The Van Wert County Courthouse

Thursday, Jun. 13, 2024

Margaret Evelyn Gamble

Margaret Evelyn Gamble, 92, of Willshire, was called home to be with the Lord at 9:07 p.m. Wednesday, February 21, 2024, at Adams Woodcrest Memory Care in Decatur, Indiana.

Margaret was born in Putnam County on March 25, 1931, to John and Evelyn (Dangler) Craine, who both preceded her in death. Margaret was married to William (Bill) Gamble on June 9th, 1951, at the Dupont Church of the Brethren, Dupont, Ohio. Bill preceded her in death on March 29, 2014.

Margaret is survived by four of her children, Ray Gamble of Ohio City, Steve (Kathy) Gamble of Rockford, Dean (Angie) Gamble of Willshire, and Joy (John) Koch of Huntington, Indiana. She is also survived by daughter-in-law, Rickie (John) Gamble of Rockford; a sister, Frances Sroufe of Defiance; a brother, Robert (Sue) Craine of Brookville; sisters-in-law, Carolyn Craine of Xenia, and Alice Clark of Erie, Colorado, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Margaret Gamble

She was preceded in death by a son, John Neil Gamble; grandson, Trey Koch; brothers, Charles (Armenta) Craine, John Edward Craine, Glenn (Ginny) Craine; and brothers-in-law, Bill Sroufe and Jack Clark.

Margaret has seven grandchildren, Michael (Megan) Gamble, Trent (Betsey) Gamble, Troy (Brittany) Gamble, Amanda (Seth) Kohnen, Ashley (Jordan) Thompson, Kayla (Aaron) Wolf, and Karmen (fiancé Wade Walder) Koch. Margaret also has 15 great-grandchildren, Mason, Gavin and Braelyn Lawyer, Adelynn Gamble, Colton, Jace, Ty, & Crew Gamble, Leighton, Lincoln and Lillian Gamble, Micah and Maylee Kohnen, and Rory and Lo Margo Thompson. Her 16th great-grandchild is expected to arrive in early March.

Margaret was a 1949 graduate of Continental High School. Margaret and her husband, Bill, were very involved with the Old Fashion Farmer’s Association and the Oliver Gang for many years. Margaret could often be found working at the Oliver Gang booth selling merchandise and promoting Oliver memorabilia. Margaret served in a variety of supportive roles in the Oliver Gang, particularly assisting in organizing bus trips including having the bus stop at the “Little Brown Church In The Vale” near Waterloo, Iowa, about which a hymn of the same name was written. Margaret was an active member of the Zion United Brethren Church on Winkler Road in Willshire, and later, she and Bill attended Willshire United Brethren Church in Willshire. More recently, she and Bill attended Pleasant Mills Baptist Church in Pleasant Mills, Indiana, and just prior to her move to Woodcrest she attended Willshire Union United Methodist Church in Decatur, Indiana.

Margaret loved to tend to her flowers at her home and was best known for her great love of hymns, patriotic songs and music. She loved playing hymns on the piano, directing the children’s choir, and helping with Vacation Bible School. She started a ukulele band, with the help of Larry Merriman, which entertained many. With Bill and others, they built a float called the Good Ship Zion, on which the Zion Chimes Choir participated in many parades. Margaret was so proud of directing the children’s choir, including a tribute service to Stuart Hamblen, best known for his song, “It is No Secret (What God Can Do)” and taking the children’s choir to perform at the United Brethren National Conference. Margaret played the piano for services at the Pleasant Mill Baptist Church in Pleasant Mills, Indiana, until the age of 90. She also enjoyed playing hymns at Adams Woodcrest, where she resided from November, 2022 until her passing.

Margaret wore many hats in her lifetime. In her younger years she served as an employee of Lima Locomotive in Lima, Western Auto in Van Wert, City Loan & Savings in Van Wert, and she worked as a seasonal employee at Sharp’s Tomato Canning factory in Rockford. Many also knew her as a Willshire area Avon lady representative. Her most cherished roles were that of farmer’s wife and homemaker to her beloved family.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, March 2, at Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home & Crematory, Van Wert, with Pastor Wayne Gullion, officiating. Burial will immediately follow in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, Van Wert. Visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. Friday, March 1, at the funeral home and one hour prior to services on Saturday at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, preferred memorials: The Oliver Gang, Adams Woodcrest (Memory Care Household), Willshire Union United Methodist Church or Stillwater Hospice in care of the Alspach-Gearhart Funeral Home.

Online condolences may be expressed at

POSTED: 02/25/24 at 9:16 am. FILED UNDER: Obituaries