Donald G. Nowak, 87, of Jamesville, NY, passed away on March 27. Donald was born in Hempstead, New York, to Thomas Hogg of Galachiels, Scotland, and Alvina Groll Hogg of New York City. After his parents’ deaths when Donald was an infant, family friends, Charles and Emily Nowak, adopted him. He was raised in Dayton Ohio, where he attended Madison Township High School. Donald attended the University of Dayton and Miami University (OH), where he was a member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity and football team.
Donald served as a quartermaster, 3rd Class (LC), V-6 in the U.S. Navy in WWII. During his naval training in Wooster, Ohio, he met his future wife, Aileen M. Burlingham. After the service he began his career in the Advertising Production Department of McCall’s Magazine in Dayton, Ohio. After their marriage in 1946, Donald and Aileen moved to Syracuse, New York, where Donald worked in the Advertising Production Department of the Barlow Advertising Agency. He moved into account management at the Fellows Advertising Agency and with partner Bart Chapman founded Chapman-Nowak & Associates in 1951. In 1971 Donald formed his own agency, D.G. Nowak & Associates. Over the years he purchased several agencies in the Central New York area. Seeing potential for business with state agencies, he purchased one of the leading agencies in Albany and renamed the firm Nowak Voss in 1974. In 1979 Donald purchased the Barlow Johnson Agency, which also had offices in Syracuse and Albany, becoming Nowak Barlow Johnson.
Donald was an active member of many professional, civic and social organizations. He was vice chair of the board of directors and chair of the Convention Bureau of the Greater Syracuse Chamber of Commerce; president of Dewitt Kiwanis Club; and was a member of Advertising, Marketing International Network (AMIN); American Association of Advertising Agencies (AAAA); and the Syracuse Press Club. He was president of the Erie Canal Museum, Upstate Heart Association and the S.P.C.A.; chairman of the board of directors of the NYS Heart Association; a trustee of the Discovery Center of Science and Technology and Visiting Nurses Association; and a member of the Central New York Republican Finance Committee.
He was a volunteer firefighter in the DeWitt Fire Department. He served on the board of directors for the Onondaga Golf and Country Club; was a governor of the Century Club; president of the Syracuse Sigma Chi Alumni Club; and a member of the Syracuse Golf Bandits and Masons, 32nd Degree; Fayetteville Lodge F&A.M.; Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite; Tigris Temple; Royal Order of Jesters.
Donald was a member of DeWitt Community Church. Donald is survived by his wife of 64 years, Aileen M. (Burlingham) Nowak; his son, Tim Nowak of DeWitt; daughter, Donna (Paul) Nowak-Hughes of Albany; and granddaughter, Amanda Nowak of DeWitt.
Contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to the SPCA, 5878 East Molloy Rd., Mattydale, NY 13211.