David and Frances Novom

David Novom (a.k.a. David Novomsky, a.k.a. Danny Nolan) was born on 28 Aug 1908 in Baltimore, Maryland. He died on 24 Dec 1968 in Oceanside, Nassau, New York, USA. He married Frances Sidelsky, daughter of Morris Sidelsky and Zina Gordon on 17 August 1945. She was born on 15 July 1925 in Brooklyn, New York. She died on 14 May 1999 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

David Novom was born to immigrant parents from Russia who spoke Yiddish in their Baltimore and New York homes and continued many of their Jewish traditions.  It was a time of transition, though, and David anglicized his name from Novomsky to Novom, and sometimes used the alias Danny Nolan according to his daughter Vicki: “According to what my mother told me and confirmed by Aunt Lil (Henry’s wife), [David] was also known as Danny Nolan in his younger days to combat the wave of anti-semitism but also perhaps to assume a pseudonym when playing the ponies or other such things.”  He was a colorful character.

David graduated as salutatorian from New York University’s bachelors program in mathematics.  At NYU, he pitched for the baseball team, and was recruited by the St. Louis Browns.  After NYU, he was accepted to the University of Berlin’s medical school as the Nazis were emerging there – and perhaps for that reason he did not matriculate.  Later, we see him working as a taxi driver, and eventually he was swept up in World War II, and served as a pharmacist’s mate aboard the USS Boreas.  He enlisted on 18 March 1942 in New York.  The USS Boreas was a store ship that provisioned many of the major islands and bases in the Pacific including Samoa, Funafuti, Kwajalein, Eniwetok, Tulagi, Guadalcanal, Guam, Saipan, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Manus, Ulithi, Efate, Tarawa, Makin, Christmas Island, and Auckland, New Zealand. Boreas generally steamed alone, only occasionally rating a small escort, but the store ship never suffered damage and rarely saw an enemy.”

The USS Boreas at harbor.

The USS Boreas at harbor.

David and Frances’s granddaughter Vicki recounts of Frances that, “her parents were born in eastern Europe of the same Russian/Polish background. Zina and Morris Sidelsky. Orphaned at 12 years old ( maybe younger or older) and went on to live with
her Aunt Ida. She had a brother who was born the same day her father died. His name was Morris too. […] Frances Novom, although born in Brooklyn, NY only spoke Yiddish until the age of 5 when she entered kindergarten. Her parents did not speak English. Her kindergarten teacher would come to my mother’s home after school and tutor both my mother and my grandmother Zina in English. ”

As for the conditions of David and Frances’s marriage, Vicki Novom explains that, “my mother Frances dated a boy named Buddy Sack. Buddy was Al Sack’s younger brother.  Buddy told my mother about a woman who was renting out a room in her apartment while her son was overseas in the Navy. My mother had already left high school to work as a switchboard operator for the milliner to the Rockets in NYC. She met the woman and she moved into her home. That woman was Bessie and the son was Dave Novom. Though my parents’ relationship turned combustible in the years to follow , that initial spark was lit when Frances answered her land lady’s door in her baby doll pajamas to greet the returning sailor.”

David Novom and Frances Sidelsky had the following children:

1. Marc Jeffrey Novom was born in Brooklyn, New York. He married Carol Ann Michalski, daughter of Walter Michalski and Sophie Kozlowski in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. She was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

2. Vicki Novom was born in Brooklyn, New York.

David’s mother Bessie was a seamstress and this skill helped her earn money to support the household, and David would also join the garment industry.  According to David’s niece Carol (Novom) (Allen) Storey, “my father Henry started a dress business after I was born during the early 1940s. The original name of his dress company was ‘CAROL FRANCES’ … After the war, when my Uncle Dave left the Navy, my father had him join the business as the head of sales.  At that point (given the love of Horse racing shared by the brothers) … they renamed the business to BELMONT FASHIONS.”

Joe Novomsky WW2 svc record

A manifest listing David aboard the USS Boreas.

 

This family narrative was written and placed online by Narratio Vitae.

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