Naomi Ruth Gappa, age 85, passed away peacefully in her sleep on January 3, 2021, after a courageous battle with Alzheimer’s and Dementia. Naomi touched hearts around her through her care and compassion, radiating joy wherever she went.
Naomi Ruth Hann was born on April 13, 1935, on a family farm in Udall, Kansas, where she spent her childhood working on the dairy farm. She rose early each day to milk the cows and then returned home from school to fulfill the task again. Naomi was instrumental in helping her family dairy go from Grade C to Grade A. Participating in 4-H was a passion, and in the process, she learned to cook so well that she achieved 49 blue ribbons for her assorted dishes before graduating from the program.
Naomi was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Robert Gregory Gappa. During their early years of marriage, she worked as a bookkeeper for Carnation Milk and 7-Eleven, as well as a book proof-reader for a publishing company. In the
mid-1960s, Naomi and Robert purchased Robinson Street Greenhouse & Floral in Colorado Springs, CO from Robert’s mother. They operated the business for approximately fifteen years before selling. A few years later, they relocated to El Reno, OK.
During the 26 years she resided in Oklahoma, Naomi found many ways to bloom where she was planted. She was always busy volunteering at church as well as going on mission trips to Mexico. She taught Sunday School, worked as a church secretary, organized potlucks and church functions, and cleaned up after everyone else was gone. When Naomi wasn’t volunteering or working in her garden, she was sewing, quilting, knitting, or crocheting. She spent her time making gifts for others.
Naomi’s smile was contagious and remembered by all who knew her. Daily, she could be found outside cultivating her wonderful gardens only to later return inside to make delightful treats for her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Most importantly, each day Naomi could be found in her prayer closet lifting her family and the many needs she knew about up to her Heavenly Father. She loved her time with her Lord. Daily, she could be found reading and memorizing scripture and then singing her favorite hymns.
After her husband died in 2010, Naomi relocated to Georgia to live with her sister and be close to her daughter Roxanna and family. While living with her sister, Naomi attended a church where she learned how to crochet the edges of fleece to make baby blankets for those in need. She went on to crochet the edges of more than 100 baby blankets in the years that followed, and prior to the time dementia robbed her of her mental abilities necessary to complete the task.
For her 80th birthday, all of Naomi’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren gathered in Branson, Missouri for a surprise celebration. The joy-filled expression on Naomi’s face demonstrated how blessed she felt.
By November of 2015, Naomi was beginning to require some extra care, so she moved in with Roxanna and her family. During those three-and-a-half years, Naomi looked for every way possible to help around the house. She not only loved being busy crocheting the edges of blankets for gifts, Naomi loved reading, working puzzles, and playing games as well. Her first summer living with Roxanna and family, she had an extensive deck garden, which she tended with care and provided countless vegetables for the family table. By her second summer, she attempted to garden but it was evident that Alzheimer’s was compromising her mental abilities.
Naomi is survived by her four children Velma, Gregory, Roxanna (Scott), and Vincent (Kathleen), as well as her ten grandchildren: Nathan, Christine, Tim, Heather, Nicole, Michael, Julia, Allison, Amanda, and Aaron and six great-grandchildren: Paisley, Lynnix, Mavryck, Jonathan, David, and Madeleine.
A virtual memorial service is scheduled for January 31, 2021, to begin at 4:00 pm EST. Please contact Roxanna at firstname.lastname@example.org for the Zoom invitation if you would like to attend or if you know of someone who would like to attend.