Lives they lived: Naomi Moon crafted a beautiful life in Rochester
Nancy Meyer spent 30 years in her mother's hobby shop over at Miracle Mile.
So, she said, did a lot of other folks in Rochester who have fond memories of Naomi Moon, who owned Moon's Hobby and Craft Shop along with her husband — who ran the hobby side.
"In a business like this, you have to have happy customers, mom said," Meyer said, reflecting on her mother, who died last Thursday. "Who wouldn't be happy doing crafts and finding a passion in something new."
Jim Bernier, a model train enthusiast who spent time on the hobby side of Moon Hobby and Craft Shop, said he remembered the owners of the store that was a hobby and craft fixture in Rochester.
"I moved to Rochester in 1984, and visited the model train side of the store," he said. "Naomi and the girls were busy holding craft classes on the other side of the store."
Those classes, Meyer said, were a summer staple in Rochester for many moms. For $5, parents could drop off their kids in either the morning or afternoon for a 90-minute class then pick them up with a completed craft project.
"We would have moms we knew so well, they'd send a lunch with the child, stay for afternoon class," she said.
From her love of crafts, to hiring family to help run the shop, Moon always seemed to put her family first.
"She hired grandchildren and nieces and nephews and children of nieces and nephews," Meyer said. "Nobody left once they started."
Mainly that was because Moon was always sympathetic to a parent who needed time away for a sick child or a school play.
And she always came through with love, even if it meant raisins.
Meyer told two anecdotes about her mother that, she said, showed how her heart was in the right place.
"When I was a small infant, she started a table cloth for me done with a fine thread," she said, remembering her mother's love of crocheting. "She'd put it away as life got busier — Mom had four kids and she worked her whole life — but when I got married, there was that tablecloth."
Meyer still has it, a memory of a role model who loved her family and loved to give special gifts.
One "gift" that met with mixed appreciation, though, was her cookies.
"Mom was always sure no one was eating right," Meyer said. "When she baked, she'd throw in extra oatmeal and eggs." And cookies meant raisins, not chocolate chips. "We all laughed at how horrible her cookies were."
Like all good things, the hobby and craft shop came to an end. First, Robert sold off the hobby business when he had health problems. When he died in 1996, the craft store was still running strong. But even that closed, two days before Christmas in 2002. Rather than sell off the remaining stock, Meyer said her mother invited groups from the church — she was a longtime member at Zumbro Lutheran Church — the schools and other organizations to come take what they needed.
Through it all, Meyer said, her mother was famous for her never-ending smile.
"Even when we had her living at Cottagewood," she said, referring to the senior memory care facility. "She was the calming force for the other residents. Even her last days when she was sleeping more than conscious. She'd wake up and smile. She smiled to the end."