Weekly Feature

2006-07-12 / Obituaries

Robert Naughten Gamble, had 12 children

Gamble Gamble Mr. Robert Naughten Gamble, 81, died Thursday, July 6, 2006, in the presence of several of his children in Williamsville. He was recovering from recent surgery and was visiting his newborn granddaughter who was born on Monday.

Born on October 31, 1924, Mr. Gamble was the second youngest of seven children. After high school, he earned an engineering degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute while in the ROTC program with the US Navy. He later served on the USS Columbia as an officer during World War II.

Mr. Gamble met his wife, Mary McBride, at a USO dance. They married and had 12 children. There was "never a dull moment" and it was "Cheaper by the Dozen," Mr. Gamble would always say. They celebrated their 50th anniversary in 1997. Mary died in 1999.

During the 1950's, Mr. Gamble and his father formed a partnership called Gamble and Gamble on Audubon Drive in Snyder, selling tool and die sets. He later worked at Curtiss Wright, Westinghouse and Howmet Turbine Components and Precision Castparts.

His family said Mr. Gamble prided himself on always asking provocative and inquisitive questions to help better educate others and setting goals for higher expectations of himself or of anyone who he met. His military background would sometimes overlap into his civilian life and his command for action in any situation would often take many off guard, they said. His family also said he was never dull and his humor was a constant, was an individual activist on missions to keep the streets safe and clean, worked for the Board of Elections and donated blood throughout his life as well as volunteered for medical experiments to assist in others having better lives.

Mr. Gamble is survived by eight daughters, Mary Kay Otterson, Rosemary Sirdevan, Patricia Rizzitello, Anne Sanders, Elizabeth Bielecki, Margaret Curto, Maureen Dahms and Kathleen Hawthorne; four sons, Robert J., John, James and Thomas; 24 grandchildren, nine great grandchildren and two great grandchildren who are soon to be born.

Mr. Gamble donated his body to the University of Buffalo for teaching and research purposes.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.

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