Naomi Gaff, 95, of Churubusco, passed away November 14, 2020, at her home surrounded by family. She had been in rehabilitation at Miller's, in Columbia City, for several months after a hip fracture. With Covid-19 restrictions, it was devastating for her being alone there. After a sudden health decline, she was brought home to spend her remaining days in the care of those she loved. The shy little girl, with a twinkle in her eyes and an ornery grin, never seemed to age. Naomi's now, "The most beautiful Angel in all of Heaven" as one great-niece commented.\nBorn in Churubusco, on December 7, 1924, to the late Marion and Estella (Green) Nelson, she spent her formative years there. Sadly, her beloved father passed away when she was just eleven. A few years later, her mother married Milton Gilliom. On Naomi's 17th birthday, Pearl Harbor was bombed making it bittersweet to celebrate in coming years.\nNaomi graduated from Churubusco High School in 1942, where she excelled. Upon graduation, she did clerical work for local attorneys, Perry Ort and Lowell Pefley. Later, she moved to Albion where she travelled as a court stenographer for the judicial circuit court, which included Noble and Whitley counties. There, she worked for Judge Bodenhofer and Attorney/Judge Pefley. Naomi eventually put aside her career to raise a family. When her children were older, she worked at the Churubusco school cafeteria, which was housed in an old Army barrack.\nNaomi married Wilbur Gaff in Columbia City on July 3, 1943. She'd caught his eye while in high school where he sat behind her in study hall and teased her incessantly. He preceded her in death on April 11, 2008. On what would have been their 65th Anniversary, a dove appeared outside their house and stayed around for months. Charlie, as she named him, had to have been Heaven sent for comfort.\nNaomi had the glamorous old Hollywood beauty but her passion was to cook, clean and take care of her husband and growing family of five beautiful girls and handsome young son in their big, brick, 2-story home on Mill Street. There, she graced her yard in her house dress while hanging clothes on the line after countless loads of laundry on the old wringer washing machine.\nThe Gaff home, with its large yard and field behind, was purchased for only $4,300. It quickly became the local hangout for not just their children and extended family but many of their friends and neighbors. There were always kids running around playing games of Grey Woolly, hide-and-seek, baseball and basketball. The kitchen is where so many gathered to chat, play cards, eat and enjoy dessert. There wasn't a pie that Naomi didn't like and her face would light up at the mere mention of the word. Every get-together or outing had to involve the luscious treat and coffee of course. Ice cream was a close second favorite for the Gaffs. They always had an abundance of love, laughter and great food to go around. Their place was the home away from home for so many whom to this day, are grateful for those special times.\nOver the years, Wilbur and Naomi spent countless hours court side/field side watching their son's ball games. A flight to New York, to watch him pitch for the Mets, was the highlight of a lifetime for the proud parents. While Wilbur enjoyed fishing and watching ball games, any free time Naomi had was spent on all day shopping adventures with family. With all those girls, there were so many dances, proms and weddings to shop for. Plus, who didn't need a pretty dish or 10 for their house! At times, there would be four generations canvasing Columbia City or Fort Wayne for all the best deals. A short stop to the Kmart Cafe or Charkey's was her favorite way to end a day of bargain hunting.\nIn 2007, Wilbur had the house of Naomi's dreams built in Thresher's Ridge. To say she loved the color RED is an understatement. Naomi wore red a lot and decorated her home in red everything from dishes and knick-knacks down to the shag carpeting! You could never have enough sheets, towels and shower curtains either. It created the most warm, inviting atmosphere for all. Birdwatching was a favorite pastime and her big picture window was perfect for that!\nNaomi loved to reminisce about the past. There were fond memories of exciting times in downtown Busco on Thursday and Saturday nights when crowds gathered on the sidewalks. Concert bands also played as people mingled. Naomi had married into one of the largest extended families in Churubusco. They were also among the first to settle there. Each year, she'd attend their annual gatherings with the 110th Gaff Family Reunion being her last. She always enjoyed catching up with everyone over a potluck lunch and best of all, a wide assortment of cakes, pies and other desserts!\nAs a hard-working woman, Naomi passed along her work ethic to generations of family. She was never afraid to speak her mind either. Indeed, a woman's job is never done and if you want it done right, you'd better do it yourself. Naomi had a great sense of humor and was a joy to be around. If she started giggling, the whole room would break out in laughter too. That laugh was so infectious and will be a treasured memory!\nShe was a member of the Churubusco Church of the Nazarene. It was important that her children and grandchildren were raised in the church. They were often accompanied by her mother, Estella.\nNaomi is survived by five daughters, Marsha Hoffman, Marna (Jerry) Hinen, Annabeth (Joe) Skinner, Bonnie (Mike) Lambert, and Debra D. Gaff; a son, Brent (Shelly) Gaff; 17 grandchildren; 48 great-grandchildren; and 8 great-great-grandchildren.\nIn addition to her parents and spouse, she was preceded in death by a half-brother, Robert Workman and half-sister, Virginia Wickham; step-brother, Max Gilliom and step-sister Margie (Gilliom) Henry; son-in-law, Robert Hoffman; and great-granddaughter, Deziree. Naomi also loved her many dogs and pet birds too who we're sure were there to greet her as she arrived in Heaven!\nHaving lived a blessed life just shy of 96 years old, Naomi joins her mother who died a few months shy of 97 and her grandfather who died shortly before 98.\nAfter a small gathering of family members at the funeral home, a Graveside service was held at Eel River Cemetery on Monday, November 16, 2020. A Celebration of Life gathering will be held at a later date for family and friends.\nA special thanks to Heart to Heart Hospice for the love and compassion shown to Naomi and family.\nIn lieu of flowers, please direct memorials to Whitley County Humane Shelter.\nOnline notes to the family can be submitted at www.sheetsandchilds.com.