Alpheus Ray “Al” Gaff, 86, Columbia City, died at 7:45 p.m. Thursday, May 7, 2020, at his home.
He was born May 8, 1933 in Collins, a son of the late James Wilbert and Hazel (Raypole) Gaff. His formative years were spent in Noble County. He attended Merriam Grade School and graduated from Wolf Lake High School in 1951.
On Sept. 5, 1951, he married Nora Alice Murphy. They made their home in Churubusco for a few years and Tri-Lakes for several years then moved to Columbia City in 1964. Alice died on Sept. 22, 2004.
He began his work career with Whitley Products later moving to JI Case, Churubusco. He then became a crane operator at Dana Corporation, Fort Wayne from 1961, until his retirement in 1991.
An avid sports fan, he followed Yankees baseball, the Chicago Bears football and IU Basketball. In his retirement years he was a regular with the morning coffee group at the local restaurants.
Alpheus is survived by his daughter: Debra L. Schnitz of Warsaw; sons: Dennis R. Gaff and Tommy E. (Karen) Gaff, Columbia City; four grandchildren: Cary Walls, Warsaw; Gunner Gaff, Columbia City; Derek Gaff, Columbia City; and Karah (Dennis) Howard, Fort Wayne; and two brothers: Stanley Gaff, Columbia City; and Norbert Gaff, Green Acres, FL.
Additionally, he was preceded in death by his brothers: Jimmy Gaff, Jesse Gaff, and Julian Gaff; sisters: Betty Egner, Mary Frances Gaff, Agnes Stanley, Geneuria Arnold, and Ruth Coy; and a grandson: Westley Walls.
A private family service will be held at Smith and Sons Funeral Home, Columbia City. Burial will take place at the Highland Park Cemetery, Fort Wayne.
Preferred memorials are to the Humane Society of Whitley County.