Albert Eugene “Jack” Naff died on Feb. 13, 2013, in Salem, Ore., from complications due to Parkinson’s disease. He was born on May 17, 1926, to Walter Ray and Mary Naff in Wapato, Wash.
Upon graduating from high school in Zillah, Wash., he served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1943-46.
Jack worked as a nightclub entertainer and a radio announcer before attending Northwest Christian College (University) in Eugene, Ore., which made him more receptive to his later call into Christian ministry.
He married the first and (he thought) only love of his life, Ardie Reif, on Aug. 21, 1949, and had three children. After her untimely death in 1987, he married his second great love and life-long friend, Loraine Cecil.
In 1957 he was ordained by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) at Powell Butte Christian Church and was called to serve his first pastorate in Madras (1957-64). He subsequently served Disciple congregations in Hermiston (1964-81) and Hood River (1981-89).
Upon retirement he served two interim pastorates in La Grande and Dufur. During his ministry he served for 12 years on the board of the Christian Church in Oregon (moderator from 1973-76); was president of the Oregon Christian Convention in 1977; and served two six-year terms on the Board of Northwest Christian College (as board president from 1981-83).
Jack was also very involved in ecumenical and civic service. He was active in and at one time or another president of three different ministerial associations; he served as Mayor of Madras from 1962-64 and, as president of the Mountain View Hospital Foundation during that same period; was instrumental in bringing the first hospital to the town. He was a life-long member of Kiwanis International, serving as lieutenant governor of Division 80 in 1978.
Not only was he known throughout the Pacific Northwest for his preaching and community service, Jack was much in demand as a vocal soloist, recording three albums of gospel music.
He had several articles published in The Disciple, Christian Standard, and was a frequent contributor to the devotional magazine The Secret Place. In 1984 he received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Northwest Christian College.
Jack was a loving husband and great father, and beyond that, he was friend and mentor to many young people, well over 20 of who were called into ministry by his example. He loved traveling, reading, woodworking and musical theater.
Jack was preceded in death by his first wife, Ardie; one grandson, Michael Crewse Naff; and a foster brother, Dave Welch.
He is survived by his second wife, Loraine; his two sons, Ray (Jo Ann) Naff, of Salem, Ore., Ron (Kay) Naff, of Longview, Wash., and daughter Nonda (Don) Gibbard, of Walla Walla, Wash.; two stepsons, Andrew Cecil, of Roswell, N.M., and Matthew Cecil, of Eugene, Ore.; eight grandchildren and four great-grandchildren; a brother, Walter (Jayne) Naff, of Fort Worth, Texas; and several nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at the Hood River Valley Christian Church, 975 Indian Creek Road, in Hood River, Ore., on March 1 at 1 p.m., with reception to follow, preceded by a private inurnment.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Northwest Christian University or Odyssey Hospice, in care of Dallas Mortuary Tribute Center, who is caring for the family. Online condolences may be left at www.dallastribute.com.
Condolences are being received online.
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