Monica Mary Harouse, 88, of Latrobe, passed away peacefully Thursday, April 30, 2020. She was born March 19, 1932 in Marguerite, a daughter of the late Stephen and Mary (Roman) Novotny. Her late aunt and uncles, Catherine, Andrew, and Joseph Novotny, were also essential in raising Monica and her siblings.
Monica attended St. Benedict Elementary School in Marguerite, and graduated from St. Xavier Academy in 1950. After all of her children graduated from college, she attended Seton Hill University and proudly graduated in 1988 with her niece, Maryanne Novotny Sowinski, in her graduating class. She always excelled academically-so much so that her brother, Stephen Novotny, unbeknownst to her, would sell her homework for a penny to his classmates. She was also proud of being the jacks and spelling bee champion in her younger years.
She was a member of St. Vincent Basilica Parish in Latrobe and in her younger years, a member of St. Benedict Roman Catholic Church in Marguerite, where she was honored to be May Queen in 1952. She belonged to the St. Benedict Rosary Altar Society and Sodality, and also enjoyed being a member of the “Cosmopolitan” ladies’ club chaired by her sister-in-law, Toni Novotny.
Monica was a “swimming mom” for many years. She travelled to practices and swim meets with her five children and any other kid that she could pack into her station wagon. They would venture off to swimming pools all over, and managed to get there, even before GPS. She ended up serving as a PIAA swimming and diving official for 25 years.
She always attended her grandchildren’s events and was very lovingly present in their lives. She assumed many volunteer positions over the years that her children and grandchildren swam and attended school, notably, serving as a lunch volunteer at Christ the Divine Teacher School when her grandchildren attended there.
Monica loved family reunions, parties, and travelling to Notre Dame games and New York City, especially with her grandchildren. She always had a camera in her hand to capture precious moments, even though she wasn’t the best photographer. Her family always loved going through her many photos. She was also known for being the best storyteller-if you could bear to hear the whole, long tale!
In addition to her parents, aunt and uncles, Monica was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Nicholas Harouse, in 2011, a daughter, Elaine Long, in 1999, and a brother, Francis Novotny, in 2015.
She is survived by four children: Karen Harouse-Bell (Carmen), Dr. Janet Harouse, David Harouse, Esq. (Suzy), and Terry Harouse (Ashley); ten grandchildren: Kreighton Long (Kat Habib), Klaudia Long, Andrew Bell (fiancé Kelsey Swintek), Alexa Bell, Paige, Sarah, Mara, and Michael Harouse, Nicholas Mossavar-Rahmani and Willow Harouse,; four siblings: Stephen Novotny, Elizabeth “Betty” George, Raymond Novotny (Toni), and Dorothy Erny; a sister-in-law Janet Novotny, and many amazing nieces and nephews.
Monica’s family would like to extend their heartfelt thanks to her many caregivers, especially: Amber, Amanda, Carolyn, Nancy, Diane, Chris, Connie, Jen, and Marlena.
As her husband, Nick, would often tell her, “C’mon, Mon, the bus is leaving.” Well, Nick can finally stop waiting for her; she’s finally ready to board the bus with him.
Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, private services and interment will be held for the family. After restrictions are lifted, a memorial mass will be scheduled for a later date. The Hartman-Graziano Funeral Home, Inc. in Latrobe has been entrusted with the arrangements.