Michael & Sophie Nykiel Nowak
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Michael & Sophie Nykiel Nowak

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          Michael Nowak was born in Poznen Poland in 1864.  Sophie Nykiel was born in Poznen Poland in 1876.   Michael and Sophie came to America and settled in Bremond, Texas in Robertson County in 18xx.  They were married in Bremond, Texas in the St Mary’s Catholic Church on August 5, 1897 by Father Litwora.  Sophie Nykiek Novak and Michael Nowak were natives of Poland and long time residents of Bremond, Texas before moving to Houston at Michael’s age of 79 in 1944.

Michael & Sophie Nowak                                                            Michael & Sophie Nowak
  Okonski Home Place                                                                        Nowak Home Place
Nov 12 1929                                                                               Nov 13 1929


            Michael & Sophie Nowak                    Michael Nowak
  Nowak Home Place                             Farming 1943
   Nov 12 1929                                        Bremond Tx


Sebastian Nowak                                             
Michaels brother 1 of 2      

1920 Census                              

Michael & Sophie Nowak’s Daughters
  Nowak’s   Home Place  1923 – 1924

Sophie’s Sister Madurica in  Poland
Died Jan 31, 1978


Sophie’s Sisters Relatives                                         Sophie Nykiel Nowak’s Mother's
Poland                                                               Church in  Poland

            Michael and Sophie Nykiel Nowak raised ten children who were all born in  Bremond ,  Texas about 4 miles southeast of  Bremond,  Texas in an area known as Beck?? Prairie.  They lived in a small wooden home on about 100 acres with no electricity and any indoor plumbing for most of their lives.  As the ten children grew up, almost all left for finding employment to Houston or Beaumont.  Only Vickie and Helen stayed in Bremond for many years after their marriage.  Most children did their various hardworking chores at an early age to assist the family with basic survival needs.

            Michael and Sophie Nowak moved from  Bremond,  Texas to  Houston,  Texas in 1944 and lived with their son Stanley and wife Christine Nowak for a while, with Stanley & Josie Novak Bielamowicz for a while and a house next door to theirs.

Michael & Sophie Nowak
   Houston Tx   1945

            The first child, Mary Nowak was born August 6 (or 12), 1898.  She married Adam Andryan on 19xx and moved to Houston where they lived the rest of their lives.  Adam Andryan visited his mother in Bremond on a frequent basis and always enjoyed spending some time with Ed and Helen Okonski especially in making some cane poles for fishing in the Willow Creek to catch the gargalike  perch and catfish.  He would let some of Ed and Helen’s children go fishing if they helped with catching grasshoppers or digging worms.

            Their children were Sudie, Theresa, Dorothy, Tutsie, and Tina. 

            Mary died Dec 12, 1970  and Adam died in xxxxxxx

Adam Andryan                                                     Adam Andryan
 Okonski Home Place                                          Cotton Field
         Bremond Tx                                                         Bremond Tx

Adam Andryan                                     Mary Nowak Andryan
 Tony Nowak (Pete's son)                 Helen Nowak Okonski
             Houston, Tx                                         Josie Nowak Bielamowicz
  Vickie Nowak Okons

            The second child, John Novak, was born January 14, 1900.  John moved to  Beaumont,  Texas and married Verna and raised 2 children.  Bill and Gene Novak were raised in Beaumont, Texas and also visited Ed and Helen Okonski on a periodic basis in Bremond,  Texas .  John worked at a bread factory and supplied a lot of the bread for some of his sister and brother weddings.  John & Mary's children were Sophie Lipscomb, Leona, Willie Mae, Billy, Sonny ?.   John died December  11, 1975.


  John & Verna Novak                                       John & Verna Novak 1972
 Nowak Home Place
 Bremond, Tx

John Novak & Grandson
 Duane  E Meaux
Jan 1957

            The third child, Josie V Nowak, was born June 23, 1902 in Bremond, Texas.  Josie married Stanley Bielamowicz, born May 7, 1899, in Bremond and lived in  Houston for the rest of their lives.  They raised 4 children with  Leon married to Ruby, Sister Florenc Bielamowicz OP, Sister Julie Bielamowicz and Dolores married to Alfred Goerlich.  Her grandchildren were Stacy Keller, Theresa, Jeffrey, Michael and Megan Bielamowicz, Sheelah Keegans, Candace and Christopher Goerlich.   Their Great Great grandchildren was Brittney Keegans.  Josie was GodMother to Gene Okonski.

Stanley & Josie Nowak Bielamowicz                                        Michael & Sophie Nowak
Children Leon Sister Florence                                                    Leon & Ruby Bielamowicz

Julie and Dolores


Josie Nowak Bielamowicz
Helen Nowak Okonski
 Gene Okonski
   Bremond, Tx   May 1947


Stanley & Josie Nowak Bielamowicz                                       

Stanley & Josie Nowak Bielamowicz, 
Helen Nowak Okonski, Sister  Florence,                             Josie Nowak  Bielamowicz
Vickie Nowak Okonski                                                           Helen Nowak Okonski
                                                                                                        Vickie Nowak Okonski
         Bremond, Tx    1987

            Stanley was a very handy wood craftsman and made a child swing, a high chair, and some small benches for Gene Okonski in 1949 which most of the Ed and Helen Okonski children appreciated during their growing up years.   Stanley also made an adult swing and some larger benches for Ed and Helen.  Josie and Stanley would frequently visit Ed and Helen in Bremond and Helen would visit Josie for a few days in  Houston every chance she could by traveling the Greyhound bus or the train. 

