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Don Maris Gamble died peacefully in his sleep on September 2, 2011, at the age of 71 at his home in Moretown. He was born on August 27, 1940, in Scotts Bluff, Nebraska, the son of the late Donald M. and Darleen (Nelson) Gamble. He grew up in the Midwest and graduated from Red Oak High School, Red Oak, Iowa, in 1957. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Syracuse University in New York.
Don is survived by his wife Arlis Fuglie of Moretown, son Jim Gamble and his wife Allison of Rutland, daughter Amy Gamble and her partner Mary Spicer of Montpelier, son Todd Gamble and his wife Cathleen of Arlington, sister Joleen Douglas and her husband Tom of Spencer, IN, and grandsons Duncan, Peter, Brandon, Geoffrey and Gaston Gamble and their grandmother Laura Gamble of Montpelier.
“In the Air Force,” as he termed it, from 1959 to 1984, he began his career as a missile systems NCO and retired after having been promoted to full colonel. He chose to retire as a lt. colonel and pursue other interests rather than accepting his promotion to colonel. Don was stationed many places including San Antonio, the Pentagon, France, Germany, with his last assignment in Plattsburgh, NY. He chose Vermont out of all of the places he had been to “settle down.”
Among Don’s post Air Force professions, he felt most deeply about his time as a professor at Johnson State College, helping to shape the futures of young people and humbly offering his hard won wisdom and wit.
Arlis and Don met when they both worked at Department of Education and were a most special pairing, a career airman and an artist becoming an inseparable couple, sharing one another’s loves and being connected by their zest for life.
Don loved to travel, enjoying several cruises with the Milne/WDEV gang, counting his adventures through most states in the USA and many countries in Europe, Scandinavia and North, Central and South America. Storyteller extraordinaire; poet laureate of “Music To Go To The Dump By” (as Lew D’Array), Don will be remembered as the group’s bard, relied upon to capture their escapades in lyrical style, fashioning poems en route to commemorate the spirit of the adventure.
Don was dedicated to the American Legion for over 25 years, serving as Waterbury Post 59 commander and chaplin for several years and co-emcee for the Legion USO show for 10 years. He served in many offices and committees in the American Legion at the post and state level. Don enjoyed his tenure with the Legion as a unique way to continue his military affiliation while serving in the many ways the Legion touches the community.
Generous to a fault, always willing to lend a hand, provide a meal, a car, a bed, or an ear. If you needed something, he could get it, or knew someone who could. There will be many who fondly remember Don, as a friend, father, grandfather, mentor, or lively and kind acquaintance.
Funeral services will be held from the Waterbury American Legion on Thursday, September 8, 2011, at 11 a.m. with a reception to follow. Don will be laid to rest in the Vermont Veteran’s Memorial Cemetery in Randolph, Vermont.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you remember Don through donation to the Waterbury American Legion, 16 Stowe Street, Waterbury, VT 05676, the Waterbury Ambulance Service, P.O. Box 95, Waterbury Center, VT 05677, or the Central Vermont Humane Society, P.O. Box 687, Montpelier, VT 05601, or the charity of your choice, in the spirit of his giving nature.
To send online condolences please visit www.perkinsparker.com and Facebook. Assisting the family is the Perkins-Parker Funeral Home in Waterbury.