate of the Class of 1972 from Arlington High School where he earned a football scholarship to Lehigh University. During the summer of his freshman year in college, he and his brother built a house together and started Wilro Construction. In 1975, he become the sole owner of the company and went on to build over 800 homes, as well as condos and some commercial properties. He and his family started ECHO Cottages and, after a few years, he also became the sole owner of that company. He put his heart and soul into making this a viable alternative option for the elderly or disabled.
On August 21, 1999 at Mountainville Manor in New Windsor, after finding each other at their 25th high school reunion, Bob married Barbara (Owen) Novak. Bob is also survived by his children: Jessica Anna Travis and her husband John, Genn Novak, Jonathan Novak and his wife Susan, and their mother, Debbie Cross Pickett; and his grandchildren, John Travis, Calvin and Emily Novak. He is also survived by his brothers, Bill, his wife Cheryl, and their daughter Quinn; and Tim, his wife Gayle and their children, Brittney Sprenker and her husband Chris, and Christopher, his wife Sam and their son Eli. Additional family members include his Uncle Butch Darrow, his wife Tish, and their children, Justin Darrow, his wife Jeanne, and their children, Eric and Anthony, and Brendan Darrow, his wife Shelia, and their children, Ryan and Leah, as well as his cousin Erin Parker, her husband Charlie, and their children, Ramona, Theo and Charlie. Bob’s family also includes his sisters-in-law, Donna Owen, and Sandra Owen, her husband Steve Fardig and their daughter Elinora Owen Fardig and her fiancé, Assad Bokhari. He also leaves behind his faithful companion “Lulu” and many, many wonderful friends and neighbors.
The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 4-8pm at the McHoul Funeral Home, Inc., 895 Route 82, Hopewell Junction. The memorial service will be held on Sunday, March 25 at 2pm at The Elks Lodge, 29 Overocker Rd., Poughkeepsie. Memorial donations may be made to the Dutchess County SPCA or the Hospice Foundation, Inc. Please visit Bob’s Book of Memories at

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