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Naomi 'Ileen' Woodard Gressett

October 11, 1925 January 11, 2014
Naomi 'Ileen' Woodard Gressett
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Obituary for Naomi 'Ileen' Woodard Gressett

Naomi “Ileen” Woodard was born on October 11, 1925, in the small town of Murphysboro, Illinois. She died after a long illness in Vacaville on January 11, 2014. She grew up and graduated from high school in Jackson, Tennessee. The baby of the family, she had two brothers, Dean and Wally, whom she adored. Through a mutual friend, she began exchanging letters with a good-looking young sailor stationed at Pearl Harbor during World War II. When his service was up, his first stop stateside was to meet the young woman with long curly blonde hair he had fallen for from afar. A few months later, Ileen married Linzy Gressett. They made their home in Mobile, Alabama, and enjoyed many days on the white sandy beaches of the gulf. At an early age Ileen lost most of her hearing. While this had a great impact on her life, she rarely complained and accepted her loss with grace and humor. She became an avid reader and read thousands of books during her lifetime – complicated “who-dun-its” her favorite genre. Ileen and Linzy could not have children of their own so they chose to adopt. During the process they were told older children were often very difficult to find homes for so when they were introduced to a 4-year-old girl, they immediately fell in love with her, and she them. The three shared a very close and unique relationship. After her husband’s sudden death in 2001, Ileen relocated to Vacaville to be close to her family. She loved living in downtown Vacaville where she wiled away her days working in her yard, or — as she called it — “diddling and piddling,” keeping a watchful eye on her neighborhood, reading books, The Reporter and watching “Judge Judy.” Sadly, dementia eventually robbed her of her independence and she reluctantly moved to Vacaville Convalescent and Rehabilitation Center (VCRC). However, soon VCRC became her home and the staff her extended family. She was well loved and cared for with great compassion and respect. She was preceded in death by her parents, Louis Thaddeus and Stella (McGee) Woodard, her brothers and her husband, Linzy Howard Gressett. She is survived by her daughter, Lisa Gressett Rico and Lisa’s husband Richard; granddaughter Jennifer Hatin Hamilton, two great-granddaughters, Linzy and Presley Hamilton, all of Vacaville; two sister-in-laws Ruth Gressett and Janet Gressett Rogers as well as numerous nieces and nephews. Graveside services will be at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, 5810 Midway Road, Dixon, on January 21, 2014, at 11a.m. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a charitable donation to NorthBay Hospice (www.northbayfoundation.org)

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a charitable donation to NorthBay Hospice (www.northbayfoundation.org)

Service:
Graveside services will be at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery, January 21, 2014, at 11a.m.

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