Stanley Bielamowicz died Jan 25, 1985 and Josie Bielamowicz died Feb 20, 1994.

Josie Nowak Bielamowicz
 Died Feb 20, 1994

     Stanley Bielamowicz May 7, 1899 - Jan 25, 1985                    Nowak/Bielamowicz plot
     Josie Bielamowicz June 23, 1902 - Feb 20, 1994 


Leon M Bielamowicz Nov 5, 1925 - Dec 1983
Ruby S Bielamowicz  Nov 5, 1917 - Nov 14, 1988

            The fourth child was Pete Novak born Jan 11, 1906.  Pete married Dell  in 19xx and lived majority of his life in  Houston, Texas .  Pete and Dell had children Tony, Daniel, and Ronnie.   

Pete Nowak
Nowak’s  Home Place
         Bremond, Tx 1926

Pete Nowak and family visited Ed & Helen Okonski in Bremond, TX and enjoyed the many things to do in the country.       

Pete & Del Nowak, Tony, Ronnie & Donny Nowak
Ed, Helen, Gene Okonski 1952

Joe & Gene Okonski & Donny Nowak                            Ed, Joe Okonski with  Ronnie & Donny Nowak
             Bremond, TX 1948                                                        Bremond, TX 1949


Pete died in 19xx      and wife      died in19xx.

            The fifth child was Vickie Novak born April 24, 1907 or May 14??.  Vickie married Bruno Okonski, one of the ten children born to Joseph and Victoria Stzremski Okonski in 1927??.  Vickie and Bruno settled on a 50 acre farm on Tidwell Prarie in  Bremond,  Texas.  They lived their many years and worked the farm raising tomatoes, cotton, and corn.  Their three children Robert Okonski, Sophie Okonski and James Okonsi were born and raised in  Bremond,  Texas.  See the Bruno Okonski and Vickie Novak Okonski Family Stories for more information and pictures relating to the family.  Vickie walked the several hundred yards to Helen Okonski on many Sunday afternoons to catch up on the latest Family stories and enjoyed each others desserts and special recipes.  They would sit on the swing for hours and just relaxed from all that hard work on the farm prior to electricity coming to that area in May 1949.  Vickie and Helen were very close and could not wait to see each other even after their husbands passed away and Vickie was living in Houston.  Many times they spent several days with each other just talking about all the large families and just having a great time.   Bruno died August 1971 and Vickie died October 24, 1999.

            Vickie Nowak Okonski                                                Ann Stanley Connie
Okonski Home Place                                                     Josie Vickie Helen
Bremond Tx 1960                                                        Robert  Houston

Albert Vickie Josie                                                           Vickie Nowak Okonski
  Helen Ed                                                                             Stanley Nowak
Bremond Tx  1987                                                         Helen Nowak Okonski


Vickie Nowak Okonski & Helen Nowak Okonski   
                                 Okonski Jamboree 1999


Vickie Nowak Okonski
  Houston, Tx

            The sixth child was Rose Novak, born September 12, 1909.  After her teenage years, she moved to  Houston,  Texas .  She married Ernest Butler and lived in  Channelview,  Texas where they raised their three children Jo Ann, Ernest (Buddie) and Lavone Butler.  Rose died in July 18, 1993 and her husband Ernest died on 19xx. 

Ernest Butler, Joe, Ed, Gene Okonski   1948

             The seventh child was Helen Novak, born March 5, 1912.  Helen started dating Ed Okonski, Bruno’s brother, in 1927.

Helen Novak 1918

Ann, Connie, Rose  Nowak 1918            Connie Nowak 1926                                                                 

   Helen & Julie Nowak                                         Helen Nowak & Rose Nowak

Helen Nowak Okonski

Helen Nowak  1926                                                     Ed & Helen Okonski
November 12, 1929

Ed & Helen Okonski                                                                                    Ed & Helen Okonski
Okonski Home Place                                                                                      Okonski Home Place
 Bremond, Tx   May 1955                                                                           Bremond, Tx 1955



Helen Nowak Okonski
          Houston Tx     


Helen & Rose Nowak Friends

Ed & Helen Nowak Okonski
50th   1979  All 7 Children

Vickie Okonski Xmas Cd                                                             Helen Nowak Okonski
To Helen Okonski 1990                                                               Stanley Nowak  1990’s

            Helen married Ed Okonski on November 12, 1929 and settled on Tidwell Prairie, Ed’s  Home Place growing up.  Helen and Vickie’s homes were less than a few hundred yards apart.  All the frequent visits to each other’s house on Sunday afternoons was their time to relax and catch up on the latest stories happening in the Okonski’s Family of Ten and the Novak’sFamily of Ten children.  After electricity came in May 1949, Helen and Vickie enjoyed swinging on the Porch Swing and listen to the polka and waltz music from Cameron on Sunday afternoons.  The first appliance purchased by Helen and Ed was an Admiral radio which provided much of the music to everyone’s enjoyment.  Having watermelon or homemade ice cream was also a big Sunday attraction.  Sometimes Vickie would bring some oatmeal cookies that just made everyone smack their lips.

