Anthony "Tony" Novotny

Born on March 25, 1947

Departed on January 13, 2018 and resided in Nashville, TN

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Anthony “Tony” Novotny, 70, passed away peacefully at home on January 13, 2018, after a courageous battle with lymphoma. Tony was born in Prague, Czech Republic on March 25, 1947. He is preceded in death by his father Antonin Novotny and second wife Mary Forgette Novotny. Survived by wife Patricia, sons Adrien (Paola), Petr (Hana) and their mother Anina Novotny, his mother Libuse, sister Alena Vanek, grandchildren Zac, Kayla, Martin, Anika, Nataly, and Sophia, stepchildren Jeanne Forsythe (Jay), Laura Crist (David), Lynda Marvel (Russell), Melissa Forgette, Clayton Cramb (Stephanie), and David Cramb (Mary Jo), and all of their children.
His career began in Prague where he completed a 3-year Tool & Die Apprenticeship for Microtechna Co. In 1968, when Soviet forces occupied Czechoslovakia, he escaped and immigrated to Canada. He lived in Toronto where he achieved an Associate of Applied Science specializing in Planning and Engineering and also began his career as a Tool & Die Maker Foreman, Supervisor & Plant Manager for Export Tool & Welding, Ltd. In 1989, Tony moved to Chicago and co-founded Bantec Automation, Inc., a company that produced robotics for the auto industry. In 2002, he moved to Murfreesboro, TN where he founded Novotny Custom Homes spending the next 12 years building beautiful homes in Middle Tennessee.
Tony’s many friends and family members enjoyed his cooking, his sense of humor, and his stories about his many varied life experiences. He amused them by translating Czech and Southern idioms, explaining and playing with the languages in his accented speech. He loved traveling, sailing, skiing, snorkeling, the beach, ice cream, collectible and fast cars, the Chicago Cubs, watching sports and playing European handball. He also adored animals, especially his beloved Charlie, Cezee, and Lily. Tony took great pride in everything he did. He was a jack-of-all-trades and often did the dirty work himself. He applied his remarkable work ethic not only to his business success, but also to help others. Rarely idle, he frequently and generously offered his many skills to help friends and family.
Following a private family service, friends will gather for a time of remembrance and sharing at the West Harpeth Funeral Home on Friday, January 19, 2018 from 5-7 p.m. In honor of Tony’s preference for casual attire, attendees may feel free to dress comfortably. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Nashville Humane Association or other animal charity of your choice.

9 Comments to Mr. Anthony "Tony" Novotny

  1. Jeanne Forsythe
    January 18, 2018 9:57 am

    I had no idea the amount of joy Tony would bring in to the family when my mother, Mary, first introduced him to us.
    There are so many people walking around this planet hurting others, focusing on the negative, abusing others and animals, it was refreshing to welcome a good man into our family.
    “You can tell a lot about a man by how he treats his dog.” Well, I don’t need to say anymore. His choppy accent became smooth and soft whenever talking to one of his fur babies.
    Tony had a real zest for life. He adored nature, skiing, sailing, the beach, the mountains and travel along with a gourmet meal or awesome cocktail.
    And he was fun. He had an infectious laugh that made anyone who knew him try their damnedest to get him to lose all control. We shared so many belly laughs and so many good times.
    Tony believed in following your dreams, taking time out to enjoy life, making big plans and following through.
    He also knew you can’t change what you can’t change. When my mom died, he grieved and moved on. I’m so happy he did. To me the greatest tragedy in life is dying while you are alive.
    Tony lived right up until cancer made the choice for him. But nothing can snuff out our memories of boogie boarding in the ocean with him, enjoying his wonderful meals, seeing him wipe away tears watching the video I made of grandma, totally losing it watching Robin Williams stand up routine, playing a hilarious game of dirty Santa, or backyard football with his sons.
    What an amazing man. What an amazing life. Those of us grieving, especially Patty, please know that he is always with you. The spirit doesn’t die.
    Jeanne Forgette-Forsythe

  2. Lee Strain
    January 18, 2018 6:28 pm

    I am so glad that I got to know Tony working at Lowe’s. His sense of humor was dry and witty and some make take it as he was a grumpy gus. He knew how to laugh and to make others laugh. He is a good dude and will be missed by his Lowe’s family. Your fight is over Tony, you won and are now at peace. God Speed my friend.

    • Patricia W. Novotny
      January 25, 2018 2:41 pm

      Dear Lee,

      Your kind words are such a comfort to me. Tony believed in doing every job right and helping customers with their plans and dreams in renovating old homes or building new ones. I know he’s at peace smiling down on those who understood his values and humor like you did. Thank you from me, his wife, for your kind words.

  3. Jean Sanderson Robinson
    January 19, 2018 12:05 pm


    I am so sorry that you have lost the love of your life. My heart aches for you. We are praying for you and will continue to pray for you.

  4. Peggy Bower Bulman
    January 31, 2018 3:19 pm


    I’m so very sorry for your loss–it sounds like Tony was a great guy. It would have been fun to meet him. I remember the picture you sent to the OLOL group when you were about to be married and both of you looked so happy. I’m sure that 12 years were not nearly enough.

    I’m sending all of my love, thoughts and prayers to you and to his (your) family. God bless.

  5. Kathleen Madigan Meehan
    February 1, 2018 7:46 am

    We were so very sad to hear of the passing of your husband; From the tributes, he sounded like the best, and
    this makes your loss all the more difficult. Know of our love and prayers.
    Kathleen Madigan Meehan

  6. Hana Vondras
    January 7, 2020 9:30 pm

    Dear Patricia
    I have never met you , but I am sending my deepest condolences on passing of your husband and my childhood friend Tony ( Tonda , we called him in Czech).
    It was by sheer coincidence that I was looking on internet , reminiscing about the old times and decided to type Tony’s name hopping to find Facebook or something. I tried many times before over the years, but nothing ever showed up.
    I was shocked to find “ In Memoriam” page. I had to look at it twice in absolute disbelieve. Tony and I were childhood friends since the grade one. On the video is a picture from grade one and I am the “ chubster “ 2nd from the left sitting on the bench.
    Tony and Anina were in our group of 6 + baby, that left Czechoslovakia. We actually waited for them in Vienna for one week and then one week later, after living all 7 of us in one hotel room , we were on the way to Canada. Somehow we went out all over and unfortunately never saw each other again. I tried to find everyone but no success.
    As heartbreaking as the news is about Tony’s passing , I was glad to read and see the video that Tony had very successful , colourful and exiting life, even though it was not without heart breaks . He was loved by many , enjoying family, grandchildren , hist pets and his hobbies . He was lucky man to have such a big and loving family.
    Please extend my late condolences to his sons. I met Adrian when he was just a little baby.
    Hana Vondras

    • Patricia (Patty) Novotny
      January 28, 2020 4:05 pm

      I just saw this by chance today so please forgive me for not replying until now! I’m stunned and want to talk more. It’s so so hard without my wonderful, unique, funny, living Tonda. I was the only person in the US who used that adorable name for him. Please, please send me your email, phone number, address. There’s a big hole in my heart with him gone. Thank you so much for writing!

      I look forward to hearing.from you. Here’s me email and cell phone:


  7. Toya Elaine
    April 9, 2020 8:51 pm

    It is April 2020, and I am just finding out that Mr. Novotny passed.
    I am so heartbroken.
    He built my home.
    I’ve been emailing him and wondering why he’s not responded.
    My Lord, two years have passed.
    I love my home.
    I love his attention to detail.
    He used to tell me, I’m retiring when I finish your house.
    I bless the family for sharing with Mr. Novotny with all of us who live in homes he built.

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