Grosse Pointe Woods Mayor Robert Novitke dies at 74

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Robert Novitke, Grosse Pointe Woods' mayor of more than 30 years, has died, city officials announced this week. He was 74.

Novitke, who died Sunday, lived in the Wayne County community for more than 40 years, city representatives said in a statement. 

He had been mayor since November 1990.

Grosse Pointe Woods Mayor Robert Novitke.

"Throughout his tenure, Mayor Novitke was keenly focused on the development of 'community' —  making Grosse Pointe Woods the kind of home town where all families and individuals could enjoy a fulfilling life with dependable city services, special events that appeal to and attract all age groups, outstanding city parks and recreation programs, well-maintained neighborhoods, and a vibrant business district," city officials said.

Novitke was last elected to a four-year term in November 2017.

As mayor, he chaired the community events committee, pension board and retiree health care trust fund, according to the city website.

When facing reelection in 2005, he told The Detroit News his proudest achievements included boosting infrastructure, improving municipal parks and embracing new technology.

Last fall, officials celebrated renaming the city hall municipal complex after him, C&G Newspapers reported.

Before Novitke was elected, he served 13 years on the City Council, including seven as mayor pro-tem, city officials said.

Born in 1946, he was in the U.S. Marine Corps and served in Vietnam, officials said.

Novitke graduated from Wayne State University and earned a juris doctorate

from Detroit College of Law. He started practicing law in 1975.

Survivors include his wife, Marsha; five children; and three grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 2-6 p.m. Saturday, March 20 at A.H. Peters Funeral Home, 20705 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. Paul Evangelical Church of Grosse Pointe Farms or the American Lung Association.