            Helen and Ed raised 7 children between 1933 and 1955.  They were Ed, Joe, Gene, Dolores, Larry, Mary Ann, and Helen Okonski.  With Vickie and Helen as sisters married to brothers Ed and Bruno Okonski, they walked to each other’s house anytime their was some news to give each other.  There was no electricity or phone to just pick up and let each other know.  

            After Bruno and Vickie moved to Houston to live with their son Robert and wife Theresa Okonski in 19xx, Helen and Vickie would continue to find ways to catch rides to visit each other for days at a time.  They also would write to each other just wishing themselves a continued good and health life.  After Bruno and Ed passed away,  their relationship seemed to even get stronger because they would always try to call someone to catch a ride to Houston or Bremond and spend a week at a time.  Some of the pictures in their latter years can show how much they really appreciated each other and was willing to talk about anything that bothered them.  Helen and Vickie were very close as sisters and were truly best friends.

            Ed and Helen celebrated their 50th Anniversary on November 12, 1979. 

            Ed and Helen lived at the Old Home Place for 80 years.   They moved on Ed’s 80th birthday to a town in house near the St Mary’s Catholic Church were Ed lived for just over 4 years and Helen stayed till just before having to go to the Bremond Nursing Home where she passed away. 

            Their oldest child was named Edward Jr and the youngest was named Helen. Ed passed away November 6, 1990 and Helen passed away May 21, 2002.  Their children and families and relatives get together at least for the annual Okonski Jamboree in October and on many other special occasions. 

            The eight child, Connie Novak, was born on June 27, 1914.  She married Herbert Fulgham in 19xx and lived in  Houston,  Texas in 1956 before Herbert went to Germany for three years.  They came back to the states for three months and left for four years to Paris, France.

Herbert Fulgham 1950s

 Ann, Stanley, Connie, Josie, Vicki, Helen Novaks                        Helen Novak Okonski, 
                                                                                                            Del Novak, Connie Fulgham

            The ninth child, Stanley Novak, was born May 5, 1917.  Stanley married Christine Kowalski on November 27, 1943 at Immaculate Conception Church in  Houston.   Stanley worked at the Bread Company for many years.  They raised five children  Barbara,  Virginia, Jerry, Kenneth, and Eugene.  They enjoyed visiting Ed and Helen Okonski in Bremond,  Texas for many years.  Michael and Sophia Novak,  Stanley ’s parents, moved in with Stanley and Christine.  Stanley and Christine Kowalski Novak celebrated their 50th Anniversary on November 20, 1993.  They continued to enjoy visiting Helen Okonski in Bremond after Ed’s death and also attended the Okonski Jamboree with their sons or daughters on several occasions.

Stanley & Christine Novak                                   Stanley & Christine Novak 50th

Stanley Christine Novak                                                        Stanley Christine Novak
  Ann Gleason                                                               Helen Okonski Bremond Tx

            The tenth child, Ann Novak, was born July 11, 1921.  Ann moved to Houston and married Robert Gleason and lived all their lives in  Houston,  Texas.  They raised 3 sons Bob, Billy and Joey who also frequently visited Ed and Helen Okonski in Bremond,  Texas for several days each year especially during the 1950’s and early 1960’s.  Bob was the photographer and several of the older pictures were taken by Bob. 

Bob & Ann Novak Gleason

Bobby & Billy Gleason    Gene & Dolores Okonski    1952

Bob, Ann, Bobby, Joey, & Billy Gleason

Gleason's   Grandchildren

Vickie & Helen Okonski                                   
Ann Gleason

                        Robert Gleason belonged to Knights of Columbus 2917 and loved to bowl in their league.  Robert passed away on 19xx and Ann passed away on 20xx.  Some of the more famous memories of the Michael Nowak and Sophie Nykiel Novak Family and children are as follows:

Michael & Sophie Nowak
Ten Nowak Children 1956
All Saints Catholic Church Houston, TX

Seven Nowak Sisters
Mary Josie Vickie Rose
Helen Connie Ann

           Michael and Sophie Nowak were members of All Saints Catholic Church in  Houston.  Michael Nowak, 93, died January 6, 1958.  Sophie Nowak 93 died Jan 15, 1970.

Michael died January 6, 1958                                Sophie Novak died Jan 15, 1970

Forest Park Cemetery                                                     Nowak/Bielamowicz monument   Bethany 55
6900 Lawndale    Houston, TX                                        six rows from road and one row to left

Michael Novak  Jan 6, 1958                          Sophie Novak  Jan 15, 1970