Floral 15

M. Carla Novak

July 6, 1940 ~ January 24, 2020 (age 79)


Maria Carla Novak, 79, of Bluffton, SC passed away on January 24, 2020 at Coastal Carolina Hospital with her family by her side.  Carla was born on July 6, 1940 in Rome, Italy to the late Guglielmo and Trieste Pangrazi Herrmann.  She is predeceased by her husband John Raymond Novak and her brother Maurizio Herrmann.

Carla was educated at St Elizabetta, Boccioni and the English Institute, all in Rome. She met her husband John when he was stationed with the Marines at the US Embassy in Rome. They married in 1958 at the Vatican in St Peter’s Basilica. They settled in Perth Amboy, NJ where she had her two children, Michele in 1960 and Kenneth in 1964.  They also lived in Navesink, Long Branch and Tinton Falls, NJ before retiring to Bluffton in 2005.

She worked for Gucci and Saks Fifth Ave in New York City before becoming a part owner of Marlboro Country Antiques. She also owned Carla’s Italian Leather in Rumson, NJ.  She later developed her artistic talents, filling her home with her beautiful paintings, photographs and mixed media pieces.  Her creative signature could be found in her cooking, her flair for decorating and the breathtaking gardens she brought to life. 

Carla is survived by her daughter Michele Lively and her husband James of Lipan, TX, her son Kenneth and his wife Patricia of Hilton Head, SC; her grandchildren Robert Ciambrano and his partner Ashley Murphy of Philadelphia, PA, Max Ciambrano of Lipan, TX, Garrett Novak of Baltimore, MD and Lydia Novak of Hilton Head, SC; and her great-granddaughter Magnolia Mae Ciambrano.  Also surviving are many cousins, nieces and nephews in Italy and her extended family in Hilton Head, SC.  She also leaves behind many friends at The Palmettos and her beloved Jersey Dolls! The family wishes to thank her caregivers at The Palmettos as well as Compassus Hospice for caring for and honoring her.

A celebration of Carla’s life will be held at 11:30am, Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Sauls Funeral Home, 90 Simmonsville Rd, Bluffton, SC 29910.  Interment will be private.

To send flowers to M. Carla Novak's family, please visit our floral store.

Funeral Service

Prayer Service

Committal Service


Celebration of Life
February 8, 2020

11:30 AM
Sauls Funeral Home of Bluffton
90 Simmonsville Road
Bluffton, SC 29910

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