Naomi Minnie Jensen Fillman was born February 22, 1927, in Lake City, Iowa, to Bernhard Henry Jensen and Edna Mae Norman Jensen. She was the 4th of 6 children. She and her siblings attended church school, and then the family moved to Nevada, Iowa, so they could attend Oak Park Academy. Naomi graduated in 1945 and then attended Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska for 2 years, majoring in elementary education. While at Union, she met the love of her life, and on August 17, 1947, she married Gerald Fillman in Nevada, Iowa. They were married for 70 years and had 4 children.
Naomi spent her adult life in ministry with her pastor husband in the Kansas, Iowa, Missouri, Texico, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky-Tennessee Conferences, teaching church school, working as a secretary at Southern Publishing Association and Madison Hospital. She especially enjoyed working with children in Sabbath School, Vacation Bible School, and Pathfinders (her specialty was teaching the Shell honor).
Naomi was an impeccable seamstress, played the piano, accordion, and hand bells, and she sang alto in the choir for many years. Her children were taught piano and also to sing parts from an early age, and the family sang special music often for church, camp meeting, and other special occasions. The family always had a large garden, and besides having delicious home- grown foods to eat all summer, she canned and froze much of the food to last all winter. Iowa Chief sweet corn was her favorite! She was also a great cook and famous for making delicious potato salad and large batches of whole wheat bread in round tins.
She passed away at home on January 16, 2023, after a brief illness. Naomi’s parents, all 5 siblings (Bernhard, twins Margaret & Marjorie, James, and Paul), and her beloved husband preceded her in death. Survivors include son Gary (Melissa) Fillman, daughters Rita (Jerry) Wagner, Debra (Gray) Coyner, Kathleen (James) Brummett, 10 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews. Private interment will be Friday in the Bordeaux SDA Church Cemetery, Nashville, TN. A memorial service will be held Saturday, January 28, at 2:30 pm at the Madison Campus SDA Church, Madison, TN, where she was a longtime member.