Mary Lou Novara, age 84, of Oregon, passed away peacefully on Thursday, Aug. 20,

2020, surrounded by her family. She was born on May 15, 1936, in Madison, the daughter of Joseph and Mary Kerwin.

Mary Lou graduated from Madison West High School. She married Ernest Novara on Aug. 13, 1955, in Madison. Together they enjoyed many cruises with family and friends.

Mary Lou was a wonderful homemaker and worked at several local businesses. The many friends she met throughout her life could always find a seat at her table. She enjoyed baking and cooking for everyone. Mary Lou never met a child or an animal she didn’t love and she truly cherished her dog Sweet Pea.

However, the greatest joy was her grandchildren. They have fond memories of days spent in the backyard pool, where “The Cottage” sign always hung on the

back porch.

Mary Lou is survived by her four daughters, Sarita and Larry Neath, Jo Jean Novara, Darcy Novara, and Julie Hagen and Michael Mahnke; honorary daughter, Jane Cords; and grandchildren, Tyler Halloran, Bret Hagen, Amanda Halloran, Kayla and Riley Miller. She is further survived by Yvonne and Norm Moen, Tom and Aleene Kerwin, Bob Kerwin, Bill Kerwin, Mike Kerwin, Kay McPhail, John Kerwin; Dino and Gen Novara; and many nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Ernie; her parents, Mary and Joseph; brother, Jim; and sister, Joanne Leonard.

A private family service will be held at Holy Mother of Consolation Catholic Church with Father Gary Wankerl presiding. A public visitation will be held at Holy Mother of Consolation Catholic Church, 651 N. Main St., Oregon, from noon until 3 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, 2020, downstairs in the Consolation Room. Online condolences may be made at

Gunderson Oregon

Funeral & Cremation Care

1150 Park Street

(608) 835-3515