Reflections of a Life Well-Lived
While he was first and foremost, “Daddy” and “PawPaw,” most knew him as “Mickey.” He earned that name because his short stature resembled actor Mickey Rooney. But to others, he was known as “Dunk,” “Squarehead,” “Can Opener,” “Block” and “Camp Car Cook.” But to many, many others whether by blood or by heart, he was simply “Uncle Mickey.”
To tell you his story, we will have to go back 94 glorious years: Grant C. Gamble, Sr. was born to Annie Burney Gamble and John Gamble on June 25, 1925 in Monroe County, MS. Though he didn’t have any brothers, he found one in his cousin Lavel (Buddy) Burney, Sr., who preceded him in death. He missed him every day and talked of him often.
At the age of 18 he was drafted, but was turned down because he only weighed 108 lbs. He was able to join in 1945 at the weight of 120. He was a World War II Veteran and was stationed in Honolulu, HI.
In 1947, he met Josephine Arnold (Phina) and they were married on May 23, 1948. Together they had five loving children. He shared a very special bond with his son-in-law, James (Shew) Shewmake who visited him every day.
Mickey worked as a cook for the C&O Railroad for 35 years, retiring in 1985. The job required him to work out of town most weeks, only returning home on the weekends. He was always proud to say that four generations of Gamble men worked for the Railroad. Having a stay at-home wife and five children required him to be quite an entrepreneur and he had plenty of “side hustles” to make ends meet. The kids never wanted for anything.
“Gamble” was not just his name, it was one of the things he loved to do (and one of those side hustles). He passed this down from children to great grandchildren. He especially loved playing poker with his sister Allene and nieces, Felicia and Sheila.
Upon retirement, he formally started “Mickey’s Boots and Shoes,” which blossomed into a flea market empire! If he wasn’t at the Flea Market on 31, he was on the road, taking it to Mississippi and points in between. While boots (especially cowboy boots) were his specialty, there was nothing you could not buy from army fatigues, lawn mowers to air conditioners. He could sell salt to sugar and water to a well. He had a gift.
We will always remember his sense of humor, infectious laugh, love of country music, excellent memory, his desire to sell you something and the pride he had for his family. His words of advice to young people was to “get you an education!” There is so much more to share, but we only have so much space. He was one of a kind.
“We love you, Daddy!”
“Daddy loves you too!”
Surviving family include his children, Grant C. (Angel) Gamble Jr. Jacksonville, FL; Delores (James) Shewmake, Bunker Hill, IN; Johnny (Tilicia) Gamble, Brooklet, GA; and Patricia (Dennis) Gamble-Moore, Carmel, IN. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Grant C. (Robbie) Gamble III, Sean (Kinzi) Shewmake, Tolen (Lisa) Gamble, Shane (Monique) Shewmake, Mike (Krissy) Gamble, Damien Gamble, Nicki (Dante) Gamble Robinson, Cody (Megan) McWhorter and Nina Moore, Julian Newman and Felicia Shaw. Surviving great grandchildren include Jamila, Jailah, Rob, Tatyana, Alyssa, Sanai, RaMica, DaMia, Brayden, Milani, Landon and Leia. Surviving great-great grandchildren, Amiya, Jaxson, Journee, Donte Jr., Amir and Dallas. Mickey is also survived by sisters, Bernice Spurgon of Nettleton, MS and Allene Dilworth of Pontiac, MI and a host of nieces and nephews; devoted caretaker and friend Bonita Hudson; special friends, George Dubose, Joseph Jones, Carrie Fuller, Jim Groendyke, Allen and Darlene Brown and Mary Wooten. He is preceded in death by his wife Josephine and son, Larry Gamble.
The family would like to extend a special thank you to Michael Mull MD, Angels of Mercy Healthcare and Premier Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Mt. Hermon Missionary Baptist Church, 451 W. 2ndSt., Peru, IN. 46970
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